The full scoop on our people, programs & progress

Dear Friends,
As we wrap up 2015, we reflect on the wonderful year we've had because of your support. This past year, we had the honor of transitioning 8 individuals from homelessness to permanent supportive housing, providing 80 unhoused people a safe place for their belongings, providing over 200 people with services from our monthly donation center, and serving 14 families at our Westminster TLC. 

As we reflect on 2015 and celebrate all of its successes, we also look forward to the New Year. We thank you for your continued support and invite you to help fulfill the dreams of others like Kristi and Leon who still need our help.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone at VCH!
Make Dreams Become a Reality

VCH Resident Since 2007, Kristi Heisley

"My dreams have come true because of Venice Community Housing. People don't understand how hard it is to overcome drug addiction, and they think once you're clean you're in the clear- but that isn't the case. It has been hard- so hard, but with the support of everyone at VCH, I've been able to overcome domestic violence, drug addition, and homelessness to achieve my dreams."

Leon Lopez, 5th Grade, Study Lounge Program Participant 

"When I grow up, I dream of being a shop owner. I want to sell toys and clothes because some people children don't have toys and clothes. I want to work somewhere that helps poor kids without these things. There are lots of poor people in this state. I want to help them not be poor again. I want to help them be happy have have fun- I like to help people."

Together, we can turn more dreams into reality. Click the button above to make dreams come true.

Celebrating with the VCH Family
The holiday season is a wonderful time to unwind and spend time with our loved ones. Here at VCH, we have spent many nights spending time celebrating with our loved ones, hosting holiday parties for each of our buildings. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide buildings with an Italian meal, gift cards for each household, raffle prizes, and a gift for every child in our properties. 

A very humble thank you to those of you who donated to our holiday toy/gift card drive and/or who hosted a toy/gift card drive to make this all possible! AC Martin, MadDogg Athletics, Gateway Christian Church, and the Santa Monica Fire Department were all instrumental in ensuring we had enough gifts to go around. 


Thankful for The Sitting Tree
The Sitting Tree, an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged families in need, brought giant Thanksgiving grocery baskets for VCH families. The organization generously donates over 100 baskets throughout California for families to prepare their own Thanksgiving meals. The materials in the baskets come with a note encouraging families to enjoy the process of preparing the meal together. Thanks again to The Sitting Tree for bringing so much joy to our families!

2015 United Way HomeWalk
VCH participated in the 2015 United Way HomeWalk to end homelessness on November 21st. Over 20 staff, friends, and Board members walked with VCH to support United Way's efforts. The walk had nearly 12,000 participants and has raised over $1.1 million so far.
Voice of the Canals Bridge Lighting
On December 6th, the Voice of the Canals hosted their 14th annual Holiday Party and Bridge Lighting. Attendees celebrated a beautifully decorated bridge and generously donated over $650 and many toys for VCH. Thank you to the Voice of the Canals for organizing another wonderful event and supporting VCH! 

Ending Homelessness in Venice Survey

Councilman Mike Bonin is asking for your help in completing a survey on strategies to combat homelessness in Venice. You must be a Venice resident in order to complete the survey.

Thanksgiving Lunch
VCH hosted a Thanksgiving Lunch for our Shelter + Care clients. The lunch had over 30 attendees who enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving spread including turkey, ham, pie, cider, bingo, and a photobooth! YouthBuild students and volunteers helped to serve the lunch to our very thankful clients. Everyone had a blast at the lunch and looks like many enjoyed the photobooth!

YouthBuild News
Venice YouthBuild Updates
This December, Venice YouthBuild would like to highlight some of our recent holiday celebrations in the program and the surrounding community.  Starting with Thanksgiving, YouthBuild again played a role in serving VCH's annual Shelter + Care Thanksgiving Lunch.  This is always a wonderful time for the students to interact with other clients of the agency as YouthBuild continues to serve the agency's mission to provide a comprehensive network of supportive services.  The youth also sat down to enjoy their very own Thanksgiving Lunch before going on the holiday break. Four turkeys were raffled off to students to take home to share with their families.

This holiday season, the students also completed their first evaluation of the program, highlighting their up-to-date successes and any areas of opportunity to develop before completing the program.  The students will have two more evaluations throughout the program to help them track their goals and progress towards graduation.  In conjunction with the evaluation process, YouthBuild also held its second Student Celebration and Awards Event in the form of a Holiday Potluck. Alumni from the program were included in the celebration to continue a tradition of community giving, role-modeling, and potential mentorship opportunities.  As the alums reconnected with each other and heard about upcoming job fairs and trainings in the community, they also celebrated the current achievements of the students who were recognized during the awards ceremony. All students and alum who attended the potluck were able to take home a free unwrapped gift for their child or a younger sibling.
Coming up in 2016, YouthBuild is excited about the winter re-engagement and leadership retreat after the two-week holiday break. We are eagerly anticipating the final plans for scholarship opportunities and internships that are being offered by program partners and community stakeholders in the upcoming year.  We are also certainly looking forward to the New Year as we continue to transform and develop sustainable programming and personal stability for the graduates of the YouthBuild program!  Together, we continue to strive to make the community stronger and safer for us all...

To get involved with Venice YouthBuild, please contact Program Director, Rick Solis Jr. at

Venice YouthBuild is a comprehensive program providing education, job training, and leadership development to 25 youth ages 18-24 each year to help them transition into successful adults.
By Barbara Milliken
Volunteers Bring Day of Beauty and Much Joy to TLC
On November 15, the "Day of Beauty," over 30 volunteers and sponsors created happiness and   bright new looks for moms and their children at VCH's Transitional Living Center.  
             Early that day, a crew of cosmetologists, led by beautician Andrea Yocky, set up shop at TLC to provide free manicures, hair-cutting, styling and make-up.   The event became a mini festival, complete with food, a photobooth, gifts, music, and even two fairy tale princesses.  By late afternoon, tresses were trimmed, nails painted, and faces glowed--not just because of the makeup!
            "It's been a long time since I saw so many smiles and joy here," said TLC Director Carmen Navarro.  The volunteers have "lifted spirits and boosted confidence," essential for TLC's work.  The beauty and spiritual lift continue:  Andrea & Friends have volunteered to work with TLC for "years to come!"
            Day of Beauty illustrates the heartfelt volunteer-giving that supports many VCH events.  VCH and the TLC wish to thank all who made this day possible.  
Volunteers - Andrea Yocky recruited former and current students from the Santa Monica College Cosmetology Department.  Thanks to graduates Andrea Yocky, Vanessa Meyer, Lisa Barker, Farido Heydarim, Tatiana Burton and students Linda Gorosh, Kevin Jones, Adrianna James, Michelle Sharma, Diana Ordonez, Wynona McCullough.  Thanks also to Director, John Rogers and alumnus Bob Newman of the Cosmetology Department. 
Donors- Local businesses and professionals that donated.  Thanks to Subway [lunch sandwiches, desserts]; Crowned Princess Parties, Susana Ford, Kortney Officer [Disney Princesses]; La Pinata Party Rentals; Bulletproof Coffee; Venice restaurants Gjusta and Superba [coffee, pastries, fruit]; Ibiza Hair Tools, Aaron Johles [gift baskets to the residents]; and Venice photographers Laura Doss [portraits and prints of these to each family] and Jack Prichett [record of the day's activities in photos.  See below]. 

Board members Sylvia Aroth and Barbara Milliken, with Carmen Navarro, Director, and Lucia Mendez, Assistant, (l. to r.) thanking all the volunteers for their efforts making DoB a great success. Photo: Jack Prichett

Lisa Barker styling Carmen Navarro's hair. Photo: Jack Prichett
Andrea Yocky applying make-up to resident.Photo:  Jack Prichett
Laura Doss, l., photographing DoB volunteers.  Photo:  Jack Prichett
Jay Griffith Volunteers His Landscaping Services to VCH 
Noted Venice landscape designer, long-time VCH donor, sponsor, host and Venice Design Series  [VDS] Co-Founder, Jay Griffith, is giving even more to VCH!  Jay is donating his services to design and improve VCH's residences, using his signature jewel/harvest tones for the facades of the properties so the buildings will "look and feel happy."  Working along with VCH's Director of Housing, Max Harris, sustainable, drought resistant, attractive plantings will be put in place along with attractive landscape design.  In 2016, Jay will again help to plan, donate and sponsor VDS (; he is truly one of VCH's stalwart supporters.  VCH is very appreciative.

Jay Griffith discusses details of an ornamental gate feature with Max Harris at a property

Board Presents Michele Prichard Award of Excellence
VCH'S Board of Directors presented to Michele Prichard, on December 13, 2015, its Award for Excellence reconizing her numerous years of committment and her selfless service to VCH in many areas, including as a member of the Board, sponsor, donor, volunteer.  Most recently Michele has participated wholeheartedly in the Succession Committee, volunteering many hours and valuable insights.  

Michele Prichard and her award for Excellence

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.
Thank you again for all of your support in 2015 and we look forward to an even better 2016!

Until next year,



The mission of Venice Community Housing is to reduce homelessness, maximize affordable housing, empower residents, provide social services, and advocate for public policy that protects and strengthens the economic, racial and cultural diversity of Venice and other neighborhoods on the Westside of Los Angeles.

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. 

*Winter Need*
With the upcoming cold and rainy weather, the Donation Center is looking for coats, umbrellas, boots, and other winter gear.

Upcoming Shop Days:
January 15
February 19
March 18

Please bring donations to our office located at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice, Mon - Fri 10am-2pm. 
In 2015, VCH touched the lives of over 1,300 individuals. 100% of our residents benefited from one or more of our residential support services. 


This December, we honor the lovely Bridgett Bell, VCH's Family & Community Services Director. This month marks Bridgett's 10 year anniversary with Venice Community Housing. Thank you Bridgett for 10 dedicated years of service to VCH!

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!

Shop to Support VCH!

VCH always supports shopping local, however it isn't always possible. 

To support VCH through your Amazon purchases, simply go to and add Venice Community Housing Corporation as your charity of choice!

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