Laurie Jacobs, project coordinator, SBCCOG Homeless Services programs, loads welcome kits made by west Torrance Girl Scouts in preparation for distribution to formerly unhoused neighbors who have been newly placed in permanent housing.

The South Bay Council of Governments (SBCCOG) recently worked with a west Torrance Girl Scout troop to bring 45 welcome home kits to those re-entering housing after recently being unhoused.

The kits contain everyday essentials such as papers towels, toilet paper, body wash and dish detergent. The essentials were packed in cheerful green duffle bags, which can also be used as a laundry bags. Each kit also contained a note of kindness written by one of the Junior Girl Scouts in the troop.

The troop was looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of those who had recently experienced being unhoused. It continued digital fundraising through online Girl Scout Cookie sales throughout the pandemic to earn the funds to buy the supplies for the “welcome home” kits. As soon as it became possible, the troop also sold cookies at booths and individually by going door-to-door with wagons of cookies in tow. The five troop members sold approximately 1,000 boxes of cookies to fund the project and invested time after school to write personalized cards and assemble the kits.

The troop’s co-leaders Karen Idelson Woods and Melody Gerding expressed that each troop member has been deeply moved by the opportunity show kindness to those living in the South Bay community. They are also thankful to be able to contribute “welcome kits,” which they hope will brighten the lives of those re-entering housing and let them know that they are cared for by the our South Bay community. 

The SBCCOG’s Homeless Services project coordinator Laurie Jacobs delivered the kits to Lila Omura, a homeless outreach/housing navigator for the City of Redondo Beach to pass along to her clients as they are placed in permanent housing.