Hundreds of "survival backpacks" will be distributed to L.A.'s homeless Saturday as part of a program organized by nonprofit group The Giving Spirit.
Volunteers across the county assembled more than 1,700 backpacks this week filled with items that will help the "homeless population survive the heat of the L.A. summer," organizers said. The kits include donated canned meats, cereal bars, bottled water and juices, soap, bandages, sunscreen and other items.
The Giving Spirit volunteers will visit about a dozen partner organizations -- including the Downtown Women's Center by skid row and the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in Sun Valley -- and greet the women, children and families that these organizations work specifically to help.
Women and children are the fastest-growing segment of homelessness in Los Angeles and they are the main focus of this effort, organizers said. Additional backpacks will also be given to others living on the city's streets.
The 14-year-old volunteer group has given away more than 24,750 backpacks and survival kits in their June and December distributions, according to the organization.