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Our Work


Human Shelter:

For every homeless person you see on the street, there are thousands more you don’t see--men, women, teens, and children who struggle every day just to survive. At Aakaanksha, we give them what they so desperately need--the opportunity for a better life. To provide emergency, transitional, and permanent affordable housing, as well as counseling and life skills training, to equip homeless and low-income individuals and families to improve their lives and become self-supporting members of society. This homeless resources was created for people who want to find and donate food and/or supplies to their local shelter. Volunteer Opportunities are also needed at most shelters. We have listed contact information for volunteering at these shelters. We also offer compassion, counseling, education and other services necessary for homeless and low-income clients to become self-supporting members of society. But we can't do it alone!

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Food:

Realizing that it would take a greater commitment to address the needs of the homeless Aakaanksha was founded 1979 and began serving meals. Through word of mouth, Food on Foot rapidly gained volunteers and financial support. As a result, we are proud not to have missed a weekly meal since our founding. While the meal program was well received among our hungry clients, we also wondered if there was more we could do to increase food security in the area. Today our program helps approximately 50 individuals earn meals and food gift cards each week. We also provide them the resources necessary to get the job done - supplies, bus tokens for transportation and phone cards for communication. Most of these individuals are without stable shelter, are actively battling substance abuse or other handicaps, and are not ready for regular employment. But our hope is to gain their trust over time so that we can assist them with their needs, slowly build their confidence so that they can contribute to the community, and prepare them for a transition back into society. Once individuals participate in our program for approximately two months and demonstrate reliable work habits, these men and women can join a team of workers that clean local shopping centers and other areas during the week in exchange for additional food gift cards. The long-term goal is to find outside job opportunities in the business community for our our program graduates. Aakaanksha involvement, which can last from a few weeks to a few months depending upon the individual, gives those participating the confidence they so desperately need to become productive members of society again and leave life on the streets.

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Cloths:

Along with the meals we provide, we also distribute gently used everyday clothing (infant to adult sizes), shoes, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. We are also in need of clothing appropriate for jobs and job interviews - suits, dress shirts, ties, dress slacks, dresses, etc. Clothing donations are needed by many of homeless families in the world. But the need doesn't end there: more than 28 million children living in low-income families and their parents could also benefit from donated clothes. Clothing-donation needs include: school clothes, coats and other cold-weather accessories, professional clothing for employment interviews, and shoes, which wear out quickly and must be replaced often, especially among growing children. Donated clothes are critical for mothers and young children who must flee their homes because of domestic violence or abuse. Often these women and children leave under dangerous circumstances with only the clothes on their backs. Clothes donations are also especially needed by homeless veterans. Up to 40 percent of homeless adults are veterans, with more joining their ranks from the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. Clothing donations should be clean, undamaged, and reasonably wrinkle-free. Clothing can be folded and packed in sturdy boxes or bags; avoid hangers. Items that come in pairs (shoes, gloves, socks) should be kept together (shoe laces can be tied together, gloves and socks can be stuffed inside each other). Pockets should be emptied and any belts should be securely fastened to their appropriate items.

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Animal Shelter:

We work to reduce suffering and to create meaningful social change for animals by advocating for sensible public policies, investigating cruelty and working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about animal issues, joining with corporations on behalf of animal-friendly policies, and conducting hands-on programs that make ours a more humane world. We are the lead disaster relief agency for animals, and we provide direct care for thousands of animals at our sanctuaries and rescue facilities, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics. We celebrate pets, as well as wildlife and habitat protection. We are the nation's most important advocate for local humane societies, providing shelter standards and evaluations, training programs, a national advertising campaign to promote pet adoption, direct support, and national conferences. We operate a Wildlife Services program in the metro areas to provide homeowners and businesses with humane and effective solutions to conflicts with our wild neighbors. We confront national and global cruelties through major campaigns targeting the barbaric practices of dogfighting and cockfighting; abusive puppy mills where dogs are treated not like family but like production machines; the worst cruelties of factory farming in modern agribusiness such as confinement of animals in crates and cages; inhumane and unsporting hunting practices such as "canned hunts" of captive exotic animals; the slaughter of A horses for export to foreign countries where horsemeat is considered a delicacy; and the clubbing of baby seals and other animals for the commercial fur trade. Our track record of effectiveness has led to meaningful victories for animals in Congress, state legislatures, courtrooms and corporate boardrooms.

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