LaRayia Gaston

"COVID-19 Series: Part 6"


“The homeless are isolated in a different way, they’re isolated on the streets in a ghost town.” – LaRayia Gaston

COVID-19 Series: Part 6

We feel so fortunate to have Founder of Lunch On Me, LaRayia Gaston, back on DENtalks Podcast for our COVID-19 Perspective Series. LaRayia is a dear friend of DENtalks Podcast, if you haven’t listened to her solo episode which was #19, please do yourself a favor and go back and listen to it. She has changed the perspective of all of us here at DENtalks forever and we know it will impact you equally.

In this episode, we dive into how she is seeing COVID-19 affect the homeless community or “our street family” as LaRayia says, and it is not good. LaRayia shares that she has seen more kids in skid row and more people who aren’t necessarily homeless or who were homeless before coming to their feedings. She also shares that she sees a bigger issue at play here – how as humans this kind of separation is not what we’re accustomed to, how taxing this isolation is on people’s mental health, how there are many people struggling / dealing with more than just COVID-19 right now, how many non-profits aren’t working right now so the community’s minimum needs aren’t being met, and the overall sadness she feels and sees throughout Skid Row.

This episode shines a light onto some of the deeper issues coming out of this pandemic, but LaRayia also has a way of bringing positivity to these hard times. She stresses the importance of letting go of some of the heaviness and how we need laughter and joy more than ever right now. She is a true ray of light!! There are many ways we can all help you – we’ve listed a few that LaRayia mentions in this episode. Anything and everything counts!

“How can we solve these problems and bridge these gaps if we don’t even understand what their life is like.” – LaRayia Gaston


LaRayia Gaston

LaRayia’s Bodega Address

  • 2713 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA  90057 (Map It)

Ways You Can Help

  • Donate or make masks and bring them to LaRayia’s Bodega
  • Donate to their free meal Friday’s
  • Donate bars of soap
  • Donate anything to help them serve to go meals (boxes, cutlery, etc)
  • Donate water bottles
  • Donate money


  1. Inspirational Teacher 
    Martin Luther King 
  2. Favorite Documentary or Movie
    What Dreams May Come
  3. Current Obsession 
    Omad Lifestyle
  4. Food, Drink, or Object you can’t live without 
    Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Type of Meditation you rely on most?
    Psychic Meditation which is energy tools, visual meditation which is also her personal practice
  2. Helpful tip for valuable meditation?
    Focus on your breath, take the pressure off yourself that you have to do it right. Keep showing up and try different meditation to find what works for you.
  3. Self-Care Hack? 
    I make sure to clear everyone out of my space every night and get out into nature. I clear people’s energy by creating a bubble out infront of you, putting everyone from the day in that bubble, and then blow up the bubble. This gives the person their energy back.
  4. If you could give any piece of life advice what would it be?
    If you don’t like how things are going, believe that you can change your perception and everything else will change.