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Monthly Newsletter

The full scoop on our people, programs & progress!
Volume 3 Issue 7                
July 2013
In This Issue
Faces of VCH
YouthBuild Graduation
YouthBuild Recruitment
Summer Camp
SHADES Conference
Residents and Advocates
OCCF Grant
Jazz at Palms Court
Mission Statement

The mission of Venice Community Housing is to preserve the economic, racial and social diversity of Venice and the surrounding area by maximizing affordable housing and economic development opportunities and providing needed social services to the area's low-income population.  
Fast Fact

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released the first results of its biennial Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count on June 28th, revealing a 16 percent increase since 2011 in the number of homeless men, women and children in LA County.

The report shows
58,423 homeless
people in 2013
in the county, compared to
50,214 in 2011.
"Over the past year, we've seen a significant reduction in federal
resources available to fight homelessness," said Michael Arnold, Executive Director of LAHSA.

"The increase
we see today
in our homeless population
demonstrates the direct relationship between resources to address the problem and our ability to have an impact."

You can access the full LAHSA press release here. 
Faces of Venice  
Community Housing  
Kevin Michini
Venice YouthBuild Case Manager
Since joining VCH six years ago I've had the opportunity to work with the L.A. Bridges program, After School Study Lounge, and now the Venice YouthBuild program.

As a Case Manager I provide supportive services - including court advocacy, one-on-one counseling, group sessions and life skills classes - that help our YouthBuild students develop the "soft skills" required to attain higher education and successful job placement.

Over the years I've discovered ways to combine my passion for art and photography with my work. I have taken students into their neighborhoods and encouraged them to identify and articulate community problems through photography.
The results are photographs that speak to many of the issues that our students face in their lives and serve as a call to action to both the artists themselves and the greater community.

I am proud of the direct impact that I have on the lives of young people and to  be able to work with equally driven staff members at VCH.

These days when I'm not working I am busy planning my wedding, coming up next May!
Wish List     

From linens to laptops, Venice Community Housing is always seeking donations for our residents and programs. Please visit our online wish list to see if you can meet any of our current needs!
Quick Links

Dear Friends,

This month we are pleased to share with you stories of life-changing achievement, grief and celebration, and pure summer fun! 

We are also excited to announce that tickets are now available for our 21st annual Jazz at Palms Court champagne brunch, which will feature jazz quartet House of Games.

Read on for details!  
17 students graduate from Venice YouthBuild

On June 28th the graduates of Venice YouthBuild's eleventh cycle donned bright blue caps and gowns and marched through the jam-packed ballroom of Hotel MdR in Marina del Rey to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.

Since August 2012, these young men and women have made incredible strides toward achieving stability, confidence and direction through education, construction training, community service and leadership development. We are so proud of their accomplishments!  

The graduation ceremony included presentations by recently-retired City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, keynote speaker Love Jefferson - Founder of A1 Venture Programs, Alumni Speaker Steven Love, and Student Speakers Nicholas Ayela and Carmen Cotton.

Students created beautiful tributes to YouthBuild student Clarence Bourne to display at the June 28th graduation ceremony. 
The evening was bittersweet, with the tragic loss of one graduate, Clarence Bourne, only days before. One of the bright stars of the 2012-2013 cycle of Venice YouthBuild, Clarence had an infectious enthusiasm and sense of humor. He was preparing to start an apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 11, and was excited about a potential career as an electrician. He had earned a number of accolades and awards from his YouthBuild teachers and mentors for his construction skills, leadership development, community service, and job-readiness. It was our honor to present these awards to Clarence's family at the graduation ceremony. 

VCH has created a memorial fund for Clarence's family. If you would like to make a contribution you may do so by clicking here
Venice YouthBuild now accepting applications! 

Venice YouthBuild is currently accepting applications for its next program cycle, scheduled to begin this September.

Information sessions are mandatory for prospective applicants, and will be held every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice.

A comprehensive information and application packet is available by clicking here.

Venice YouthBuild applications will be accepted through July 31st. For assistance, please call Marisol Perez at (310) 573-8415.
Study Lounge summer camp wraps up for the summer on Friday 

Campers enjoy a recently bowling field trip at AMF Mar Vista Lanes 
For the past five weeks, After School Study Lounge  has provided an afternoon summer camp to children between the ages of six and 12, combining academic enrichment and recreation activities for an engaging and memorable summer.

"Summer camp has been amazing! We've had about 25 to 30 kids attending daily," said Study Lounge Coordinator Kathy Sanchez.

"Weekly, we visit Clover Park, Wade Park and the Santa Monica Beach. We also have one big field trip every week. So far, we've visited the Getty Center, the Fowler Museum at UCLA,  bowling at Mar Vista Lanes, and the La Brea Tar Pits."

Study Lounge campers and volunteers visit the UCLA campus 
The program will conclude with VCH hosting its annual barbecue celebration for the campers and their families. 
Teen Court participants attend conference on hate crime prevention, youth empowerment
Thanks to generous scholarships from the Ray Charles Foundation, three Venice High School students who have participated in our Teen Court program attended the Stopping Hate and Delinquency by Empowering Students (SHADES) program earlier this month.

Venice High School students and Teen Court participants Stephanie Aguayo, Danielle Asenas and Ana Jimenez at the SHADES conference. 

The week-long program, coordinated by the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Museum of Tolerance, provided high school students with the opportunity to learn about how the judicial system handles hate crimes and introduced them to the concept of restorative justice, in which victims and aggressors of hate crimes work together to educate the community on developing methods for handling differences and preventing hate crimes from taking place.

"At the end of the week, students who attended the conference were asked to adjudicate a real case where one student committed a crime against another student," said After School Programs Director, Bridgett Bell.

"Having attended the SHADES conference, these young ladies are now able to return to Venice High and adjudicate hate crimes that are brought to the Teen Court program.
Tenants volunteer their stories to articulate the impact of permanent supportive housing
"Having a home brought the spirit back into my life."
 - Susie Gonyea 
There are no stronger advocates for permanent supportive housing than the formerly unhoused people whose lives have been transformed by this housing model.

Susie Gonyea and Ronald McKinley, both tenants at VCH's Horizon Apartments since August 2011, graciously volunteered to share their journeys from homelessness to permanent supportive housing with VCH stakeholders at two private gatherings on June 19th and July 1st.

We applaud Susie and Ronald for achieving two successful years of permanent supportive housing and for their courage and generosity in sharing their stories!   
"When you are on the streets, people try to take away your dignity, like you don't matter. Now that I am housed I feel like a human being again. I feel I can give back to my community."
 - Ronald McKinley (pictured with Resident Services Program Manager, James Ramirez)
Orange County Community Foundation awards VCH $30,000 grant

Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) recently awarded Venice Community Housing $30,000 in general operating support!

Our thanks and sincere gratitude for the continued support of grantmakers like OCCF! 
Mark Your Calendar!

Jazz at Palms Court - Tickets Now Available!  

Sunday September 15th 
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.  
743 Palms Blvd., Venice

Join us for our 21st annual jazz fundraiser, featuring a gourmet brunch in a lovely  garden setting, live jazz, and silent auction. 

Tickets and sponsorships are available for purchase online by clicking here. 
For more information, visit www.vchcorp.org/jazz or contact Development Director Myrna Pappas:
(310) 573-8407 or mpappas@vchcorp.org.


Jazz at Palms Court to feature House of Games quartet  

House of Games plays a blend of contemporary jazz styles and has performed since 1990 at jazz clubs and art festivals. Members Scott Hiltzik (piano and keyboards) Brad Rabuchin (guitar), Dave Tull (drums), and Chris Colangelo (bass) have played with numerous jazz greats, including Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Chuck Mangione, Thad Jones, and Yusef Lateef.  Scott Hiltzik's compositions have been performed by symphonies worldwide, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House.

More information about the band and samples of its music are available at www.scotthiltzik.com. 
Until next month, 



Venice Community Housing
720 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
P: (310) 399-4100
F: (310) 399-1130