We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlye Sweeney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlye, how does your business help the community?
Homies Who Give has the sole purpose of serving community by providing essential goods through community initiatives. Our mission is to curate impactful projects that provide unhoused folks in the Los Angeles area with essentials i.e. canned goods, menstrual products, clothing, toiletries and more. Everyone deserves access to basic necessities. It is so important that we show up for our community in this way. There is no radically transformative force greater than true acts of love. Our mutual aid is supporting our community and through these acts we have taken on the responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets Homies Who Give apart from other organizations is how organic the organization began. Last year around the holiday season, I remember reflecting a lot around COVID-19 and what that meant for so many people experiencing homelessness in the Los Angeles area. I had consistently found myself reflecting on this topic prior to the pandemic and decided it was time to do more. I remember reaching out to a few friends and asking them if they wanted to put together a holiday drive and we’ve been doing this ever since. In that moment, I understood that impact doesn’t happen simply off an idea, you have to go out and make it happen. I was tired of sitting back and donating to various organizations and I knew my friends wanted to do more as well. I would say that I am most proud of my decision to start Homies Who Give. I’ve consistently worked with grassroots organizations and nonprofit and always knew I wanted to create an organization of my own. Patience is perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way, especially during the pandemic. This time has taught me to enjoy the space between where I am and where I am going. To know that everything will happen in perfect timing. It will be beautiful to witness where Homies Who Give will be five years from now. I want the world to know that our organization is made up of a collective of organizers, students, and creatives who’ve come together with the common goal of supporting our communities. That we are practicing revolutionary love and will continue to build reliable support structures to supplement other existing ones.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If it’s a nice warm day we would definitely start our morning with a nice hike, get a good sweat in. I love this small trail right on Stocker and Overhill, its very low-key which I love and has a nice view. Then we’d go get a smoothies from Simply Wholesome up the street to treat ourselves (the #9 is my favorite). I love to shop, so I’d probably want to go to Melrose or the Jewelry District in downtown LA. If we go downtown we’d have to get a lavender milk tea at The Alchemist: if you haven’t tried it already, you have to go. Then we’d grab some food at Papi’s Tacos because you can never go wrong with a good taco. For day two, we’d grab a quick breakfast at Mama’s Kitchen, one of my favorite mom and pop breakfast spots and then spend the day that the beach where we’d play card games and watch the sunset.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I constantly think about the revolutionaries who paved the way and inspired my work. Organizations such as the Black Panther Party, authors like Bell Hooks, James Baldwin, and Maya Angelou. But also just being inspired by my community, who’ve motivated me to do all that I can and that have shown me that the true impact lies in organizing and coming together. Further, my support system – my mother, brother, family and friends. It has been through my family that have learned so much about myself and my purpose. I love my support system endlessly. My intention is to move through life with love as the driving force, it is through these people that I’ve learned what that looks like.
Linkedin: Charlye Sweeney