All Power Books, local bookstore offering free services to neighbors, struggling to survive rising rent prices
A local bookstore is struggling to keep afloat as Los Angeles experiences drastic inflation in nearly every market. As they face a potential rent increase, they're looking for answers from the community they often offer so much to.
A sign in the window at All Power Books reads, "You deserve to thrive, not just survive." The tiny cooperative bookstore, located on W. Adams Boulevard, provides neighbors in the area with whatever they may need, including food, clothing and other daily necessities.
"They make it like it's our home," said Eddwena Myles, a resident who frequents the tiny bookstore. "We just come in and whatever we need, if we don't have it, they make sure that they get it for you."
Six friends came together to co-organize the bookstore, an idea born out of the disparities that came to light during the coronavirus pandemic.
All volunteers for their cause, their message is clear: Anybody that needs help, we will help them.
"How many people are going unseen by the government?" asked Kai Nguyen. "That was just our ethos. ... I think we're doing pretty good for a team of six."
While book and merchandise sales help pay the rent, All Power Books uses donations to function within tight operating margins.
"We definitely want to offer as much as we can with the little amount of funds that we do have," said Savannah Boyd, another of the six co-organizers. "We are by the people, for the people, so we rely on donations."
And now, just a year after opening, they're desperately searching for an answer as they face looming eviction, as the building they currently rent from is in severe need of repair.
They're worried that once their lease is up, and the repairs completed, they'll be priced-out of a new lease.
Their departure from the neighborhood would strike a massive blow to several residents who rely on their services for support. Among them, United States Marine veteran Kevin Swett.
"This family has really, really been good to a lot of people," he said.
"We all got close, it would be devastating if they left," Myles concurred.
As they explore their options and look for ways to save their store front, they wanted to make sure that people knew their mission wasn't complete.
"No matter what happens, we won't stop," Boyd said. "Because, until everyone's needs are met, there's going to be a reason for us to be here."
If all else fails, a property owner in the neighboring building has provided them with a backup option -- renting a spot next door, albeit in a much smaller space.
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