Venice Community Housing

Monthly Newsletter   
The full scoop on our people, programs & progress
Volume 4 Issue 3                      
March 2014
Faces of VCH
Wish List
Board of Directors
Donor Appreciation
YouthBuild Academy
Whole Foods 5% Day
Volunteer News
Grant Announcement
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

U.S. public schools enrolled over 1.1 million homeless children in the 2011-2012 school year - an increase of almost 75% since the start of the recession - according to the most recent data  available from the National Center for Homeless Education.  
Faces of VCH 

Denise Douthard  
Alice Nanga

Tenant Representatives 

Last month Denise and Alice were elected by their fellow VCH tenants to one-year terms on our Board of Directors.

Denise will represent VCH tenants living in Venice, and Alice will represent our tenants living in Del Rey and Mar Vista.

Denise and Alice are excited to learn more about VCH and its programs and to familiarize our tenants with the Board and its functions.
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. 
passenger van
Our greatest current need is for a new or lightly used 12-passenger van to transport students in our YouthBuild and After School Programs. If you are connected to any auto dealers that sell passenger vans, please contact Paola Fontana, Director of Operations, at  
(310) 573-8397 or
Take a Tour    

Learn about VCH's history and current efforts during a ride-along tour of our properties throughout the Venice area. This unique introduction to VCH is ideal for individuals who are new to the area and/or want to learn more about our agency. 

Tours will be held the third Wednesday of every month, or by appointment.

To schedule a tour contact Linda Lucks:
(310) 526-3857 or   


Quick Links


Dear Friends,

Collaboration. Partnership. Teamwork. These words are used a lot in this month's newsletter!

From our staff members and Board of Directors to our frontline volunteers, it is the combined time, resources and energy of all VCH stakeholders that allow us to make the greatest impact on homeless and low-income people in our community.

The proof is in the stories below!  
Board of Directors holds annual retreat, welcomes new tenant representatives 

The Board of Directors listens to reports from VCH directors at its annual retreat February 22nd.  

Our Board of Directors met for its annual retreat on February 22nd. In addition to approving VCH's budget for 2014, the Board solidified its vision and strategic priorities for the year.  

Tenant representatives Denise Douthard and Alica Nanga
This was the first Board meeting for newly-elected tenant representatives Denise Douthard and Alice Nanga.
To learn more about Denise and Alice, check out the Faces of VCH feature!

The Board also honored outgoing tenant representative, Randy Brook, and board officer Susan Nakaoka for their years of service.
From left: Executive Director Steve Clare, outgoing Board Officer Susan Nakaoka, outgoing tenant representative Randy Brook, and Board Chairperson Marie Kennedy

VCH celebrates 2013 supporters at annual Donor Appreciation event


Guests at VCH's Donor Appreciation on March 13th (Photo: Randy Brook)

We were thrilled to have over 130 of our 2013 supporters attend our annual Donor Appreciation event on March 13th.

In addition to enjoying the fabulous hors d'ouvres provided by Table Manors Catering and the art-filled Marina Del Rey home of Harlan Lee, guests were reminded of the impact of their contributions by two former VCH clients:  Westminster TLC Program Assistant, Lucia Mendez, and Venice YouthBuild graduate, Daniel Johnson.
YouthBuild Academy makes a diploma attainable for high school non-completers


After graduating from Venice YouthBuild, Carmen Cotton participated in YouthBuild Academy to complete the credits she needed to earn her high school diploma.
When Carmen Cotton graduated from Cycle 11 of Venice YouthBuild in June 2013, she was still a few academic credits shy of earning her high school diploma.

To ensure that alumni like Carmen are prepared for higher education and a competitive labor market, Venice YouthBuild has developed a supplementary academic program: YouthBuild Academy.

"The focus of Academy is on project-based, individualized instruction," says YouthBuild Academy Teacher, Richard Pastor.

"Students write essays, create presentations, and complete research projects. We stress critical thinking, problem solving, time management and organization - skills that students need to be successful both in the academic world and in their future careers."

Since launching in 2012, YouthBuild Academy has provided at least nine Venice YouthBuild graduates with the additional time and academic support needed  to earn their high school diplomas.

YouthBuild Academy also serves high school non-completers  who aspire to obtain their diploma but haven't achieved success in the traditional school setting. As the YouthBuild Academy program continues, it is hoped that participants will apply for the full Venice YouthBuild program to continue developing their academic and leadership potential.

"My favorite part of this program is our ability to cultivate a personal relationship with each student," says Pastor. "The YouthBuild staff works as a team to support each student in achieving his or her goals."

Mark your calendars, start working on your shopping list, and spread the word!  


On Wednesday April 2nd, Venice Whole Foods will donate five percent of its net sales to Venice Community Housing. 


We thank Whole Foods for their continued efforts to support the Venice community! 



Free Storage Venice adopts new hours 

On March 17th Free Storage Venice (FSV) began operating daily from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Previously, FSV was open from 4 - 5 p.m. to accommodate clients using the City's Winter Shelter Program. The conclusion of the Winter Shelter Program on March 1st and the onset of Daylight Savings Time allow VCH to operate FSV later in the day. We hope that the change in time will allow more people who are interested in volunteering at FSV to participate after work. Consider volunteering for this valuable and well-used service for unhoused persons for only one hour a day!
A volunteer organizes bins at Free Storage Venice
(Photo: Los Angeles Times)

Located at Venice Beach, FSV provides unhoused people with a place to store their personal belongings, relieving them of the burden of their possessions and enabling them to more easily seek work, housing and services.

To volunteer at FSV today, contact Barbara Milliken, Volunteer Coordinator,, or Gina Maslow, Gratification guaranteed!


VCH honors two volunteers at donor event

Volunteers Gina Maslow (left) and Yvonne Chang (right) received Volunteer Appreciation Awards at our Donor Appreciation event March 13th.  (Photo: Jack Prichett)


On March 13th Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Milliken presented Certificates of Achievement and Appreciation to Gina Maslow and Yvonne Chang at our annual Donor Appreciation event for their generous contributions of time and energy in support of Venice Community Housing.  


Gina has been an integral and indispensable part of Free Storage Venice, VCH's storage program for unhoused persons at Venice Beach, since its inception in 2012.  She helped formulate FSV's policies and procedures, recruits, trains and communicates with volunteers, coordinates the calendar, and provides ongoing day-to-day assistance - often at a moment's notice. Upon receiving her certificate, Gina expressed the great satisfaction and fulfillment she has experienced working on FSV and helping this particular population in need.  


Yvonne Chang devoted countless hours to the 2013 Jazz at Palms Court fundraising event as a member of the Jazz Committee. Yvonne came ready and willing to perform whatever tasks were asked of her, and her incredible attention to detail was an asset when it came to organizing the event's silent auction. Yvonne was critical to helping us catalog all of the donated items and creating bid sheets for the event. Since participated on the Jazz Committee, Yvonne has also mentored students in our After School Program. Yvonne said she was honored by the recognition and plans to continue volunteering in both programs.

Rose Hills awards VCH a $300,000 grant 


We are pleased to announce a two-year, $300,000 grant from The Rose Hills Foundation to support Venice Community Housing's general operations.

We are thankful for the staff, Board and stakeholders who collaborated to help us secure this grant!
Until Next Month, 


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