BLOG: Home for Good
The 1200+ advocacy letters in support of SB 391-The California Homes and Jobs Act, that United Way collected at HomeWalk 2013 were delivered this month to assembly members and will soon be sent to Governor Jerry Brown. Currently, SB 391 sits in Assembly Appropriations and needs the mobilization of California constituents to apply pressure on their local assembly members to get this act passed. There has not been movement since August 2013, which means SB 391 advocates are working on a “6 Weeks of Action” which includes getting petitions signed and calling, emailing and snail mailing your local assembly persons to let them know how much we want affordable homes and jobs in California.
The act, will impose a small $75 fee on real estate transactions (excluding home sales) and will help to generate upwards of $500 million dollars to help with our housing crisis in California. This funding stream will also generate 29,000 new jobs in the construction sector as well. More homes and jobs through the California Homes and Jobs Act means less tax payer dollars towards preventing and managing homelessness at a higher cost further down the road
Thank you to all 1200+ HomeWalkers who signed the letter in support of SB 391!
Didn’t get a chance to sign the advocacy letter? Sign this petition to make homes and jobs a priority in 2014!
Additional information sessions are being held on the CES funding area specifically. For more, please click HERE.
Over 100 supporters and advocates joined United Way and Home For Good at a special screening event last night at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood!
Our kickoff screening of the documentary film, @home, was a great success helping to spread the word about homeless services and the work of Home For Good and our partners to create lasting change in LA. The film spotlights the issue of homelessness through the personal stories of people experiencing homelessness across the nation. After the film, we were honored to have a strong panel, including the subject of the film Mark Horvath, United Way supporter and volunteer Marti McFall, and Home For Good Business Leaders Task Force Co-Chair Jerry Neuman.
We would like to give a special thank you to the following supporters who helped make this night possible:
Thank you to everyone that attended the screening and for those of you that donated at the event! Check out pictures from the event on our Facebook HERE!
On Monday, March 3rd, our intern Liz Ul joined Director, Christine Marge, and Business Leaders Co-Chair Jerry Neuman the openning of a newly renovated permanent supportive housing project in South LA and brought back this review of the event and the partnerships that brought this project together.
Monday’s grand opening celebrated the successful renovation of a formerly blighted property in South Los Angeles into a 56 units of permanent supportive housing. The property which opened in August of 2013, is a mixed-use building that houses formerly, chronically homeless individuals and families. During the event, project partners urged the work to continue, highlighting that this type of successful collaboration needs to be replicated if we want to solve our homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County.
At the event, residents of the building, gave moving testimonies providing great insight into the struggles of their experience living on the streets and how their dignity, physical and mental health was restored once they had a place to call home. One resident, Sal Tovar, brought guests into his apartment with a big, “Welcome to my home!,” explaining that he hasn’t been able to say those words in many years. As Home For Good Business Leaders Task Force Co-Chair, Jerry Neuman, closed his speech, he acknowledged the struggles of the over 58,000 people, like Sal, living on our streets in LA County, and closed with an heartfelt, “Sal, you are Home For Good.”
This project was made possible by City of LA & HCID, HACLA, Housing Works, West Bay Housing Corp., the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Home For Good Funders Collaborative, Restore Neighborhoods LA and Insite Design Group. It is truly an example of a successful collaboration across sectors. Thanks again to our partners and all those in attendance to celebrate the opening and to those residents that were kind enough to share their stories!
It’s time to get social! With online platforms becoming the best way for organizations and individuals to connect & share, you can’t ignore the power of the post. Learn to maximize your efforts online through our series of webinars & coaching sessions with See3 Communications & Kindling Group.
Who Should Attend?: These trainings are perfect for social media staff and interns, as well as development and marketing staff and leadership!
Upcoming Training Webinars
Building a Social Culture (Wed, Mar 12, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PT) – RSVP
Measuring Your Impact (Wed, March 19, 2014 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT) – RSVP
Social Media for Events (Wed, Apr 2, 2014 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PT) – RSVP
Session #1 (Wed, Mar 5, 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT) – RSVP
Session #2 (Wed, Mar 26, 2014 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT) – RSVP
Session #3 (Wed, Apr 9, 2014 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM PT) – RSVP
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO RSVP FOR ANY OF THE SESSIONS LISTED ABOVE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO DOWNLOAD THE FLIER!
JOIN THE MEETING ON THURSDAY FEBRURARY 27th by clicking bit.ly/Feb27Webinar!
Kerestian ‘Tina’ Estedabadi recently graduated from California State University, Northridge with her Masters in Social Work. Tina may be new to this position, but she has been a member of the Home For Good team for a while, previously interning with us and coordinating the Companionship Program.
What are you currently working on with Home For Good?
I am a Program Assistant, and I will provide both programmatic and administrative support to the Housing Stability team.
Why are you interested in working to end chronic and Veteran homelessness in LA County?
Los Angeles County is my home…it also houses more than 58,000 people who sleep on its streets on any given night. This is a huge problem given the fact that sleeping on the streets causes emotional, physical and mental scars on the people who do not have any other option. I take pride in my city and I want to be part of a solution that will put an end to this issue. Together we can end chronic and veteran homelessness!!!
What do you do for fun?
I really enjoy watching movies at the ArcLight Cinemas. I also enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. I recently made cinnamon swirl pancakes….it was amazing!
What is your favorite food?
Food is my favorite food! I love Persian food, Italian food, and Sushi. I also enjoy finding new restaurants. Right now, I am being more health conscious, so I have been trying out healthy restaurants…LYFE Kitchen and Real Food Daily are my two new favorite spots.
What is your favorite movie or t.v. show?
I have a variety of favorite movies and TV shows. I enjoy watching comedy, action, mystery, and thriller movies…just this past year alone my favorites have been Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Lone Survivor and the Wolf of Wall Street…right now I am very excited about the upcoming 300-Rise of an Empire and The Amazing Spider Man 2!!!
Mental illness is closely associated with homelessness in the minds of most Americans. It is little understood and rarely discussed leading to the development of unwarranted stereotypes and a fear of the homeless. In the first of a series of blogs on mental illness and homelessness, we look at the main myths that our society has created and the reality on our streets.
MYTH: All homeless people are mentally unstable.
FACT: While mental illness is a serious issue for those living on our streets, only 30% of the homeless in LA County actually have a mental illness. This is only slightly more than the general population of America, where 1 in 5 confront some kind of mental health issue in their lifetime.
MYTH: Even if they don’t have a mental illness, they are all on drugs right?
FACT: No, in fact only 3 in 10 people experiencing homelessness actually have a substance abuse issue. Some of those within this group of users has also turned to drugs as a way to self medicate due to a larger, untreated mental health issue.
MYTH: When I see someone on the streets, I am afraid. People with mental illness are dangerous.
FACT: There is no reason to be unnaturally afraid when you see someone on the streets. Majority of people you see do not have a mental illness. Even those with mental illness are no more likely to cause you harm than the average person you pass. In fact, people with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be victims of a violent crime than to commit one.
Home For Good supports many organizations working to provide comprehensive services to those who need them and works closely with policymakers to ensure that those who need mental health services are reached. Below are just a few of Home For Good’s partners working to provide mental health services to those on our streets that need it:
COMING UP NEXT: Stay tuned the rest of our blog series on mental health! In the coming weeks, we will discuss the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act, spotlight the story of those with mental illness, and highlight the work of some of our great partners.
Daniel Castilleja is a HomeWalk Champion, an advocate for housing and support services, a writer, and a formerly homeless individual helped back onto his feet by Home For Good partner, SRO Housing. Daniel was kind enough to be a guest blogger for us and share his personal story below…
My Experience & Reason…
By: Daniel Castilleja
Never judge a man till you have been in his shoes. You know that they are so quick to look away, because it’s the easy thing to do. This is what I live by today.
What I do now is volunteer for causes I believe in, and one of them is to end homelessness in L.A. and the rest of the World. When I was asked by S.R.O.to participate & represent them at the United Way HomeWalk, I was honored and excited. I raised about $700 on my own, and was told later that I was the top fundraiser for Team S.R.O. It was good to know, but that is not the reason why I asked for donations. It was to help United Way raise money to end homelessness in L.A.
I was homeless about 2 ½ years ago, due to losing my job. I slept in my Land Rover, and then eventually lost it due to not paying the tickets I would get for parking in places I could sleep at. After losing my vehicle, I found an apartment complex and slept in the stairwell with only the clothes I had on. Days went by without eating and showering. I remember how people would look at me with ugly looks and would say comments that would make me feel even lesser than I already did. A smile or a nice comment makes your day a lot better than a dirty look or bad comment.
I now live in a beautiful apartment complex called The James Woods Apartments in Skid row, owned by S.R.O. Housing. I see homeless people every day I step out of my building, and as always I smile and say good morning. I just want them to know that I’m not judging them and that I’m not like the people that don’t speak to them because they are homeless. I offer my help by doing little things like when I save my aluminum cans and pass them out, or when I have clothes, shoes or sometimes food and a little extra change, I can afford to give out.
If you knew me, then you would know I’m pretty ambitious and that I don’t give up that easily. So don’t be surprised if what I say now comes true…I believe one day everyone will have a place of their own, where they won’t have to sleep out on the street, and this makes me feel great inside!
Daniel generously dedicated his piece to everyone at United Way of Greater LA and S.R.O. Housing for their ongoing efforts to end homelessness in Los Angeles.