Venice Community Housing

Monthly Newsletter   
The full scoop on our people, programs & progress
Volume 4 Issue 4                       
April 2014
Faces of VCH
Wish List
Take a Tour
Westminster TLC
Venice YouthBuild News
Volunteer News
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

Median rents in California increased by over 20% from 2000 to 2012, while the median income dropped by 8%, according to the California Housing Partnership Corporation.

As a result, there is a shortfall of over 376,000 homes affordable and available to Los Angeles' lowest-income households, and an increasing number of low-income families are severely rent-burdened and at risk of becoming homeless.   

Faces of VCH 

Dana Newman

Board of Directors
About four years ago I began volunteering at VCH's Westminster Transitional Living Center. I originally taught art to the children living at Westminster TLC, but I wanted to do more to help the program.

In 2011, with the help of friends and family, I organized a fundraising event called The Art of Giving to benefit Westminster TLC. The third annual Art of Giving event will take place next month!

What I have been able to do for Westminster TLC pales in comparison to what the organization has done for me. To be privileged enough to spend my time at such an amazing facility, and with such extraordinary women and children, is truly fulfilling. I continue to be inspired by both every day.

In 2012 I was invited to join VCH's Board of Directors, where I now utilize my background in Finance as Treasurer.
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.
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,

In the spirit of Mother's Day on May 11th, we are hosting our second annual month-long fundraising campaign benefiting the Westminster Transitional Living Center.  

Since 1993 Westminster TLC has provided a stable, nurturing environment to almost 200  mothers and their children to escape homelessness and change the trajectory of their lives.

Your contribution to this campaign allows us to provide supportive services that formerly homeless families at Westminster TLC need to secure affordable housing and achieve long-term stability.

For a $20 donation we will send a beautiful card - with artwork from our Study Lounge students! -  to someone you'd like to honor on Mother's Day.

Additional cards are available for $10 each.  

Purchase your cards online or by contacting Development Manager Anne Dobson:
(310) 573-8406.

Front of card:

Inside of card:

For mothers and children in crisis, VCH offers a loving home and hope for the future 

Few people who pass our Transitional Living Center - a quaint, craftsman-style house on a tree-lined street in Venice's historic Oakwood neighborhood - know that over 200 formerly homeless mothers and their children have called it home.

Homelessness has a devastating effect on families. Whether living on the streets, in their vehicles, or in temporary shelters, the women that we serve at Westminster Transitional Living Center (Westminster TLC) have had to focus on their family's daily survival, and have missed out on many of the joys of motherhood. Their children have often experienced years of transience, and without a stable home many are academically delayed and suffer from chronic health conditions.


Since 1993 Westminster TLC had provided homeless women and their children not only with a nurturing home environment  but also with supportive services that help them transition into permanent housing and achieve long-term personal and economic stability. Eight families live in three apartments with up to three children per family. Mothers share a bedroom with their children and share a kitchen, bath, and living room with one or two families. We provide up to 12 months of stable housing so that the mothers can enhance their job skills and obtain stable employment.  

A mother's journey to housing:

"Five years ago I was homeless, living in a car with my two children. We came to the Westminster Transitional Living Center, and it was heaven for us! After completing the TLC program we moved into an apartment in one of Venice Community Housing's buildings, where we've lived for over three years."

- Lucia Mendez, graduate of the TLC program and current Program Assistant at Westminster TLC  


Support Westminster TLC today by contributing to our Mother's Day campaign! 


Two Venice YouthBuild students attend AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders

Venice YouthBuild students Terrelle Alexandria and Gillette Nevado traveled to Arlington, Virginia March 31 - April 2 to attend the 2014 AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders.

Terrelle and Gillette were selected from among their peers for their leadership and strong voices. They were among 115 students representing 60 YouthBuild programs nationwide that gathered to address youth leadership, national service, and positive youth representation.

Gillette ran for and won a three-year term on YouthBuild USA's Young Leaders Council, joining recent Venice YouthBuild graduates Carmen Cotton and Steven Love.

Venice YouthBuild among 500 participants in National YouthBuild Day in Los Angeles
Venice YouthBuild graduate Daniel Johnson leads a crowd of 500 people through the streets of downtown L.A. on April 3rd.

Venice YouthBuild graduate, Daniel Johnson, wrote an article for YouthBuild USA about  planning and participating in the first-ever National YouthBuild Day in Los Angeles.

"It's important that young people step out and make their voices heard like we did for National YouthBuild Day because it empowers the youth to self-advocate, spread awareness of what is important to them and to show leadership," Johnson wrote.

Check out Daniel's full article here!

Local Girl Scouts construct playhouse for Westminster TLC children


Santa Monica-based Girl Scout Cadette Troop 12035 built and donated a new playhouse to Westminster TLC.  

The 7th grade girls raised money to purchase the playhouse kit through Girl Scout cookie sales, and they spent two weekends assembling, decorating and painting the playhouse.

"Now I know how to install a window, hang shingles, and hammer nails without hitting my fingers!" said one Cadette.

The troop completed the project as part of their efforts to earn a Silver Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can earn in recognition of leadership, organization, determination and dedication to improving the community.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the playhouse was held at Westminster TLC on April 6th, at which time the Cadettes also hosted an Easter egg hunt and party for the children living at TLC.


Venice artist directs creation of mural with YouthBuild students  


Chilean artist Francisco Letelier recently volunteered to teach our Venice YouthBuild students creative mural skills at his Venice studio.

Francisco Letelier (center) demonstrates painting and gridding techniques to YouthBuild students at his Venice studio. (Photo: Melba Levick)


After reviewing brainstorming, planning, gridding and painting techniques, Letelier guided eight students in the creation of a large, colorful mural commemorating L.A.'s "unofficial" poet laureate, Wanda Coleman.  


The canvas mural will be displayed at the upcoming Venice Art Block on May 4th and at Venice YouthBuild's annual art show on June 20th. Students reported that the project was a thoroughly innovative and enjoyable experience.  


Letelier expresses his commitment to cultural and environmental struggles and human rights in his work, bridging continents and weaving together history and contemporary experiences. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious LA Artcore award for his contributions to Southern California culture and in 2012 he received the Siqueiros Award of Venice's own Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC).


We are extremely fortunate to benefit from Letelier's artistry and greatly appreciate his contribution to our Venice YouthBuild program.  

Until Next Month, 


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