I met Paul when I was elected to the Board of Directors at the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) when I was 20 years old.
I was with Paul at the board meeting when he suggested to have regional offices with NCH. WRAP was born from this proposal/idea.
I got more connected to WRAP through their close work with L.A. CAN in the beginning stages of WRAP and eventually became a board member. I’m proud to be a board member of WRAP.
WRAP plays a vital role (in needed change) in that they are a grassroots organization that addresses the issue from its roots. They are the only org out there that came out with a thorough report, WITHOUT HOUSING, that documents the rise of homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing building that dates back to the 70s. WRAP has spearheaded the Homeless Bill of Rights movement, the need to document the criminalization of the unhoused even in “progressive” cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. WRAP has done the work that no non profit helping the Homeless wants to do or ignores just to maintain their relationship with the status quo.
WRAP has placed itself as a radical organization in the larger context of people’s movements. It’s unique outreach and guerilla art plays an important role to reach out to other movements to join forces with WRAP and move forward on creating a world without homelessness.
Congratulations Paul on 40 years of this amazing heartfelt work. I’ve had the privilege and honor of joining you in this work for 25 years. You are someone I am blessed to call a friend, a brother, a mentor, a visionary and overall one of the most amazing individuals I have been blessed to meet in my life. Thank you for inspiring me and many others. LOVE YOU BROTHER!
Gerardo Gomez serves on WRAP’s Board of Directors and has been doing organizing work for 25 years. He lives in LA. In college, he co-founded a service club that brought students directly to San Francisco and Berkeley and had them interact with the unhoused by providing them with hygiene kits and clothing. During his senior year, he was asked to be on the board for the National Coalition for the Homeless. In 2004, while living in Chile as a Jesuit Volunteer, he organized the 1st Homeless Candlelight Vigil in all of Chile. He has documented the Homeless World Cup in Brazil, Chile, Mexico City and Norway and written about it for the Community Connection (L.A. CAN’s street newspaper). He has been connected to WRAP and L.A. CAN since 2005. He organized Dodger baseball games as fundraisers for L.A. CAN’s Rooftop Community Garden and in September 2022 for WRAP.