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Friday, October 6, 2023

Meet the Black Teen From California Helping the Homeless Community

Cameron Davis

Nationwide — Cameron Davis is a 17-year-old high school senior from Los Angeles, California. She is an honor student at Brentwood School and has committed her time to helping the unhoused community in the city.

“I’ve been volunteering to help feed the unhoused community since I was very young,” Cameron tells us. “When I was 9 years old, I was crowned Little Miss California and I chose poverty alleviation as my community service platform. Los Angeles has one of the largest homeless populations in the United States and it is impossible to ignore this humanitarian crisis.”

Cameron first started volunteering with My Friends Place serving food on Skid Row. Throughout the years as well as during the pandemic she has also created meals and hygiene kits for the Hollywood Food Coalition and Midnight Mission. All her many hours of dedication and volunteer work have earned her the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Growing up in a single-parent household she learned to cook and enjoys sharing her meals with those in need. Her favorite recipes are often the ones she finds on TikTok.

During her time working with different organizations, she discovered that there were other ways that she could give back. Jeans were often listed as an item that was in need since they are durable, unisex, and can be worn in all seasons. “Every fall my friends have the privilege to go Back to School shopping with their parents for brand new clothes. I wanted to help teenagers experiencing homelessness feel less stigmatized at school.” Her nonprofit Jeans for Teens collects new and lightly used denim jeans for homeless youth in the Los Angeles area.

She has collected hundreds of pairs of jeans since starting Jeans for Teens three years ago and she gets more donations every year.

“Now that I have my driver’s license, I can get to more community fridges,” he comments. Cameron also donates bottled water and Gatorade to the various community fridges around town.

Community fridges are refrigerators, run by a small business or neighborhood. Volunteers work to keep them stocked with snacks, drinks, and individually packaged fruits and vegetables. And it’s all free for anyone in the community to enjoy.

“This helps tremendously during extreme heat waves and helps keep unhoused individuals hydrated and prevents them from getting heat stroke.”

“Some people cast judgment and view the homeless as lazy or as a nuisance. But it’s extremely important for people to understand that homelessness is a complex issue with multiple causes including mental health, lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, domestic violence, and more.”

Cameron says, “I know that I alone am unable to solve this issue. But I believe that housing is a human right and if each of us does one small thing we can, at the very least make a difference in a person’s mindset and give them the faith to carry on until they ultimately find a place, they can call home.”

For more information, please email JeansForTeensLA@gmail.com