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Meals On Wheels West Helps Prevent Homelessness


Volunteers who deliver meals do wellness checks on their clients, too.

MOW West has expanded its target population beyond traditional homebound seniors to include newly housed, and formerly unsheltered individuals of all ages. As formerly unsheltered people are housed, MOW West’s Food and Shelter and Community Connections programs deliver healthy meals and referrals to additional social services – reducing food insecurity and improving physical

and mental health. About 21% of MOW West’s clients are formerly unhoused.

While many nonprofit and governmental agencies are addressing housing, Meals on Wheels West is Delivering More Than a Meal. Our programs are filling a significant gap in human services by providing home-delivered nutrition, socialization, and resources that help formerly unhoused people stabilize and reintegrate into society.

Meals on Wheels programs are proactively preventing homelessness. Our programs prevent people from having to choose between paying rent, buying medicine, or going hungry. All of MOW West clients receive meals cost free, or are subsidized. In a recent survey, 91% of MOW West clients report “the meals and volunteer visits help them to remain living in their home.”

MOW West’s Food and Shelter program focuses on serving the needs of the formerly unhoused. MOW West delivers to multiple facilities such as Step-up, Community Corp of Santa Monica, and Venice Community Housing buildings.

Launched during the pandemic lock down, our Community Connections Friendly Calling Program has dedicated volunteers contacting all MOW West clients to do Wellness Checks addressing concerns before they become severe.

The combination of meal delivery visits and weekly friendly calls with volunteers results in trusting relationships. These relationships lead to honest conversations and referrals to a wide variety of additional community services, including mental health programs, healthcare providers, transportation, and other needed resources.

MOW West partners with 64 local social service organizations including Providence Saint John’s, Alcott Center, MODE, Didi Hirsch, Chrysalis, and Wise & Healthy Aging.

The need for Food and Shelter meals and the additional services provided by Community Connections is growing. The most recent homeless count documents that the number of unhoused people continues to grow. LASHA’s Homeless Count discovered that homelessness in L.A. County rose in 2023.

The positive news is that the number of formerly unhoused people who are now housed is also growing. The efforts of Saint Joseph’s Center, Step-up, Venice Community Housing, and other agencies to provide housing are working. About 20,000 formerly unsheltered people were housed last year.

Meals on Wheels West is proud to help with keeping people housed, preventing homelessness, and improving the communities we serve.

To become a volunteer, call 310-394-5133.


By Chris Baca

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