USC and The Salvation Army join forces to help local homeless

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: Salvation Army Envoy Laura A. Bloom, right, organizes USC alumni members as they pack hygiene kits for homeless students at the Salvation Army Santa Clarita Valley Corps in Newhall on Saturday. Dan Watson / The Signal

The University of Southern California (USC) Alumni Association in Santa Clarita teamed up with The Salvation Army on Saturday to make over 100 hygiene kits for the homeless of SCV. The primary recipients were homeless students at College of the Canyons. (COC)

Some 35 alumni of USC were present at The Salvation Army Santa Clarita Valley Corps in Newhall to make kits that were filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, wash cloth, comb and much more. The volunteers ranged from young adults to a 72-year-old man that graduated USC over 40 years ago.

One such student was USC alumni and current COC student David Duncan. He sees first-hand what the homeless students at College of the Canyons have to go through.

“All their time is focused on getting an education so they can make a life for themselves,” said Duncan. “To be able to have things like socks, some soap and hygiene is like a great thing.”

Saturday was the USC Alumni Day of SCervice where alumni organizations did community service around the entire world. There were 4000 different events globally, according to Robin Duncan, the president of the USC Alumni Association in Santa Clarita.

“It’s a great time for us to come together,” she said.

It is hard to know exactly how many homeless students go to COC, as Laura Bloom, the officer in charge of The Salvation Army SCV Corps, pointed out.  Some have to sleep in the bushes while others sleep in their cars.

She estimated there is anywhere between 20 and 200 homeless students at COC.

She was happy to get the extra support from USC as well.

“People want to help,” she said. “It’s a connection.”

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