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Teens take aim at homelessness

Students plan to find jobs for the needy, let them bike to work.

July 05, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

GLENDALE — While some local high school students will be hitting the beaches this summer, others are looking to make a difference for homeless men and women living on Skid Row.

Teens from the student-run LOOK International group, who attend four area high schools in South Pasadena, Crescenta Valley, Glendale and La Cañada, plan to collect at least 100 bicycles and donate them to homeless men and women on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.

“We wanted to do something to empower those living on Skid Row,” said 17-year-old Peter Lee, the group’s president and founder. “We are trying to change the lives of 100 people.”

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Students will work with Los Angeles regional homeless services organizations to find needy men and women who are looking for work and set them up with jobs, he said.

The group of 30 students plans to distribute the bicycles Aug. 14 to transients who will use the bicycles for transportation to work.

The idea of donating bicycles to the homeless came after several group visits to Skid Row, where the teens spoke with people who said they landed there because they lost their jobs and homes.

Having access to a bicycle would allow homeless men and women to save money on travel costs to work while helping to keep them healthy, Lee added.

The group has already distributed more than 200 bags of food to Skid Row transients.

Lee formed the group last year after a fellow Crescenta Valley High School student’s father was killed in a hit-and-run collision in Montrose.

He and group member raised $10,000 for the student’s family.

This year, the group decided to tackle homelessness in Los Angeles.

Group member Rabbi Ko said she and fellow students are hoping to dispel notions that teens are apathetic about community issues. Students, she said, must take action to ease hardships in their community.

“There are a lot of high school students who care about what is going on in the world,” she said.

FYI

LOOK International will accept donations from Friday to Aug. 3. To donate bicycles or cycling equipment in Glendale, contact Rabbi Ko at (213) 884-7513 or rabbi.ko12@gmail.com. To donate in the Crescenta Valley, call Peter Lee at (818) 808-9905 or 1994leepeter@gmail.com.
 
 

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