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On Thursday, July 23rd, we celebrated our Leadership donors creating pathways out of poverty for the past 10 years!

During the event, Julia Vincock, a proud US Army Veteran, shared her story of overcoming homelessness.  In 2012, Julia was evicted from her apartment of 17 years and lost all her belongings.  When she came across Union Station Homeless Services, a United Way of Greater Los Angeles partner, she shared, “On that day, I regained my hope completely. I felt it was possible for me to have a home again.”

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Since then, she obtained a housing voucher, got approved for permanent housing and received the funding to cover her security deposit.

On any given night in LA, 4,362 veterans do not have a safe place to call home.  Our Leadership donors are not only bringing an end to veteran homelessness in LA County, but are also restoring hope for all vets.

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Learn about JC Whitney’s Centennial Sweepstakes! Proceeds will support our work in creating pathways out of poverty for veterans in need.

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On Tuesday, June 23rd, 40 Emerging Leaders of Los Angeles County gathered for a night of networking at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles headquarters to learn how an innovative executive advanced in his career by pursuing his passions.

Caitlin Crosby, Founder and CEO of The Giving Keys, hosted the event and interviewed the 2015 CEO Spotlight headliner, Brad Schwartz, President of Pop TV Network. Brad spoke about his start as Lorne Michael’s assistant on SNL before being asked to start MTV Canada from scratch. By taking risks and always aiming to do the extraordinary, at the age of 43, Brad became President of Pop, his sixth network to re-brand or launch.

“Work hard. Impress your boss. Be nice to people. Learn how to follow before wanting to lead. You can’t Google how to be a CEO.”

— Brad Schwartz

By the end of the night, there were 68 attendees, who learned about bringing passion into their careers and becoming true leaders in Los Angeles County.

Ben Lewis, Area Sales Manager of the Southern CA District of UPS and Chair of the Emerging Leaders Cabinet, acknowledged this young group of professionals who give a minimum of $1,000 annually to United Way’s Creating Pathways out of Poverty fund.

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The Energy Assistance Fund (EAF) is a partnership with Southern California Edison (SCE) and United Way of Greater Los Angeles to help income-qualified families pay their electric bill, providing partial financial stability during a time of great need.

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TUntitled2he EAF program was started in 1982 as a seasonal winter program lasting only eight to twelve weeks and helping on average 4,000 families. The program has since grown to meet the expanding need of the community, serving approximately 14,000 households over a 12 month period. Since 1982, SCE and its employees have assisted over 200,000 families through investments of approximately $12 million into the program with an additional $4 million contributed from their customers. SCE and United Way of Greater Los Angeles have partnered for over 30 years on the Energy Assistance Fund. “United Way of Greater Los Angeles is pleased to partner with Southern California Edison on their Energy Assistance Fund, also known as EAF.” says UWLA President, Elise Buik. “Here in LA County, one in five children lives in poverty. The United Way is committed to creating pathways out of poverty so that every hard-working family and individual has the tools they need to be financially stable. We know that even the smallest amount of help can make a tremendous difference for someone in need.” “As the fund administrator for the EAF program, we work with over 70 community based organizations to provide payment assistance to customers who are unable to pay their bill.” continued Buik.

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How Can You Help?

Today’s tough economic times have hit Californians hard. Many of our neighbors need help paying their energy bills—especially seniors and families with children. The United Way and SCE work together to provide up to $100 per 12-month period to qualified customers struggling to pay their electricity bills.

 

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United We Can End Poverty. Are You In?

2015 Day of Action

On Friday, June 19th, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles organized Day of Action where the community, corporate and philanthropic partners came together to mobilize the LA community to help veterans get back on their feet. Over 200 volunteers helped to sort, clean and organize thousands of pounds of donated clothing.

Aside from helping our veterans dress for success, Executive Secretary Treasurer of Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Rusty Hicks, says it best, “We should thank veterans not just with a job, but a career.”

2015_dayofactionThis year, as Los Angeles County strives to end veteran homelessness, we must ensure that all of our veterans are on a path to self-sufficiency.  Take action today!

Give: We have a funding gap of $1 million. Vets have rental vouchers, but not the funding they need to pay for a security deposit and other move in costs.  Click here to donate.

Advocate: Work with your local communities to advocate for permanent housing in your neighborhoods.  Send a letter in support of an Act that will increase affordable housing resources in California. Click here to learn more.

Volunteer: Your time to help spread the word has more of an impact than you think. Share this with your social networks. You may also find local teams working to find homes for those who are eligible. To learn more, please click here.

On Thursday, June 18th, United Way of Greater Los Angeles Student Leader, Miriam Antonio, a senior at Fairfax High School, was featured as a Cool Kid on ABC 7. Hear why and how she is creating change within the community:

Get to know some of our other Student Leaders here!

On June 9, 2015, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board voted unanimously for the Equity on A-G Resolution; a recommitment – co-sponsored by board members Monica Garcia, Steve Zimmer and George McKenna. The A-G college sequence is a series of 15 courses that students must pass in order to receive a high school diploma and meet requirements for the CSU/UC college systems.

Ten years ago, the LAUSD made a promise to provide all students access to courses that would enable them to attend a four-year university or pursue a technical career. Now the District is one step closer to aligning its high school graduation and college entrance requirements, and we celebrate this hard-won victory for students.

The United Way Student Leaders and nearly four hundred coalition members gathered outside the LAUSD headquarters in support of the resolution.

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A new recommitment to A-G coursework means that students will continue to have access to A-G on their high school campus. It also means that the District is now tasked with monitoring student A-G progress and researching which high school A-G programs work. Student success will largely require that the District provide needed student and teacher supports and interventions in order to ensure that student’s successfully complete the coursework. Thanks to the unwavering work of this coalition of more than 51 grassroots organizations, students who are “off track” for A-G, will get the services that they require – such as counselors, credit recovery programs and online courses – in order to pass these classes.

We expect that the LAUSD will soon lift the standards to the “C” grade or better requirement. This will ensure that all students have access to the highest quality education and receive a meaningful diploma.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released the results of the 2015 Homeless Count.  This information, together with data from Long Beach, Pasadena, and Glendale, gives us a snapshot of the current homelessness landscape in LA County.

Numbers at a Glance

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This data marks a pivotal point in our work to end homelessness in LA County and, more specifically, end veteran homelessness in 2015.

Since launching the Home for Good Action Plan in 2011 we have permanently housed 12,818 veterans. However, the data shows that we simply need to work harder and faster.  In order to meet our goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year, we need to more than double the rate we have been housing veterans so far this year. With your support, we know we can do this.

Our valued donors, partners, and community members are the key to ensuring that we can reach our goal in this homestretch and we thank you for the progress we have made so far. We cannot stop there.

We see bright spots in our county, with cities like Pasadena and Long Beach reducing veteran homelessness by over 50% in the last two years. Let’s rally to work together for our brave service women and men.

Take Action

Give: We have a funding gap of $1 million. Vets have rental vouchers, but not the funding they need to pay for a security deposit and other move in costs.  Click here to donate.

Advocate: Work with your local communities to advocate for permanent housing in your neighborhoods.  Send a letter in support of an Act that will increase affordable housing resources in California. Click here to learn more.

Volunteer: Your time to help spread the word has more of an impact than you think. Share this with your social networks. You may also find local teams working to find homes for those who are eligible. To learn more, please click here.

LA Youth Vote

Since March, students in the United Way Student Leadership Program have led a movement,  in response to four open LAUSD board seats up for re-election, among their peers, parents, fellow students and community groups to publicize the significance of a strong voter turnout for both the general election in February and run-off election this month. Through a series of  LAUSD board candidate forums, local school voter registration drives and rallies, the determination to increase voter turnout was primarily targeted at encouraging local communities to vote for the LAUSD Board Candidates they believe will raise the graduation rate and promote college readiness for all students in Los Angeles.

“There is no one solution to fixing the inequalities in the educational system, but with building a stronger community of and uniting parents, teachers, and students, we can all fight a fight that is worth seeing. “

-Gabriella, Student, Board District 5

The Student Leaders have registered over 3,000 of their peers across LAUSD for the May 19th general election to have a voice in who they believe would be best for a job that influences and manages a $7 billion budget affecting 650,000 kids and 45,000 educators. After participating in the primary elections in March, the United Way Student Leaders felt empowered to increase voter turnout in local school board elections through on campus voter registration drives. 

Over the course of two weeks, the #LAYouthVote campaign reached thousands of students at over 30 schools. This effort has been supported by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, LAUSD, the League of Women Voters, iAmerica, Arts for LA, the County Registrar’s Office and the Office of the City Clerk.

Read about the students’ efforts in Sandy Banks’ LATimes Article.

View the results of the most recent election here.

For more information, visit http://www.layouthvote.org/.

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On June 2nd, we hosted our 2015 Annual Philanthropy Awards. This event pays tribute to our top corporate, civic and community partners as well as our leading affinity group members for their efforts to create pathways out of poverty through fundraising, advocacy and volunteerism. Without them, our work would not be possible.

Meet your 2015 nominees:

Spirit of Los Angeles Award

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Gold Standard Award

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Model Campaign of the Year

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Outstanding HomeWalk Champion

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Outstanding Leadership Campaign

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Miguel Contreras Labor Award

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Outstanding Workplace Ambassador of the Year

American Girl – Heidi Sanders

Bobrick – Elaine Vilchez

Deloitte – Sarah Hardin

East West Bank – Dorothy Chan

Neutrogena – Rob Maullon & Michelle Benner

Nordstrom – Carla  Shobu

 

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BoeingFor nearly 100 years, Boeing has been deeply committed to supporting our nation’s military personnel, veterans and their families. The company recognizes that service in defense of our nation is an enduring mission, and something that for many continues well beyond their service in the military.

The unique value that these individuals bring to their jobs and communities is nearly unmatched. So when our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and ‎Marines are finished serving, Boeing, through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization, invests in strong programs that help these individuals and their families transition into civilian life and achieve success.

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United Way of Greater Los Angeles President and CEO Elise Buik accepts a grant from Boeing in support of veteran employment initiatives from board member Troy Dawson, president, Spectrolab, a wholly-owned Boeing subsidiary within Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

 

 

As part of this commitment, with a strong focus on supporting current and veteran military personnel, Boeing invested in United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ mission to reduce veteran unemployment in Los Angeles County by half by 2017. With a shared vision to recognize the value of our service members, Boeing and United Way are working hard to provide pathways for building better lives.

In the past year alone, because of Boeing’s support, United Way and its partner agencies helped almost 1,200 veterans secure permanent employment through services that provide job readiness training and placement by leveraging the unique abilities they bring to civilian careers.

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Single mother of two, Lucille McElroy served in the United States Navy for nine years rising to the rank of Petty Officer, Second Class. Upon her return from service, Lucille had difficulty finding a permanent job. Even with an M.B.A., she managed to hold only temporary or commission-based jobs. Through United Way, she accessed programs where she added IT and other valuable skills to an already impressive resume and secured a permanent job that now offers her family benefits and financial security. Lucille tells us, “I now have a bright future for my family.”

 

This year, with Boeing’s support, another 1,650 veterans, like Lucille, will secure permanent employment in Los Angeles County. Together, we will ensure that all veterans are achieving success, so that not one military service member ends up on the streets.