APRIL 2015

The full scoop on our people, programs & progress

Dear Friends,
In honor of Mother's Day on May 10th, we are hosting our third annual month-long fundraising campaign benefiting our Westminster Transitional Living Center. 

Since 1993, the Westminster TLC has been dedicated to assisting mothers and their children in the transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Your contribution to the campaign allows us to provide supportive services to the families at the Westminster TLC, helping them transition to affordable permanent housing.

For a $20 donation, we will send a beautiful card (designed by students from our Study Lounge after school program) to someone you would like to honor for Mother's Day. Additional cards are available for $10 each. 

Purchase your cards online or by contacting Development Manager, Erika Lee at (310) 573-8406 or elee@vchcorp.org

*Cover image pictured above, interior pictured below

Westminster TLC History

Westminster Transitional Living Center was created as Venice Community Housing's first project, located across the street from the Low Income and Elderly United Community Assistance Project (LIEUCAP) - a community based social service agency run by activist and community leader, Vera Davis. LIEUCAP had been operating a women's shelter and transitional housing program for women and children, but wanted to create another facility allowing for longer transition periods for those who needed it. VCH agreed and partnered with LIEUCAP and the Brentwood Presbyterian Church to raise funds and develop the property. Construction was completed in 1993. 

The result was a facility with three 3-bedroom apartments and a shared laundry and community room. Westminster TLC provides up to 12 months of transitional housing for eight formerly homeless families of women and their children. 

The passing of Vera Davis in 2000 resulted LIEUCAP closing its doors, deeding an adjacent property on Westminster to VCH. VCH and Housing Options for People to Excel (HOPE) - a separate but related nonprofit entity of Brentwood Presbyterian Church - have continued to operate Westminster TLC in partnership ever since.
A TLC Success
Tracy* came to Venice Community Housing's Westminster Transitional Living Center in December 2011 after being unemployed for two years. A trained Pharmacy Technician, Tracy was unable to find work due to poor economy conditions. Tracy moved in to Westminster TLC with her two children, ages 8 and 4, at the time. While there, she made sure to participate in the program activities, attend workshops, and take advantage of all there was to offer. She no longer had to worry about how and when she would be able to afford to do laundry, who would care for her children while she went on interviews, and for the basic safety of her family.

Though she only lived at the TLC for 6 months, Tracy says her time there allowed her to get back on her feet and helped her to be the mother she wanted to be. Her fondest memories include the TLC's Christmas party, where her children received gifts and got to play with Santa Claus! Four years later, Tracy and her children have their own apartment in Culver City. Tracy maintains a full-time job as a Pharmacy Auditor, while working to earn her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She continues to visit the TLC, often bringing her children and gifts for current residents.

Her advice for current and future TLC residents? "Accomplish want you need to do. Don't view everything negatively. Sometimes, you just need to sharpen a dull pencil." 

*Name has been changed for privacy purposes
Housing Options for People to Excel- HOPE
HOPE Board Member Profile- Dianne Berman

Dianne Berman first became involved with the HOPE Board in November 1993, just after the opening of Westminster TLC. As a member of the Brentwood Presbyterian Church, she was initially invited to a HOPE Board meeting to investigate whether an on-site child care center could be a viable part of the TLC program, however she has continued her involvement ever since. 

Dianne continues her work with the HOPE Board because she wants to be a part of assisting mothers and children reach their full potential and move into permanent housing - reducing homelessness one family at a timeDianne recalls her favorite memory of a past resident who was working to earn to her cosmetology license. The Board helped the resident finance her classes and state license tests. After program completion and when her license arrived, she ran down the stairs to show Dianne the address on her license- the TLC address. 

Dianne hopes that the TLC will allow mothers to be able to provide a better life for themselves and their families- That mothers will have higher paying jobs, save money, and gain the confidence they need to lead self-sufficient independent lives. She is so proud of the past residents' accomplishments and hopes for many more! 
Topanga Women's Circle

The Topanga Women's Circle is an organization of volunteer women who graciously prepare the TLC's rooms before a family is ready to move in. Organized by Karen Sherwood and Linda Ilsley, volunteers provide new and like-new necessities like bedding, clothes, toiletries, food, and toys for our TLC families. Each room is customized for the family moving in, providing a caring and comforting environment for our residents. Many new residents have been brought to tears by the impact of seeing their rooms. The Topanga Women's Circle makes the TLC a place our residents can proudly call home. 

Marathon Day of Service at TLC

Brentwood Presbyterian Church volunteers came to the TLC for a day of service. Volunteers planted strawberries and tomatoes in the garden, cleaned and organized the community room, and helped with small repairs around the property. The front fence and back gate got a fresh coat of paint, along with a children's desk. We thank all of the BPC volunteers for their time and accomplishments!

Donation Center Needs

Spring has arrived! Please consider a donation to our monthly Donation Center. This month we are looking for spring cleaning supplies and 
new women's and children's socks and underwear! 

Please drop off items at our offices located at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice Monday-Friday 
between the hours of 10am - 2pm.
Celebrate 25 Years- Our 2013 Annual Report

Venice Community Housing celebrates 25 years of responding to the needs of the community. Filled with the history of VCH, the Westminster TLC, and more!

Find our commemorative 25th Annual Report here!
By Barbara Milliken


Planning Committee, Volunteers Lynne Southerland, Susan Moore and Barbara Milliken and Pros, Linda Lucks and Barbara Baumann, stay in close touch to "get it right" for the inaugural 5-event Venice Design Series to benefit VCH.  41

Other volunteers make calls/send emails to sell sponsorships/tickets, solicit in-kind donations, distribute/mail post cards and invitations, prepare media communications and jump in wherever needed.  Volunteer positions are filled at this time; a wait list is being kept.  Some events are still open; call Linda Lucks at 310 526-3857 for tickets.  If you are interested in helping with the next series, contact Barbara Milliken at  the email address below.

            VCH extends heartfelt thanks to all volunteers who are giving their time, expertise and hard work to help those in out community who need it most.  


Lynne Southerland, Barbara Milliken, Barbara Baumann, Susan Moore, Linda Lucks, Jaryn Kile putting final touches on VDS events.  Not pictured:  Jay Griffith, Sylvia Aroth, Michele Blackmon, Patti Choate, Sheila Goldberg, Nancy Griffin, Claire Hirsch, Jennifer Hughes, Donna Manders, Tom Paris, Tiffany Rochelle, Laura Alice Scaturro



Jaryn Kile, recent graduate of Cal State University Northridge, is VCH's newest volunteer intern working almost daily on the innumerable tasks and details that will help make the Venice Design Series, VCH's newest fundraiser, a resounding success.  Working with Linda Lucks, VCH's Community Outreach & Special Events officer and co-founder of VDS, Jaryn's tasks vary daily, ranging from looping videos for guest viewing, computer entry, organizing donor/contributor lists, participating in the Planning Committee and more.  She is interested in a career in events planning; VCH will be a valuable entry in her resume.  Thanks for all your efforts, Jaryn!
Jaryn Kile working on guest lists

If you're interested in volunteering, learn more about our volunteer opportunities by clicking

here and/or contacting Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Milliken at bmilliken@vchcorp.org or (424) 268-5121.
Until next month,




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.  

Support Our Donation Center

Open the 3rd Friday of every month

Our Donation Center is open to all low-income and homeless individuals for "Shop Day" every third Friday of the month. Please consider donating your gently used clothing, small household items, personal hygiene, and cleaning products to those in need. 

Upcoming Shop Days:
May 15th
June 19th
July 17th

Please bring donations to our office located at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice, Mon - Fri 10am-2pm. 
According to the 2013 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority report in the City of Los Angeles there were 29,682 homeless people.

2,642 were survivors of domestic violence

6,809 were adult females

3,153 were children

Carmen Navarro, MSW, joined Venice Community Housing over 8 years ago. As the TLC Program Manager, she oversees the Westminster Transitional Living Center and its residents.


Prior to VCH, Carmen attended UCLA for undergraduate studies, received her Master of Social Work at USC, and spent over 20 years at the Department of Children and Families. 


Her favorite part of working at the TLC is welcoming families. When families get see their new room, it is a very emotional and appreciative moment that not very many people get to see.


When not at VCH, Carmen enjoys spending time with her friends seeing plays, beading, listening to jazz, and event planning! She is also involved with the Oakwood Park Advisory Board and Venice Neighborhood Council. 

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!

P: (310)399-4100 F: (310)399-1130
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