From riverbed to home -After L.A. cleared out homeless camps, here's how one agency helped some Tujunga Wash dwellers rebound
After a decade in the riverbed, Dave Curry was ready to try living under a roof.
With the help of a San Fernando Valley housing agency, Curry got a Section 8 voucher and went looking for an apartment.
He was a few weeks into his search when his campsite in Tujunga Wash was demolished. Curry was one of about 30 men and women uprooted last fall in a series of cleanups conducted by the city of Los Angeles and nearby residents.
A few slipped back into the wash. But most dispersed, leaving no record of where they went or how their lives changed.
It's a story that was repeated nearly 1,000 times last year, on scales large and small: Tents and shopping carts appear, residents complain, sanitation crews arrive to clear away the camps. But where did the displaced people go?
NORTH HOLLYWOOD >> Three decades ago, a faith-based group bought a seedy truckers’ motel and bar in North Hollywood and turned it into the San Fernando Valley’s first emergency shelter for homeless families.
Now Los Angeles Family Housing Corp., which runs the 250-bed Valley Shelter, will soon raze the former Fiesta Motel and build a $40 million hub for permanent supportive housing, health care, integrated services and homeless outreach to the entire Valley.
Groundbreaking for the 80,000-square-foot Campus at L.A. Family Housing is set for May, with construction expected to take 18 months. The 30-year-old Valley Shelter, being celebrated during a going-away party today, will be replaced this spring by a “bridge housing” center for homeless families and single adults nearby.
“I’m beyond excited,” said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO for the $16 million nonprofit agency, during a tour of the facility last week. “I’m excited for the community at large — the clients we’re working with daily, and our staff.
“This is a life changer, much like Valley Shelter 30 years ago was. Everything we focus on now is to place people into permanent housing.”
MORE THAN A ROOF
It was March 1986 when the Valley Interfaith Council turned a dive bar and truck stop on depressed on Lankershim Boulevard into the Valley’s first homeless shelter, serving 40 families.
Neighborhood opposition to the ’50s-era Fiesta Motel makeover had been fierce. But the need for shelter for an estimated 5,000 Valley homeless residents then — and today — were great. The renovated lodge, city officials declared during a jubilant ceremony, would be a model for the entire nation.
That year, L.A. Family Housing, which had provided affordable housing in South L.A., took over what became the Valley Shelter. In the past 30 years, it has provided a roof for more than 150,000 homeless residents.
Since then, however, the model for housing homeless residents has changed dramatically. Once, it was enough to provide a shelter and meals, a model that could become a revolving door for a growing number of chronically homeless residents, officials say. Now, it’s to provide a stable apartment and the tools needed to keep them off the street for good. And to help break a cycle of poverty.
Guest Commentary: Los Angeles has the Will to End Homelessness, Now it Needs the Funds
Guest Commentary: Los Angeles has the Will to End Homelessness, Now it Needs the FundsA child in the foster system turns 18 and has nowhere to go. The economy gets hot, rents go up, and minimum wage no longer pays the rent. A mother decides that leaving an abusive relationship is worth sleeping in a car with her kids.
As the largest homeless service agency in the San Fernando Valley, these are stories we hear every day at LA Family Housing in North Hollywood. The recent story “San Fernando Valley families find focus, road to stability in emergency shelters” (Dec. 12) captured one example of what homelessness can look like, but it also drew some comparisons that need clarification so that our collective efforts and the path toward ending homelessness is more clear.
Despite the limited resources of shelter beds and affordable housing, Ms. Makarosyan accurately notes that our regional system is far more effective than those in other parts of the country. Nearly five years ago, with generous support and unprecedented leadership from the United Way, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the County of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority our region established a new system of coordinated entry for individuals and families that are at risk of being homeless or are experiencing homelessness in the county. These two systems — called CES for individuals and HFSS for families — replace endless intakes, questionnaires, and wait lists. CES and HFSS alleviate the need to scramble from one agency to another, but until there is sufficient funding of the entire system, the long waits for crisis shelter beds and permanent housing will remain.
The article notes that “some providers fear that much of the funding will go into permanent supportive housing, a longer more expensive process that can leave many in temporary need out of services.” This quote embraces a false choice. If we continue fighting over the same inadequate pot of money we won’t make any progress on this regional crisis. We need crisis housing for individuals and families to catch their breath. We need rental support — the right solution right now for Ms. Makarosyan’s family — and we need long-term affordable housing, including permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless households dependent on wraparound services.
It’s no coincidence that this year’s homeless count found that the L.A. County’s chronically homeless population was 12,356 people and the homeless population with mental illness was 12,253 people. It is a fact that the majority of chronically homeless individuals live with severe mental illness. This important snapshot in time reinforces the importance of permanent supportive housing: the integration of housing with supportive services. In our work we at LA Family Housing often find that chronically homeless clients have long abandoned the crisis shelter system because it doesn’t address their needs. Effective street outreach, combined with permanent supportive housing is the most sustainable strategy to support this population.
Before you get overwhelmed, consider this: within six months we will end veteran homelessness in L.A. County and achieve what is referred to as “Functional Zero.” This means that we will have the right kind of bed for every veteran that needs one — and the right kinds of services to go with that bed. This success is a result of determination, coordination, and the willingness to spend the money that is needed to address the challenge. There’s no reason we can’t achieve “Functional Zero” for all families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Los Angeles County has approved a plan to allocate $100 million a year towards ending homelessness. The city of Los Angeles is debating its next move and whether it is willing to make this same commitment. Now is your chance to support the work that so many are doing. Call our L.A. City Council members and tell them that the determination is there, the coordination is there, and now we just need the city’s commitment of resources to end homelessness in people’s lives permanently.
Stephanie Klasky-Gamer is the president and CEO of LA Family Housing, the San Fernando Valley’s largest affordable housing developer and homeless service provider.
San Fernando Valley service providers vowed Friday to step up and improve collaboration between their agencies to secure a fair share of city and county funding to help the homeless.
Nearly 200 members from various social service agencies — food pantries and providers of mental health, health care and housing programs — gathered at the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church in Pacoima as part of an annual homeless housing summit hosted by L.A. Family Housing.
This year’s summit, which included agencies from the Santa Clarita Valley, came amid what has been called a persistent homeless crisis in Los Angeles County. Agencies fear steep competition between service providers across the region who are all struggling to balance limited resources with an increase of people who are chronically homeless.
City and county leaders have pledged more than $200 million to be spent starting next year, but those who work in the San Fernando Valley agencies fear that the funding will be focused in downtown’s Skid Row area, which receives more attention because the homeless sleep along sidewalks within a 5-square-mile area.
y comparison, the Valley's homeless are spread out over 260 square miles and sleep in hiding: in their parked cars, motor homes near parks and in encampments tucked under freeway underpasses.
Also noted was that the San Fernando Valley is divided into seven City Council districts. None of the Valley’s council members sit on the Los Angeles City Council’s newly formed Homelessness and Poverty Committee meetings.
“The San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys are the largest geographically but we have no representation from our seven council members on the committee,” said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO of L.A. Family Housing during a panel discussion. “We need (our area) to be heard.”
Greg Spiegel, the homelessness policy director for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said each provider should reach out to a council member and ask him or her about homelessness. He also said agencies should attend city council and Homelessness and Poverty Committee meetings, to be heard or risk losing funding.
“If not,” he said, “someone is going to come along and get it. There’s no better opportunity to organize than now.”
Federal funding for permanent supportive housing also remains competitive, which is why Valley agencies need to unite to decide where money will be best spent, he added.
“The funding is not going to flow if there are different messages coming in,” Spiegel said.
In September, the City Council announced its plan to spend $100 million more on homelessness. The council also stated it would declare a state of emergency in regard to the city’s shelter crisis. But the declaration has drawn confusion and criticism as it has left many wondering what the declaration means.
We are excited to say that we are under construction...
LA Family Housing is midway through a 10-year strategic plan to open The Campus at LAFH, beginning with the renovation of our Sydney M. Irmas Transitional Living Center (TLC).
The Campus represents the next step of LA Family Housing’s long-standing commitment to provide the most effective solutions to ending homelessness.
The design reflects three decades of experience and outcome-based best practices in an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility that hosts all housing and supportive services under one roof—as well as fifty new units of permanent supportive housing. Partnering agency offices will be “huddled” to encourage information-sharing and collaboration. Dedicated play areas and community spaces will encourage relationship-building for all who use The Campus. At its core, The Campus at LA Family Housing will be a shared space that is designed to allow providers, and public agencies— to collaborate towards the same goal: breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
The Campus at LA Family Housing promises more.
Through a reinvestment in our oldest and largest real estate assets in North Hollywood, The Campus expands our role as the region’s hub for finding a home and thriving in it. New permanent supportive housing and refurbished temporary housing located around a new healthcare clinic and a state-of-the-art service center will triple our impact and change lives.
Volunteers with nonprofits and religious organizations would assist as "navigators" to help in steering the homeless to shelters or housing, under a plan proposed Wednesday by a food bank that works with the growing numbers of homeless in the San Fernando Valley.
"I'm proposing a team of interfaith congregations to basically train navigators at their congregations to be a part of their existing outreach programs," said Luis Oliart, director of the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry.
The pantry provides food to the needy, a portion of whom are homeless, twice a week. Oliart envisions using those occasions of contact with the homeless to offer them the option of having their information collected and input into the coordinated entry system for housing.
Oliart outlined the idea at Wednesday's clergy council meeting at the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood station.
The homeless population in Los Angeles County was counted at 44,359 by the point in time census last January.
"I started feeling a real significant change about three years ago," said Oliart. "I started seeing more issues associated with homeless folks in our neighborhood that I was getting phone calls about."
There are lots of apartments here in Los Angeles County. They're all over the place, but according to a new report they are too expensive for a lot of people who are suddenly finding themselves among LA County's poor.
One of those people, 50-year-old Sylvia Ortega, is living at LA Family Housing because she has nowhere else to go. “The economy is bad and there is no way for me to find a job," she says as she shows us her skimpy apartment. There are two beds. One for her and another for her 13-year-old daughter Alyssa.
Matt Schwartz is the CEO of California Housing Partnership Corporation. He says “high housing costs, in addition to people having top pay more rent, are actually driving Los Angeles families deeper and deeper into poverty.”
Schwartz says that since the year 2000 rental prices have increased nearly 30%. Incomes in lower income households has declined 7%. Moreover, he adds, the Federal poverty rate was at 18% for LA County,
but, it actually jumps to over 26% when you include housing costs and things related to the cost of living
“What that means," he says, "is more than one in four Los Angeles households is living in what our state defines as poverty and it’s primarily because of high housing costs.”
Estelita James is Sylvia Ortega's neighbor at L.A. Family Housing. “If it wasn’t for the grace of God I don’t know what I would do,” she laments.
James' monthly income from public assistance is $700 bucks. And, while that's embarrassing, she says, "not being able to tell the kids that we’re going to have permanent housing has been very difficult when the kids are asking how long is this going to be."
It could be some time. LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis says the amount of affordable housing needed for people like James and Ortega is mind boggling. “We know that we have a need to somehow deliver 500,000 more affordable homes here. That is amazing. It’s almost daunting.”
And, Stephanie Klasky-Gamer at LA Family Housing says it's also daunting how “you’ve got to make $38 an hour to afford a typical apartment. If you’re talking about minimum wage or someone making 10 or 15 dollars an hour… they can’t even afford a typical apartment.”
A 'Sanctuary' In The City Of Angels
For a good example of what this kind of affordable housing can do, just talk to Emily Martiniuk in northern Los Angeles.
Martiniuk, 63, lives in the Palo Verde Apartments, a bright, stylish facility with a lot of the same amenities that will be offered at the D.C. building: community rooms, a computer lab, patios and a beautiful tree-lined courtyard. She lives in one of the facility's 60 units, on the second floor.
"This is the dream apartment," she says. "I don't call it my room. Other people call it their room. This is my apartment."
She's lived in the building for three years, decorating and redecorating the space with posters, plants and little trinkets.
"It's hunt and pick, because I am low-income," she says with a laugh.For most of her life, Martiniuk eked out a living driving buses, working as a telemarketer and even owning a small notary business. Then things started to slide: One of her adult sons died, then the economy crumpled — and with it, her business.
"It was like a slow divorce," she says.
Without work, she was no longer able to make ends meet, eventually ending up in a homeless shelter. Her mental health deteriorated, and she was institutionalized for six weeks.
Then, she got the opportunity to move to the Palo Verde Apartments — which is when everything changed, she says.
"I have a mental health issue. The condition of my home is the condition of my mind."
That's why it's so important for her mental health and well-being to have this neat apartment as a "sanctuary," as she calls it.
Obstacles On A Long Journey
There are questions about the cost of these projects, though. The Palo Verde Apartments cost about $16 million, says Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO of LA Family Housing, the nonprofit that owns and operates the facility. And she's quick to add that the $16 million price tag is more expensive than the typical permanent supportive housing facility — but that's intentional.
"Another developer most likely would have built this [facility] with much higher density," Klasky-Gamer says. "But we elected to have this kind of courtyard. We elected to have little patios and little convening spaces."
A homeless count last week in Los Angeles likely missed many children under five who are often hidden from view and yet are among the most impacted by their homelessness.
In L.A. County, there is no accurate count on the number of homeless children under 5, according to Melissa Schoonmaker, the homeless education consultant at the county's Office of Education. Most don’t live on the streets or end up in the shelter system where they can be accounted for, she said. Instead, they are often shuttled among homes of relatives and friends.
Schoonmaker's data, gathered from official public school enrollment information, show that almost 10 percent of the county’s homeless children are kindergarteners or younger. But she is sure the numbers are much higher because officials can only count children registered in public school, be that for kindergarten, preschool or Early Head Start. Many children who are homeless are not attending those classes.
While the county's education office helps school districts meet the learning needs of young homeless children, Schoonmaker said this population has many more challenges. “We also know they have a lot of health issues and lot of them have developmental delays,” she said.
They’re camping in semi-rural washes instead of the doorways of businesses. You’re more likely to drive by their RVs than to walk past some sidewalk tents. In the San Fernando Valley, the homeless blend into the shadows.
After the mayor and City Council members last week announced more than $100 million for homeless services and housing in Los Angeles, we wanted to know how our neighbors in the Valley were different and what could be done to help them.
We talked with homeless service providers and public officials, and we dug into the data provided by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Every two years (and soon to be annually) volunteers organized by LAHSA canvass the region and tally where people are sleeping. They also survey the homeless about their demographics, health and background. Then, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill extrapolate results for each region.
Homelessness in the Valley is growing, though slightly less rapidly than in the city as a whole. About 5,200 people — a fifth of the city’s homeless — live here, up 8 percent from 2013. The city’s homeless population grew by 12 percent. Here are some other key points:
The number of cars, RVs or vans where people were sleeping nearly doubled — up by 91 percent — over the two years in the San Fernando Valley, from 518 vehicles to 988 vehicles. That’s compared with a 68 percent increase in the city as a whole.
Along the side of one North Hollywood park this summer, people were sleeping in about 15 parked vans and RVs.
Those in the most dire situations — the chronically homeless — are more prevalent in the Valley, and their numbers are growing faster than in the city as a whole, according to the survey data.
Since 2013, the number of chronically homeless has grown by 71 percent, compared with 58 percent in the city.
“People are not able to get out of homelessness the way they were in the past,” said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and CEO of L.A. Family Housing. She blamed rising rents, stagnant wages and other factors. About 42 percent of the Valley homeless are chronic: those typically living on the streets for more than a year, and who suffer from mental illness, a substance abuse disorder or other disability. That compares with 35 percent in the whole city.
The opening of The Louis Apartments is the exciting culmination of three years of outreach and engagement with the Sunland-Tujunga community in the city of Los Angeles.
On November 3rd, over 70 dignitaries, collaborators, residents, and guests from the community celebrated the grand opening of The Louis Apartments, a brand new affordable community serving the chronically homeless, located in the Sunland-Tujunga area. These units prioritize most vulnerable population of homeless individuals— including those with disabilities and mental illnesses.
“Today marks a celebration not only for our residents of this stunning property, but for all of us as a community dedicated to ending homelessness in people’s lives, “CEO and president Stephanie Klasky-Gamer remarked.
To plan and construct the Louis, LA Family Housing collaborated with a number of developers, funders, government agencies and public officials, including LA City Councilmembers Felipe Fuentes and Paul Krekorian, as well as LA County Supervisor Mark Antonovich, an early and financial supporter of The Louis. As special guests and speakers, each council representative expressed their personal commitment to care for homeless individuals within their districts, and the significance of permanent supportive housing as a long-term solution to homelessness.
For the chronically homelessness, the combination of supportive services and permanent housing can be vital. These individuals face multiple challenges, including mental illness, medial health issues, substance abuse, and extreme poverty. The Louis provides a safe and stable home as a foundation to rebuild their lives.
Patrick Piercy is one of those people. After being homeless for several years, he found himself battling pneumonia in the middle of June. Two Coordinated Entry System outreach volunteers quickly discovered that not only was Patrick eligible to move into The Louis, he needed to move in as early as possible. He was able to share express his gratitude at the grand opening.
“Thank you for saving me,” he declared over the microphone.
New housing serves San Fernando Valley’s most vulnerable homeless
The man who calls himself The Wizard says he feels as if a magical force pulled him up from years of living down and out on the streets of the San Fernando Valley.
How else, he said one recent day, can he explain how he went from sleeping on a sidewalk in Pacoima to stretching out on a brand new bed in his own studio apartment.
The Wizard because no one can defeat me,” the 55-year-old man proclaimed, stabbing the air with a stick to simulate a sword fight. “But I don’t want to fight no more. I’m not young no more.”
The Wizard said he earned his name, like his long gray beard, through the street smarts and wisdom he gathered while living on the edges of the Angeles National Forest or on the sidewalks of Pacoima. But he also uses that name because he has no traceable identification: no social security card, no driver’s license. Volunteers and those with L.A. Family Housing saw The Wizard, homeless for years and aging, as the kind of person who would benefit from living at a newly built permanent supportive housing complex in Tujunga.
Called the Trudy & Norman Louis Apartments, the 45-unit building is one of two opened by L.A. Family Housing in the San Fernando Valley that provides housing to the chronically homeless and the most vulnerable among them. They are the men and women who are most likely to die on the streets. The tenants, mostly single, receive on-site supportive services to help with mental issues, alcohol and drug addiction or chronic illnesses. In return, they pay 30 percent of their monthly government checks and adhere to rules typical of any other housing complex.
Click to view 2010-2011 report. The next Bi-Annual Report, recapping 2012 and 2013, will be coming out Summer 2014.
Palo Verde Apartments, an affordable housing development in the Sun Valley district of Los Angeles, has been completed and opened for residents. The property, developed by the homeless service agency L.A. Family Housing of North Hollywood, offers housing for very low income or previously homeless single adults living with mental illness.
The 60-unit complex is permanent supportive housing, an approach that strives to provide an atmosphere of stability for its residents, with the goal of fostering socialization among them, as well as support and treatment. L.A. Family Housing currently operates 18 other apartment buildings and three shelters, but Palo Verde is the first one for single adults with mental health needs, notes the developer.
Read more on Multi-housing News.
Her prayers were once filled with pleas:
For safety, so that thieves, rapists and murderers wouldn't discover her sleeping alone with her cat inside her car;
For strength, so she could survive the heartache of losing her job, her Valley Village apartment, and those she thought were her friends;
For someone, anyone, to open a door of opportunity for work.
Read more on Daily News.
It took three years from concept through construction until homeless services agency L.A. Family Housing (LAFH) could begin recruiting tenants for its Palo Verde apartments in Sun Valley. This is the agency’s first permanent supportive housing project for low-income, formerly or chronically homeless adults and those living with mental illness.
A couple of hundred supporters attended the grand opening, held in the Gonzales Goodale-designed building’s xeriscaped yet lush courtyard featuring its namesake trees. Light refreshments were served in an atmosphere of celebration.
LAFH President and CEO Stephanie Klasky-Gamer welcomed donors, board members, government officials and development partners and congratulated them on their accomplishment.
Read more on Patch.
Councilmember Tony Cárdenas welcomed the crowd to the Grand Opening ceremony: “We are here to celebrate what L.A. Family Housing has done and what it continues to do for people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.”
See the full newsletter.
Behind the security gates of Coto de Caza, a once well-to-do real estate executive straps on a bulletproof vest and heads out to serve court papers on those who don't want to be found.
At transitional housing in North Hollywood, a homeless former music producer wrestles with humbling adjustments to his self-image as the family breadwinner.
In Pasadena, a longtime school employee juggles two jobs and sleeps just four hours a night, trying to recoup lost pay.
They are some of the faces behind California's grim statistics: unrelenting unemployment, sharp declines in household income and rising poverty.
Read more on the Los Angeles Times.
Buy Art, Help a Family in Need
Join us for an evening of artistic design and philanthropy, featuring the work of 100 LA-based artists, complimentary food and beverages, and musical entertainment.
All pieces are set at $400, so you can beautify your home at an affordable price.
For every piece you purchase, LA Family Housing will receive 50% of the sale - a generous donation made possible by Room & Board.
When: October 21, 2015
7:00 PM- 9:00 PM
Where: Helm's Bakery Building, 8707 W Washington, Blvd, Culver City, 90232
Allison Danielle Behrstock
Brian C. Moss
Doni Silver Simons
Ellwood T. Risk
Jerome Le Blanc
Lola del Fresno
Mark Steven Greenfield
Marsha Effron Barron
Mary Addsion Hackett
Melinda Smith Altshuler
Stacie Jaye Meyer
Thomas Whittaker Kidd
Need an excuse to take off work on a weekday? Come play golf for a great cause!
Join us at Angeles National Golf Club on Thursday, October 22nd for food, drink and fun. Angeles National is a fun and beautiful golf course. Plus we will have on-the-course contests, prizes and some really great raffle items.
Our goal is to raise $75,000 to help move 15 families out of homelessness and into permanent housing. So we're looking for a big turnout of at least 100 golfers this year, and we need your help to get there. Sign up today and tell a friend!
Click here to sign up!
Our LAFH family gathered on Thursday, April 25, at the Book Bindery in Culver City to honor Tai Collins and Evan DeHaven, celebrate the success we’ve had in moving families home this year, and raise a record-breaking $900,000 to help end homelessness in Los Angeles. Industry insiders, business and community leaders, celebrities, and service partners were among the 550 guests in attendance who feasted on dinner by the bites from renowned LA restaurants Akasha, Angelini Osteria, The Fat Cow and RivaBella, among nine others.
The night was hosted by comedian Ben Gleib, who’s strategy was simple: “I basically plan on shaming people into giving up their money.” His work was made easy during the live auction when a puppy from SavingSpot!, along with customized dog house by architect Scott Mitchell, was sold for a whopping $8,000.
Blair Rich, Event Co-Chair and Executive VP of Marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures, closed the evening with a reminder of why we gathered: “There is no reason that children should be homeless in Los Angeles. So many of you support us year after year. You are committed. And with that commitment, we are changing people’s lives and giving kids the chance they really deserve. Thank you for making tonight such a huge success!”
Pictured from L to R: President & CEO Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, Event Co-Chair Blair Rich, Honoree Tai Collins, Event Co-Chairs Deborah and Matthew Irmas, Audrey Irmas.
Big Sunday is an organization that builds community through community service and has organized Angelenos to give back to nonprofits across the city for more than a decade. Each year on the first Sunday in May, 50 volunteers select LA Family Housing as their designated site and provide our 660 shelter residents at three different properties with a generous giving spirit and fun-filled activities, including barbeques, carnivals, live music, bingo, and ice cream socials. This year, kids especially enjoyed clowning around with a face-painted jester and prepping our community garden for a summer of growth. A BIG thanks to our Big Sunday volunteers!
The 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count was conducted over three nights in January to tally the number of homeless families and individuals living across all 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County. More than 5,000 volunteers participated, including 500 from our LAFH community, in this biennial effort to assess the magnitude of homelessness in our neighborhoods. These volunteers canvassed each of the county’s census tracts with a flashlight and clipboard to ensure every person living on the streets, in cars, tents, and other vehicles was counted.
The last count in 2011 showed 51,340 people without a home in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which led the countywide effort, will release the 2013 report this summer.
LAFH kicked off 2013 with the groundbreaking of our second permanent supportive housing property, Day Street Apartments. Day Street will provide 46 new units in Sunland-Tujunga for formerly homeless and low-income individuals, with on-site services targeted to veterans and those living with a mental illness.
More than one hundred community members, advocates, public officials and LAFH supporters gathered on a brisk January morning to celebrate the permanent solutions that Day Street will provide for our community’s most vulnerable. Councilmember Richard Alarcon, whose own son suffers from a mental illness and experienced homelessness, vowed to continue fighting to end homelessness in Los Angeles with more projects like Day Street.
Day Street Apartments will open in early 2014.
On April 19, LAFH held its 13th Annual Awards at The Lot in West Hollywood, where we honored Hasbro, Inc. and Betty and Ross Winn for the pivotal roles they play in L.A. Family Housing’s success.
With Ben Gleib performing MC duties and DJ88 spinning the tunes, the evening was a spectacular success, helping us raise much needed funds to continue moving more than 500 families home this year.
A highlight of the evening was when ten-year-old Izaiah Miranda shared his family story with the audience about how LAFH helped lead him and his mother Annette on a path to self-sufficiency and housing stability following many years of homelessness.
Congratulations to all of our honorees, and thanks to everyone who made the night a memorable one.
Palo Verde Opens! L.A. Family Housing celebrated the Grand Opening of our first permanent supportive housing development on January 20, 2012. Palo Verde provides 60 studio apartments for formerly homeless and very low income adults, many of whom live with mental illness. In a beautifully designed, LEED certified sustainable building, residents benefit from on-site services including mental health counseling, case management, recovery support, and employment assistance.
On December 20, 2012, Laemmle NoHo 7 held a grand opening benefit screening of The Iron Lady, with proceeds going to L.A. Family Housing. The Laemmle Charitable Foundation, led by Greg Laemmle, presented a check for $10,000. We thank our new neighbors!
Partners Trust sponsored our third annual Harvest Festival on October 30th, 2011, where more than 250 homeless children enjoyed fall-themed and Halloween activities, including pony rides, pumpkin patch, arts and crafts, face painting, and family portraits.
Thank you to our Partners Trust volunteers!
LA Family Housing 2016 Annual Awards
What an incredible event it was! With our live and silent auctions, sponsorships, and paddle raise and generous donations, we hit $1 million!
Over 500 guests enjoyed delicious food prepared by our celebrity guest chefs while they bid on exciting items at the silent auction. We then moved inside to hear Jeremy Sisto, our host, get the evening started. An LAFH client, Maggie, shared her inspiring story and our CEO, Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, introduced Mayor Eric Garcetti who enthusiastically endorsed LA Family Housing as a leader in the fight to end homelessness in the region.
Honoree: Matthew Irmas Presenter: Mayor Eric Garcetti
Host: Jeremy Sisto Event Chair: Blair Rich
In honor of his decades of support of LA Family Housing, Matthew Irmas was presented with the Sydney M. Irmas Outstanding Humanitarian Award, which is named after his late father. Blair Rich, our event chair, thanked everyone in attendance for their generosity and shared why she believes in LAFH. We concluded the night with an energetic “paddle raise” where guests donated on the spot to help move families home.
Thank you for helping us reach our goal to move 200 families home!
Big Sugar Bakeshop