Known as Laura’s Angels or our Project Angel Heart, on any given night, 200 young people are put to sleep on the streets of shelters across Los Angeles.
In a city that grows to feel like a furnace during the winter months, there are more than 25,000 homeless people, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. But many end up on the streets after problems, setbacks or a combination of all three.
Jennifer Obe is a semi-retired fashion executive who has lived in Venice for decades. She set up Laura’s Angels after the death of her father, who was homeless and died in his sleep.
“I spent many weekends wandering Venice with my dad,” she said. “So I could sit with him, so he could feel in charge.”
Since her father’s death in 2002, she had traveled to shelters around Los Angeles to help other families and realized she was facing what she calls a “holistic” crisis in the city.
“One-third of these young people, after a period of time in a shelter, are unable to get their life back on track after they get released,” she said. “That’s a very expensive option. And when they do go back into the shelter, they are more vulnerable to re-traumatization, homelessness and abuse.”