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About “Kary’s Helping Hand” - Support For The Homeless

Posted by Tiffany Gaines on

Gaines Investment Trust is a proud to be a sponsor of “Kary’s Helping Hand”.

 

Kary’s Helping Hand

 

Founded by Gaines Investment Trust’s very own former team member, Kary Siegfried, this non-profit provides direct relief to the most vulnerable populations in San Diego county.

This includes homeless individuals, orphans, and other people who are struggling to make ends meet. Kary delivers food and resources to people weekly out of the back of her car. Often there is a 50 person line to receive one of her home cooked meals that she serves out of a crockpot in her SUV’s trunk. Additionally, she organizes clothing and toy drives. We recently held a sock & blanket drive for Kary’s Helping Hand at our Gaines Investment Trust’s corporate office.

We are honored that Kary worked for GIT for twenty-five years! We are thrilled to be able to offer support as she has ventured into the world of such impactful public service. 

Kary was kind enough to share a bit about Kary’s Helping Hand in her own words:

“Helping Hand was founded in late January 2020.  It started as a grass-root movement to help the homeless and quickly grew into something more.  People often ask me why I am so passionate about this cause.  The short answer is the obvious need, but it is also something a little more personal as well. 

You see, my formative years were difficult and I went to work at the age of 14 (and never stopped) to help support my family.  I have always had a secret fear of being homeless.  I came close in my mid-twenties.

Then in 2019/2020, we had a problem with a homeless couple “camping out” at the Fay Village Plaza (a 62,000 sq. ft. commercial office building and home of GIT’s corporate headquarters – La Jolla, CA where I worked at the time).  We would find them in vacant suites, stairways, sleeping on roof–top furniture.  They broke into common area bathrooms and were generally using the building as their personal “Hilton”.  We ran them off (or so we thought), threw out their “personal” belongings, hired security, called the police; but they kept coming back…until they didn’t. 

“I knew then, I had to do something……anything to make this situation better.  I needed to find a solution and I still do, but I’m also learning a lot along the way.”

 Fast forward to July 3, 2021, our first Community Outreach since the COVID pandemic outbreakbegan and becoming vaccinated.  We served 60+ homeless individuals living in a “tent” encampment on Enterprises Street (Pacific Highway and Sports Arena Blvd.).  As we were serving the group, our homeless “friend” from Fay came walking across the street.  We recognized each other and spoke (small world).  Helping Hand served him and the others a warm breakfast meal.  We offered clothing and shelter options.  That is all we can do.

We can’t help those who are not ready to change their situation.  However, they deserve to be treated with kindness.  They are still human beings that need to eat and be warm (or as warm as their lifestyle allows).  All we can do is offer love, hope and a hand up.

We can help, but it is up to them to:
• Accept help
• Want change
• Do the work necessary to change their situation

 

That being said, there is a certain population among the homeless that have mental health issues and/or drug addiction.  50% or more of the current homeless population consists of individuals who experience emotional or psychiatric conditions.  Homelessness has risen to epidemic proportions in the United States and there are simply not enough beds to meet the current need.  This problem was created in part by the political system which began with the deinstutionalization of mental health facilities in the United States during the mid-60s.  Mental Health and Homelessness have become a political “football”.  There is a gap between the shelters and programs that are state and federally funded which do not adequately address the needs of the population remaining on the street.

I have learned that as much as I want to save everyone, not everyone wants to be saved.  People get comfortable, change is scary; who knows why? 

“All we can do is our best.  It may never be enough; sometimes it seems like we are just a rain drop in a very large ocean.  But….you have to start somewhere.”   

Please help me make a difference!

-Kary Siegfried

You can donate GIT Bucks to Kary’s Helping Hand here.

Or donate directly at KarysHelpingHand.org

1 comment


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