(This is an update to: Helen Hatat is Homeless in Studio City)
Robert Crevelon read the story about community activist Helen Hatat and her struggles with recent homelessness in Studio City, and he felt like he had to do something.
“I read that she was at Du-par’s at night, and she was sleeping sometimes in the park near where I live,” Crevelon said. “I just couldn’t sleep. I had to do something knowing she was out there.”
Crevelon, 57, moved recently from San Francisco, where the homeless are everywhere, and he often would hand out whatever change he had in his pocket.
“It’s easy to hand away some money and feel like you’ve done something, but you don’t see people who are homeless in Studio City very often, especially someone who was a part of the community like this,” he said.
And, Crevelon said it’s possible that he and his wife could have been in the same situation not too long ago, when his construction business hit rock bottom, he lost his life savings and he lost his house up north in Marin.
“I had to go out to meet her,” Crevelon said. “And I don’t regret it.”
Hatat had a few offers of help since the story came out about her situation. Some have offered a place to sleep for the night, some have offered food, but she needed somewhere permanent. Many places needed Hatat to have a job before allowing her to move in. They found a place in Sherman Oaks.
“Robert paid for the first month of my rent, and that was such a generous offer, but I need a different place to stay, and I need a job,” said Hatat, who said she has a history of everything from secretarial work to production assistant.
When Crevelon moved to Studio City, he found new friends on Meet-Up, new businesses on Yelp, and information about the community on Patch.
Recently, Patch met with Crevelon and Hatat at the Starbucks in the heart of Studio City where she used to spend her days.
“I trust Patch to let me know what’s going on around here, and who my neighbors are,” Crevelon said. “I never knew the faces behind the people I would give money to on the street, and this time I do. Helen doesn’t deserve this. She has had a lot of tragedy in her life, and now she needs some help.”
Hatat was reunited with her cats, too.
“I still feel like I’m in a prison, but things are improving,” she sighed.
And Crevelon said, “I can’t really afford to pay for a month of rent, but I have a job, and I know who I’m helping and what her story is. I’m glad I can help.”
Hatat can be reached on her cell phone: (818) 714-1242 and her email: HelenHatat@gmail.com. She still frequents Starbucks and Du-par’s. She can also be reached at her Patch account here.