We're distributing 1000 custom CITYPAKs in Los Angeles this Fall!

This Fall, The CITYPAK Project––the non-profit initiative dedicated to providing custom-designed backpacks to the unhoused––is distributing 1000 CITYPAKs to Los Angeles area families and individuals experiencing homelessness or housing transition. 

For CITYPAK’s Fall 2023 Los Angeles Distribution Initiative, which begins mid-August  and continues through October, CITYPAK is partnering with local organization The People Concern to distribute the bulk of the PAKS - reaching those most in need via hosted events and street outreach programs throughout the city.

Distribution Events

  • Wednesday, August 16, with The People Concern at "Anneberg Access Center" in Santa Monica from 9am - 11am PT. 
  • Friday, August 25, with A Safe Place for Youth at their "Summer BBQ Event" in Venice, CA (lunch courtesy of Pegnato Roofing) from 12pm - 3pm PT.

For The People Concern event, 250 CITYPAKs will be distributed at the launch event, with 350 additional CITYPAKs will be distributed in the weeks and months to follow via The People Concern’s multiple centers, teams, and programs that serve L.A. Area neighbors in need year-round.  

Additional organizations distributing CITYPAKs in Los Angeles County this fall include Venice Family Clinic, and Sahaba Initiative Inc. (with support from Islamic Relief Fund USA).

Since being launched in 2012 by music industry executive Ron Kaplan in partnership with Samsonite/High Sierra, CITYPAK has provided almost 100,000 specially designed backpacks to those without homes in more than 160 cities across the U.S. and around the world. Most recently, as part of the organization’s expansion into disaster relief and in international reach, CITYPAK partnered with The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services department to provide 1000 CITYPAKs to assist Ukrainian refugees in Poland. This year in the U.S, CITYPAK and Islamic Relief USA partner for IRUSA’s “Day of Dignity” initiative for the sixth consecutive year: 6000+ PAKs in 2023, and 24,000 PAKs total, distributed nationwide - and counting!  

The inspiration for CITYPAK came from Kaplan’s desire to make life a little easier for those living on the streets of his native Chicago. Ten years ago he partnered with High Sierra, a division of Samsonite, to design and produce a versatile, high-quality backpack to meet the unique needs of the homeless. Including an integrated poncho, reflectors, anti-theft loops and special pockets to protect personal items from the elements, the innovative packs provide added safety, security and mobility for the user. While High Sierra produces the packs at a special low cost, CITYPAK must raise money through donations to cover production. The SBK Foundation, founded by the Kaplan family, has provided program funding along with other philanthropic institutions, private donors and individuals.

With CITYPAK now in its 11th year, Kaplan is focused on continuing to expand the footprint for the non-profit, bringing the unique benefits of custom-designed backpacks to disenfranchised, displaced and unhoused individuals across the U.S. and around the world.

“Our focus is to assist as many people as we can, regardless of who they are, what they look like or where they come from,” he said. “We want to thank everyone who has helped along the way, from our corporate and community partners to all the individual donors, and let them know they are changing lives for the better, one backpack at a time.

To learn more about CITYPAK and to get involved in this initiative, visit www.citypak.org/donate.