Anyone have 'popup' charities near you

Submitted by 6c_6f_76_65 in Direct_Action

Looking for any charities, in the US, that do nightly popups that provide shelter and other services for the homeless? Similar to this:

I am looking for something stateside I can go volunteer with for a week or two and learn as much of their process that I can and then replicate portions of it locally.


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confundus wrote

just contact the group beddown and tell them you're interested in doing something similar and would they mind answering some questions for you, if you want to go through the legalistic route (pros and cons). one big issue in the US would probably be insurance liability that would make the legal way a headache. popup squatting could avoid this but it would also require you to be more involved directly in the homeless community (not a bad thing) rather then letting one stand at a distance like a "charity" with a fixed location can allow.

honestly, though, I'd say go and talk to homeless people in your area (if you haven't already), see what they say they need, maybe they're more concerned with food or something else than a place to sleep? and go from there

either way, have to let us all know how things progress


coinin9hands wrote

Food not Bombs is the most common group/tactic like this in the states. There's probably a chapter near you that would love another volunteer. They also have a short manual on their webpage for starting a new chapter.

In general though, most projects like this are going to be extremely small scale and localized, which isn't a bad thing in itself, but does mean that travelling there to volunteer just for a week probably isn't going to be feasible. The silver lining there though is it's really shockingly easy to do things like this. In my city (in the deep south with basically no anarchist scene or similar) some great activists got a free store started just by going on facebook, asking for donations, and then handing them out in a park where a lot of homeless people hang out. They got a ton of publicity and people gave them food, clothes, toys, hygiene supplies, etc. After a few pop-up shops they started collecting monetary donations to put down a deposit on a retail space and opened a an actual physical "store" which was essentially a thrift shop where everything was free. All it took was two people who put up the facebook page and sorted the donations, then they put out an open call for volunteers and tons of people showed up to help pass things out. Of course, this was helped a lot by the connections they had among local activists, and before you dive into any big project it's good to have the lay of the land wrt to what's already happening in your area.