November 2, 2022

LA launches 'Spread the Warmth' blanket drive to help homeless

With nighttime temperatures expected to dip into the 40s this week, LA Sanitation’s second annual "Spread the Warmth" blankets and sock drive is perfectly timed. Designed to help LA’s unsheltered residents during cold weather, the drop-off program kicks off Monday and runs through Dec. 30.

The city is accepting new and gently used blankets, sleeping bags, quilts, and socks that are washed and clean at its six district yards from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 30, except holidays. The items will be distributed through LASAN’s Livability Services Division, which also provides mobile hygiene units, clothing, and a tent exchange to the homeless community.

When unhoused individuals come to a mobile hygiene center to shower is an ideal time to provide them with a blanket, the agency says, especially as winter approaches. In 2021, at least 14 unhoused people in LA froze to death, according to LA County data.

Individuals who sleep outdoors are at heightened risk of hypothermia, which occurs when a person is exposed to cold air, water, wind, or rain at temperatures of 50 degrees or lower. More than 69,000 people in LA County experienced homelessness in 2022, according to the most recent Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority count.

Repurposing used blankets and socks is a win-win for LA Sanitation, which also seeks to reduce waste. The agency started its public Spread the Warmth drive last year, recognizing that the pandemic had prompted a lot of people to clean out their closets. In 2021, the month-long drive collected 1,223 pounds of blankets and socks.

Following are the six yards that are collecting donations in 2022:

East Valley District Yard
11050 Pendleton St.
Sun Valley, CA 91352

West Valley District Yard
8840 Vanalden Ave.
Northridge, CA 91234

North Central District Yard
452 San Fernando Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

West LA District Yard
2027 Stoner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Harbor District Yard
1400 N. Gaffey St.
San Pedro, CA 90731

Public Works Building
1149 S. Broadway - Lobby
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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