To Top

Meet Hayley of Love My Neighbor Foundation in Skidrow

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley.

Texas native Athena Hayley, commonly known as “Hayley”, has garnered her roots in Los Angeles, CA. Many people know her as the talented woman with a caring heart. Similar many non-native Californians Hayley came to Los Angeles to pursue her career in the entertainment industry. At the tender age of eleven, she was immediately smitten with the “acting” bug and her journey has taken off from there. Initially wanting to share her talents in the entertainment business as an actress, Hayley began creating work for herself when she found it difficult to find work that truly highlighted her unique skills and talents for the craft. Ms. Hayley’s 1st film that she wrote, produced and starred in, I Was Her, addressed relevant topics such as abusive parent, drugs, prostitution, rape, homelessness and teenage runaways.

Realizing challenging aspects of life existed beyond the silver screen, Hayley, turned to providing services for those individuals who actually encounter these situations daily. Thus, Love My Neighbor Foundation was formed, an organization that helps feed & clothe the Skid Row Homeless population every Thursday from 12PM to 2PM. Since 2015 Hayley has dedicated much of her time, collecting & distributing food, clothing, shoes & toiletries to countless homeless men, women & children in Los Angeles.

After living in her car with her dog, Mr. King, Hayley understands firsthand the emotions surrounding homelessness. Because she felt she got herself into her situation, she didn’t want to depend on anyone to get her out. So she continued going to church, reading her bible, prayed, and telling herself God wouldn’t put her in a situation she couldn’t handle. And she came to truly understand the phrase, “what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger.”

The trials and tribulations that Hayley has faced from losing her 29 year-old brother to leukemia, abusive relationships and overcoming the fear of abandonment gives her the energy, passion and wisdom on how to lead the Love My Neighbor Foundation.

Since the charity started, there has been a couple of occasions, the charity has almost shut down, for the lack of funds to keep going. Nevertheless, Hayley has persevered and have found ways to find funds. Hayley considers herself a better person, for having had such profound experiences. She now knows that she can overcome just about any obstacle. Hayley is a woman who knows how painful life can be and wants to inspire other young women, men, and children to achieve their dreams, but always, with the intention to give back and pay it forward for the next generation.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road and it still isn’t. The two biggest challenges are donations and having a stabled core crew. Since we are not a bigger name, we don’t get as much support as we would like too. But we appreciate all the help that we have gotten so far from donations and our volunteers’ time.

Please tell us about Love My Neighbor Foundation.
Establishing a viable and respectable means for homeless individuals to receive the necessities of life as they regain their way back into society.

Love My Neighbor Foundation, is not just another foundation giving away food, clothes etc. This foundation was established to allow homeless individuals to keep their pride and dignity as they receive food, clothing, shoes, toiletries and spiritual enlightenment.

Our volunteers are individuals in the community that realize the plight of the homeless and display such by giving countless hours to ensure their comfort when distributing necessities.

What sets apart from some organizations, one we are boots on the ground charity. You will find us each week in the same location at the same time. We are set up outside in Skidrow. Two, our volunteers try to take the time out to get to know our regular Neighbors that we serve, to let them feel visible and let them know that we care.

Our proudest moments, well you would think it would be the different awards that the charity has received, but the proudest moments are when people that we serve, come to us to tell us that they are no longer homeless and/or they are no longer on drugs. When we have the same people that we serve every Thursday, come out and volunteer with us, because they feel like they have a purpose and because they want to give back to their Neighbors, that makes us feel that we are making a small difference. If you look past the food and clothes, we are trying to give people hope. We are trying to let people know that we are taking time out to let them know that we care.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck? Not luck, Blessed. I am still trying to figure out how we are able to manage to give back to the community every Thursday without the financial support that we would like to have.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in