Karen Hamza is the founder and creative force that drives ANGEL HANZ FOR THE HOMELESS, INC., a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless people and their animals in Los Angeles.
Karen knows what it feels like to be alone and without support, as several years ago she was faced with homelessness. As a result, she is driven to help others who are faced with loneliness, poverty and homelessness. Karen is also a dedicated pet lover. Karen has dedicated her life's work to assisting unfortunate folks and their pets.
ANGEL HANZ FOR THE HOMELESS, INC. is a grassroots organization built by Karen Hamza. Her philosophy is that every pet and every person should be treated with respect and dignity. Her perspective on homelessness allows her to assist the homeless in an agile, effective manner. She is an advocate for human and animal rights who will do just about anything to better the life of another living creature.
Karen is also the first to author a resource guide to enable homeless and their pets acquire numerous resources. Content in her guidebook includes information on food pantries, shelters, and pet resources.
She is the parent of two beautiful dogs.
I ended up homeless when I was using and drinking I never had anticipated becoming homeless after nineteen (19) years of sobriety. My dog Tippy was naturally homeless as well. There we were in a position that I had never even given any thought to.
Thank God for the tools I had learned or I probably would have killed myself as, I had nothing to buffer the reality of that horrific state of homelessness and survival mode. I knew that drinking and using was not an option for me although suicide was an alternative thought. I can not even express how raw that I was. I certainly did not know which direction to go. I was capable of focusing on surviving minute by minute or just a breath at a time. I was so alone and had never met myself face to face in this fashion. I was hit hard and overcome with intense feelings. No one was there for me. I had to learn to survive without any of the amenities that I had worked for throughout my sobriety.
In recovery, I never had anticipated such adversity. I began slowly applying the principals more towards my present circumstances. After a meeting, I spoke with someone who had stated to me, "If you are walking through hell, keep walking until you get to the other side" and that so resonated with me.
I found myself helping other homeless on the streets and I would give them the little that I had; seeing myself in every single one of those unfortunates. I had become one of the invisible people. This caused me to feel a tremendous sense of sadness and tragedy. Thoughts raced through my mind regarding the high suicide rate among the homeless, how extremely dangerous it is to survive on the streets and how many are literally killed. The people I encountered came from different places but ended up in the same place as myself, homeless. In my critical state, I knew that more had to be done. I had an intuitive feeling that had become a vision towards a solution. I knew that I needed to be as close to them as I possibly could to help them in saving their lives.
I had remembered when all else fails to be of service. I started a weekly meeting for 15 plus years of sobriety. I assisted as many homeless as possible. My heart was beginning to open up and feel immense passion and love; becoming more alive with each service opportunity. I was waking up, not feeling the depths of despair quite as harshly. The homeless became my life.
Amazingly, over two and a half years later I had found a little place for my dog Tippy and myself. I continued my mission to assist on the streets with a hand up and not a hand out. I authored a resource guide for the homeless and for the ones that had animals. I knew that resources were critical. I created a one of a kind online newspaper and a wonderful organization from a tremendous amount of adversity and opposition. I would do my best to let go and let God. I continued to work the program and walk through hell until I got to the other side.
I learned to never give up 5 minutes before the miracle. It was a long grueling 5 minutes, but, somehow I kept that little bit of faith and hope even when I could not see or feel it. Believe me I still have obstacles, opposition and adversity in my life today. I am a work in progress. By the Grace of God, I have 33 years of sobriety and clean time. I do not take that for granted and continue being of service will not only help to save my life but to help others to save their lives as well!
I created my organization to help save the lives of the unfortunates by providing, education and solution. We have a vet, groomer and a barber not to mention essential items for the homeless with or with out animals. If you would like to support my organization, please go to www.angelhanz.org to donate and / or volunteer. I hope to be of more service in the future, by working towards starting a recovery meeting in the park the day of my gathering. I have seen many die of this disease on the streets. Hopefully with additional people willing to volunteer, we can make this happen. I am reminded of the motto, "Just do not drink, use or run through adversity as, there is always hope!"
ANGEL HANZ FOR THE HOMELESS, INC.
P. O. Box 10716
Burbank, CA 91510