By Megan Guerrero
There are nearly 10,000 unhoused people in the San Fernando Valley, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Counter. That number is higher for all of Los Angeles County, with nearly 70,000 homeless people.
With the disheartening amount of people who are experiencing homelessness, there is a growing need for support and funding for all types of people living in poverty.
As a result, there are many organizations and individual volunteers who are working to help lessen homelessless and help the unhoused across the county.
One local organization, familiar to many on campus, Hope of the Valley supports our community through something more unique: thrift stores.
According to their website, Hope of the Valley’s mission is to “prevent, reduce, and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness.” They are a faith-based nonprofit organization that offers both immediate and long-term assistance to those in need in the community.
Hope of the Valley started 11 years ago out of the San Pablo Lutheran Church where volunteers would serve hot meals to homeless men, women, and children. Now in 2022, they have opened a multitude of different resources for people living in poverty such as food and recovery programs, life skill classes, housing facilities, homeless shelters, and even health centers.
One of the ways they work to fund these resources is through a thrift store right here in Granada Hills.
Hope of the Valley opened the Granada Hills thrift store 12 years ago. It is located on Chatsworth Street, a ten minute walk from the school. The store offers clothes, furniture, and other cool nick-nacks. Customers may focus on the cool clothes they come home with, but they are also directly supporting the homeless, hungry, and the people living in poverty in our community.
Ken Kraft, CEO of Hope of the Valley, said that thrifting is a huge financial support for the organization and the people they support.
“Today we have four thrift stores, generating 40 percent of our revenue altogether, which goes right back into programs. Another 40 percent of our revenue comes through contracts with the city and county of Los Angeles, and the last 20 percent comes through individual donors, foundations and grants,” Kraft said.
Hope of the Valley is more than just the usual thrift store where you can find cool clothes for cheap. For over a decade, they have been a major supporter of helping people living in poverty. Through shopping at Hope of the Valley, everyone can look for affordable second-hand items while directly reducing hunger, homelessness, and poverty within the San Fernando Valley.
“Hope of the Valley is one of my favorite places to go thrifting. I always love walking over with friends and going through the racks of clothes. Whether it’s back to school shopping, buying clothes for a night out, or attempting to recreate designer outfits, I always go to Hope of the Valley for the best thrift finds,” senior Lelah Shapiro said.