05
Wed, Oct

K.A.U.S.E. provides essential resources

Every Wednesday people in need stop by K.A.U.S.E. to pick up baby essentials.

Community

The non-profit organization gives diapers, baby products, groceries and other products and services to people in need.

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K.A.U.S.E. founder Yana Shmuliver (left) with a local community member. Photos by Jason Lewis
 

By Ariyana Griffin

Karing Advocates United for Social Equality (K.A.U.S.E.) is a nonprofit in Ladera Heights that is dedicated to providing resources for community members in need.

Yana Shmuliver, the founder and executive director of K.A.U.S.E., created the organization after struggling to find resources while experiencing homelessness. She realized many programs had a criteria that one must fit to receive support, which she did not.

"I said if God were to allow my income to flourish and there was extra, that extra would be used to go into the community to help people so they wouldn't have to go through additional disparity," she said.  "I started K.A.U.S.E. out of my apartment in a spare room, collecting and purchasing items.  I collected toiletries from friends, coworkers and other associates and started putting a variety of toiletries inside a Ziploc bag.  I would pass those out to the people on the street.  That's how I started.  We went from an apartment bedroom to a two-car garage, to now, as of last year, our site, which is located off of Slauson and Fairfax, a 2,200 square foot commercial space.”

The non-profit organization provides several services and resources such as baby diapers and essentials, non-perishable groceries giveaways, children's books, school supplies giveaways, STD resources, free condoms, mental health resources, trained domestic violence support services and more.  K.A.U.S.E provides individuals and families "with the tools and inner resources to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community." The organization is now celebrating its tenth year of operating, and looks forward to many more.

One of the original services that K.A.U.S.E. provided was the baby essentials program.  On Wednesdays families can pick up bags valued at $200-$300 of diapers and other products that babies need.  The bags can last a family a few weeks, and families can request the bags on a monthly basis.

“We started this program with the help of Baby2Baby four years ago because my own community reached out to me and said that they needed diapers,” Shmuliver said.  “They couldn’t afford diapers, and they had to ration diapers.  Anyone who has children, at any point knows that rationing diapers is not like rationing food.  Because that comes with health issues.  So I started to reach out to my neighbors to drop off diapers on my porch.”

K.A.U.S.E. has a computer lab that is open on weekday evenings.  Many high school students have utilized the computers to complete homework assignments, write term papers, and study for exams.  

“We take for granted that everybody has a computer or internet access at home, but they don’t,” Shmuliver said.

K.A.U.S.E. is also creating a boutique that is designed for women who have been impacted by domestic violence.

K.A.U.S.E. is located at 4902 W. Slauson Avenue.  For more information visit www.kause-la.org and follow them on social media.