Venice Community Housing

Monthly Newsletter   
The full scoop on our people, programs & progress
Volume 4 Issue 12                    
December 2014

Priscilla Smith
United Way HomeWalk
Wish List
Holiday Giving
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.  

To our very own Priscilla Smith who has served as VCH's Controller for 10 years! The staff and board celebrated and thanked Priscilla for her dedicated service to VCH at our annual Holiday party.

Spotlight on Community:

United Way HomeWalk 2014
We congratulate United Way Los Angeles for another successful HomeWalk to end homelessness on November 15th!

This year at Homewalk we had many TEACH interns from UCLA, students from our afterschool programs, and staff members participate! We walked with the VCH banner in order to show our support to ending homelessness in Los Angeles. It was great to see people from all different companies, organizations, and teams join together for such a great cause.

Join us next year!


Robert Staats, owner of Feed Restaurant on Abbot Kinney Blvd.,  generously donated 10% of all food and drink sales from their recent Margarita Monday event to Venice Community Housing resulting in a gift of $450! Many thanks to all of you who dined at FEED!

Quick Links

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!
During this season of hope and gratitude, we offer our sincere appreciation for the time, talents, and financial treasures you have shared with us and our Venice Community Housing family. We are proud that our residents, students, clients, volunteers, and you are donors have found VCH to be a place to call "Home." As we enter into a new year, we ask that you make a financial gift and help up continue providing those in need with a place to call home. Please click HERE to complete your donation. 
Thank you!

Dear Friends,

It is with humble hearts, that we at VCH extend our sincere gratitude to all of you for your continued support of our mission. Because of YOU 500 people called one of our apartments "Home", 13 families called our Westminster TLC "Home" 80 unhoused people were provided with a safe place for their belongings, 78 students attended our after-school Study Lounge program, 70 students enrolled in our YouthBuild program, and every one of our children and youth received a holiday gift! Over the course of the year we asked for help many times and each and every time we asked
,you answered! Every time. Your steadfast belief, encouragement, and sharing of you time, talents, and treasures has touched the lives and hearts of more people than we can count. We wish you the very best holiday and a happy and healthy New Year! 
Holiday Giving!

The last month has been filled with festivities! On Thanksgiving Eve we held our annual Thanksgiving lunch for our formerly homeless residents and their friends. We welcomed our guests to the YouthBuild program room where the students had decorated, provided music, and created fun games to play. Many thanks to all the volunteers who cooked turkeys, served, and spread holiday joy!


December bought our annual Toy and Gift Card drives. We asked and boy did you all answer!  We were able to give a toy or gift card to each and every child! As you can see below from last week's holiday parties your generosity brought many smiles! A special thank you to Voice of the Canals Footbridge Lighting ceremony, Gateway Christian Church, Santa Monica Fire Department, and MadDog Athletics, for hosting toy and gift card drives.  



Finally, a big THANK YOU to all the individuals who donated food, warm clothing, toys, gift cards, and cash assistance throughout our Holiday Drive Season!  
Westminster TLC

Housing Options for People to Excel (HOPE) hosted the annual holiday party at our Westminster Transitional Living Center. The families even enjoyed a visit from Santa!



The kids enjoying story time by Eric Newman  

YouthBuild News

Venice YouthBuild is a 10-month job training, education, and leadership program for out-of-school/work young adults 18-24 y/o. Within the program, trainees develop hands-on construction skills with a contracted construction partner/site as well as work towards achieving their diplomas through weekly classroom instruction. This past summer we recruited, interviewed, and reviewed hundreds of applicants and conducted two Mental Toughness Orientations where we identified the strongest 35 applicants to become the official Cycle 13 Class.


Now, as we are a couple months into program, we are very grateful and excited to be working with our wonderful community partner Thomas Safran & Associates and Dreyfuss Construction.

Since mid-November our trainees have been doing hands-on construction at Playa Senior Housing, Thomas Safran & Associates' new 83-unit affordable housing development for seniors in Playa Vista. Dreyfuss Construction is the contractor and has provided abundant meaningful work opportunities for our participants.  


The site superintendent has taken extra time to prepare our young people and make high quality matches with subcontractors. Our participants return from the construction site feeling accomplished and inspired to work hard. This is an ideal environment for our youth to learn and practice skills that will make them better workers and better leaders in our community.  







Volunteer Corner by  
Barbara Milliken...




Mike Lindley
(Photo by Jack Prichett)


             Mike Lindley has been volunteering tirelessly, cheerfully and continuously for VCH at its Free Storage Venice program from the start 2 years ago.  Mike shows up reliably 6 days a week, rain or shine, at the Venice Beach site.  He unlocks the chain-link enclosure and then the steel container, hauls out bins to clear an aisle, cheerfully greets and helps clients register and access their possessions, then wheels bins into the container and locks up after the one-hour session.  He participates in meetings and planning as well.  On the 7th day of the week, Mike volunteers for Veterans for Peace. 

            And that's not all!  Last month, this Column featured Mike pitching in on another VCH happening:  tabling at Whole Foods, explaining VCH's mission and programs to customers. 

            VCH is profoundly grateful to Mike.  We couldn't do it without him!


Mike wheeling bins into FSV.  
(Photo by Jack Prichett) 







            The warmth of the season was extended to unhoused persons at Venice Beach in late November when VCH gave away 100 free sleeping bags.  VCH, various sponsors* and individuals donated over $3,000 for this purpose.  

            The event was held at the Free Storage Venice location at the storage container on a Saturday morning.  FSV volunteers organized and set up the event.  Each person was given a ticket, signed a roster and received a sleeping bag, rated for 40 degrees F.  Big 5 discounted the price of the bags.  About 20 bags were given separately to veterans at another location.


*Venice Family Clinic, Veterans for Peace, Occupy Venice, Venice Peace & Freedom Party, the Beachhead, POWER, LA Committee for Action, Venice Justice Party and Safe Place for Youth


FSV Sleeping Bag give away at Venice Beach, November, 2014.
(Photo by Jack Prichett)




FSV Sleeping Bag give away at Venice Beach, November 2014
(Photo by Jack Prichett) 




 If you're interested in volunteering, learn more about our volunteer opportunities by clicking here and/or contacting Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Milliken at or (424) 268-5121.  
We wish you a warm, safe and joyful holiday season, and offer you our best wishes for 2015! 



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