Supporting Unhoused People and Their Companion Animals
Recorded On: 05/26/2022
Established in 1999, The Giving Spirit has provided over 75,000 survival kits that have been distributed by thousands of Giving Spirit volunteers. These survival duffel bags, companion animal kits, and student backpacks address the immediate basic needs of individuals who are experiencing various stages of homelessness. The Los Angeles-based organization also strives to connect individuals to short and long-term supportive services.
During volunteer events, The Giving Spirit offers learning experiences designed to promote community-wide education and advocacy regarding the growing homeless crisis, and to develop open and empathetic dialogues between concerned citizens and community members who are currently experiencing homelessness and those who have successfully transitioned into housing and financial stability. The organization’s outreach and programming partnerships ensure streamlined coordination, not duplication, of their programs and services.
We invite you to meet some of their dedicated staff and learn how to create similar kit-building and educational events in your communities. Included is a look at their recent Companion Animal events as examples of bridging community awareness and action in support of unhoused people and their pets.
This webinar has been pre-approved for 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and by the National Animal Care & Control Association.
social services, unhoused people with pets, community partnerships, emergency housing, keeping families with pets, keeping pets with families, education, community outreach, advocacy, volunteer programs
Rebecca Cannara (Moderator)
Senior Manager for Educational Programming
The Giving Spirit
Rebecca Cannara (pronouns she/her) has worked in social work and education for over 25 years. She has served youth and families experiencing homelessness, developed a cooperative preschool, and produced online curriculum for middle school and high school level courses. She has a master’s in Education from UCLA, where she conducted research on providing intergroup dialogue as part of the professional training of pre-service educators. She received her training in the University of Michigan model of intergroup dialogue at UCLA and is a member of the Academy of Professional Dialogue. Her current focus is on promoting human rights and homelessness education in collaboration with The Giving Spirit and the nonprofit Universal Human Rights Initiative.
Tim Ingram (Moderator)
Director of Finance & Operations
The Giving Spirit
Tim is an attorney in Los Angeles and first volunteered for The Giving Spirit in 2003. After serving as a volunteer in many capacities and on The Giving Spirit’s Board for 10 years, Tim became Operations Director in 2015 as the organization continued to grow and expand its programs and reach. Drawing on his experience in the field and as logistics coordinator in his career before practicing law, Tim oversees the operational and financial management needs of The Giving Spirit as well as procurement and event planning. He also provides reports and strategic advice to the Chairman and the Board as well as staff members. Tim uses his legal experience to guide TGS’s compliance with local, state and federal regulatory requirements. Tim grew up and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Los Angeles, where he and his wife have lived for the past 25 years. Tim received a BA in Economics from Washington and Lee University and a J.D., from George Mason University School of Law.
Dick Koopmans (Moderator)
Staff and Project Coordinator, Outreach Committee Chair
The Giving Spirit
Dick joined our outreach team as a volunteer in 2018 and recently joined the full time staff as Staff and Project Coordinator. He has helped manage our growth and has since served in many capacities. Dick has developed relationships with new and existing partner agencies for distribution of our survival kits, educational opportunities for our volunteers and potential collaboration for future goals and events. Adding to this, he is now coordinating execution on various projects including the launch of a new website and Social Media messaging for The Giving Spirit. Dick is a Southern California native, graduated from Cal Poly Pomona, and has almost 20 years in the music business and 10 years in IT and IT staffing.