LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the "Welcome Home Project," which helps thousands of homeless people in Los Angeles as well as those struggling to support themselves after getting off the streets.
On Sunday, residents, religious leaders and church members gathered to talk about the issue of homelessness and Garcetti's project.
"We can take this huge epidemic that we see and personalize it, and help one person, one family at a time," he said.
The mayor encouraged people to host discussions about homeless issues in churches, homes and community centers. He then asked them to take direct action by filling laundry baskets with new household items.
"We put together this welcome basket that says, 'You're now a member of our community. You're my neighbor. You're my friend. You're a person whose first name I know,'" Garcetti said.
The goal is to assemble 500 baskets over the next few weeks to help those in need. Garcetti is also encouraging volunteers to take part in a big move - on Sept. 17 hundreds of the baskets will be delivered to individuals and families.