Homelessness worker wins Community Award


Tori Bailey, longtime liaison of homeless, is honored for years of dedicated service

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority says there are more than 69,000 homeless in Los Angeles County. Of that number, 328 are lo- cated in Culver City.

For more than 20 years, Tori Bailey has been helping the city’s homeless and on Oct. 22 she received the city’s community service award for her years of service in assisting the homeless with finding permanent homes as well as feeding the homeless for Thanksgiving.

Bailey, who works as a Homelessness Liaison for a non-profit, says that over the years, she has helped hundreds of homeless.

“I was very excited to be recognized for the work that is being done in the communities,” Bailey said. “I was excited to receive it because that lets me know we’re on the right track.” 

Bailey first noticed the homeless crisis in the 2000s when she was asked to coordinate a count of homeless in the city but it didn’t really hit her until she found herself taking a group of students on a tour to a private document storage facility that houses confidential records near Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles.

“We saw people everywhere and I wondered, ‘what is this?’ and I saw children there as well,” Bailey said.

This prompted her to start helping by taking clean socks to give to the homeless. She still gives socks but now also gives them thermal blankets to keep them warm during the cold weather months. Bailey said she usually has a non-profit sponsor these giveaways. For example, one year the Salvation Army gave her some weatherproof coats to give to the homeless.

One of the biggest issue for Bailey is getting the homeless placed in shelters or other living facilities where they can receive clean clothes, and regular meals. However, Bailey said many homeless are denied these benefits because they lack counseling for drug or mental illness issues, which causes many shelters to deny homeless people with those issues.

Bailey has spent more than 10 years helping the homeless in the Culver City area as a homeless counter and liaison, helping them secure housing as well as needed drug abuse and mental health services. In addition, in 2012, Bailey was a critical component in the effort to secure winter shelters for the homeless.

According to la.curbed.com, anyone interested in helping the homeless can do so in several ways.

Sign up for the Homeless Count. Every year Los Angeles conducts a homeless count so that the city can have an accurate picture of how many homeless need services. Reporting centers can be found throughout Los Angeles County and interested parties can sign up during their open enrollment period on Jan. 21, 22, or 23.

Build an ADU. Los Angeles County has a pilot program that will pay qualifying homeowners up to $75,000 in funding and streamline the permit process to build a accessory dwelling unit if they rent the unit to formerly homeless individuals.

Donate in-kind goods. Many homeless organizations will accept both monetary as well as in-kind (goods or services) donations such as blankets, sleeping bags, tents, or tarps.

Volunteer. Donate your time to working at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Homeless organizations also need help with tutoring, resume-editing, and child care.

Tour Skid Row. Oftentimes, getting the motivation to help doesn’t occur until you can see the problem up close and personal. A walking tour of Skid Row will reveal the massive size of the homeless population in Los Angeles which can often prompt those who wish to help.

For more information on how you can help the homeless in Culver City, please visit the city’s website at culvercity.org and go to the Housing, Homeless and Human Services section.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority says there are more than 69,000 homeless in Los Angeles County. Of that number, 328 are located in Culver City.

A note from Tori Bailey: Please support – PALEF.org performing arts foundation at 12:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 23 at Veterans Memorial, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, for a talent filled showcase to support free summer internships. There will be a $10 donation.