The full scoop on our people, programs & progress

Dear Friends,
With a new year, comes new beginnings! As we had announced last year, Steve Clare had decided it was time to retire from VCH. The Board of Directors went to work following his announcement to prepare the organization by creating a Succession Committee. This committee was responsible for leading the tasks of analyzing the strengths and challenges of VCH, the short and long term strategies, and updating our Strategic Plan.  Once those important objectives were complete, the Board effectively created a Search Committee comprised of members of the Board of Directors, Community, and the Senior Staff who executed the recruiting process for a new Executive Director to lead VCH into this new chapter. 
Following an arduous process, the Venice Community Housing Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Becky Dennison as our new Executive Director. Becky's first day with VCH was Tuesday, January 19th.
Steve has worked on many community projects with Becky and has generously honored the Board's request that he remain with VCH on a part-time basis to assist during this leadership transition.
It is an exciting time for VCH as Becky brings a renewed sense of excitement and a promising agenda for VCH. We look forward to her leadership and welcome her to the VCH family with open arms.
Welcoming Becky Dennison

"I am very excited to announce Becky as the new Executive Director of Venice Community Housing. Becky's experience and enthusiasm will undoubtedly lead VCH to accomplish great things. I look forward to supporting Becky and the rest of the VCH staff during this transition and over the years to come." 
- Steve Clare

Becky brings over 20 years of experience in non-profit management, organizational development and community organizing to Venice Community Housing. Prior to joining VCH, Becky was the co-Executive Director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) where she worked alongside low-income and homeless leaders to promote social and racial justice. A former Venice resident, she has been active in the neighborhood to ensure the historic diversity and vibrancy is protected.

"I am honored to become a part of Venice Community Housing and am excited about contributing to expanding and preserving affordable housing in our neighborhoods, providing high quality and responsive services, and using our collective voice to promote human rights for all Venice residents and low-income residents across our City and County." - Becky Dennison

We look forward to introducing Becky to all of VCH's friends, donors, and those we serve.
2016 Greater LA Homeless Count
The 2016 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count will take place throughout Los Angeles County on January 26-28th. Several deployment sites still need volunteers! Consider making a
difference in the fight against homelessness by volunteering to count! Roles include deployment site help, counting, navigating, driving, and more. 

Police Chief Recommends Charges Against Officer in Death of Unarmed Venice Homeless Man
LA Police Chief, Charlie Beck, has recommended criminal charges against the officer who shot and killed Brendon Glenn, an unarmed homeless man in Venice. This is the first time as chief that Beck has called for charges in a fatal on-duty shooting. 

Glenn's death was one of three fatal shootings of homeless individuals in Venice in 2015. For more information, please read this LA Times article on Chief Beck's decision. 
Sign the Free Storage Venice Petition

VCH has operated the Free Storage Venice program at the Venice Boardwalk temporarily since December 2013. The current program only holds 26 bins and is open for one hour a day, 5 days a week. The estimated current need is over 300 bins of storage. A permanent location will enable VCH to provide over 100 bins of storage and eventually bring drop-in services such as medical care, showers, laundry, case management, and other supportive services. 

VCH has submitted a RFP 
to permanently host the Free Storage Venice program at the vacant Westminster Senior Center. Read our proposal here.

We ask you to please email Councilman Bonin at Mike.Bonin@lacity.org to encourage him to follow through on his pledge to provide permanent storage facilities for homeless people in Venice!

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is considering locations for storage facilities throughout LA county, so please urge Councilman Bonin to support our proposal. Sign our petition supporting free storage facilities in Venice 
FSV Staff member Mike Lindley and FSV clients
Locali Giving Locally
Locali Conscious Convenience very generously hosted a holiday canned food drive benefiting Venice Community Housing. Founders Melissa Rosen and Greg Horos have been dedicated VCH supporters since the opening of the Venice location.

Thank you, Locali, for your continued support and donations! 
After-School Achievements
Our After-School program received 92% of report cards at both Washington Courts and Broadway Elementary. This ensures that students in the program will be able to work on their academic goals through our holistic approach of including parents/guardians, teachers, and Study Lounge interns and staff collaboration. Parents/guardians at our new location, Broadway Elementary have shown much enthusiasm and for the new program and have been more committed to engaging with staff and teachers. We look forward to seeing students'  progress over the rest of the academic year!
YouthBuild News
Venice YouthBuild Updates
Upon returning from winter break, the YouthBuild program began prepping for its annual winter reengagement & leadership retreat, which will take place at Alpine Meadows Camp in Big Bear, CA.  This will be the program's second time at this camp site where they will engage in various team-building and leadership activities in collaboration with partner, A1 Venture Programs and  owner/Creative Director Love Jefferson.  It's an enriching experience for participants and staff alike; participants get to explore their career goals,understand and support their peers better, and envision what a deeper sense of community can look like. It's also a lot of fun!
The YouthBuild program also welcomes three new participants to this cycle. The program is still accepting applications and will waitlist anyone interested to be considered for the next cohort or the Academy program.  With this program cycle intact, the program looks forward to having a larger impact in the community. They will be installing solar panels on a variety of low-income homes in LA with partner GRID Alternatives, as well as beginning "Adopt-a-Beach" work with Heal the Bay. Similarly, program participants will be performing additional community service with the Westside Food Bank and Community Healing Gardens & HomeGrown Gardens LA.

Also, the Venice YouthBuild Program is finalizing a partnership with SELVA International and will soon begin sustainable landscaping work for single-family homeowners in the Los Angeles area. This looks to be a great work experience for program participants as well as serving individual families and the community as a whole in issues around environmental conservation and sustainability. 

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

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 At Work on Venice Design Series #2
Planning, scheduling and coordinating are now underway for VCH's Venice Design Series [VDS], which takes place late April and May, 2016.  Last year's groundbreaking VDS realized record-breaking donations to fund VCH's many facilities and services, benefiting the least fortunate in our community.   This year again there will be six site-specific events celebrating architecture, cuisine, landscape and performance, presented by leading architects, artists, chefs, designers, homeowners and performers. 
            Once more, volunteers are  a crucial element, assisting with invitations, design, public relations, preparing the various locations and assisting at each event.  Please consider attending, donating, sponsoring or volunteering.  See photos below showing several 2015 venues, featuring volunteer participation.
            For more information, see the VDS link: www.venicedesignseries.org.


All photos by Jack Prichett.

International Artist Gary Palmer Volunteers with YouthBuild
YouthBuild already has been treated to and amazed by an overview of artist Gary Palmer's highly acclaimed works.  Recently he showed photos of street art he created with chalk and told students about his participation in world wide art fairs featuring this temporary art form.  Born in Belfast, Gart earned a Masters degree in architecture before becoming a multi-media artist.  In addition to street art, he has created a series on canvas recording vanishing cultures during his travels in East Africa, as well as contemporary paintings commissioned and showing at various LA and worldwide galleries.
            He and Rick Solis, YB Director, are planning workshops for students, focusing on street art and murals.  These will emphasize drawing skills, composition, working with chalk, perspective and much more.  

Gary Palmer perfecting 3-D street art compositions.  Photos from http://www.garypalmerart.com

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 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:
February 19
March 18
April 15

Please bring donations to our office located at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice, Mon - Fri 10am-2pm. 
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in 2015, a California minimum-wage worker would have to work 92 hours a week in order to pay for a one bedroom apartment without paying more than 30% of their income.


Bernel Williams started at VCH in March of 2015 as the Occupancy Specialist/Property Manager II. Bernel manages our Washington Courts and Tabor properties. She recently relocated from San Diego where she worked for a larger property management company. 

Bernel's favorite part of working at VCH is doing recertification- when she verifies tenants' qualifications for living in our properties.

When not at VCH, Bernel enjoys spending time with her family, especially playing video games or going to the park with her children. Her favorite movie is Meet the Parents and her favorite food is chicken! 

Bernel says about VCH, "Everything that I thought it would be, it has been." 

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 http://smile.amazon.com/ and add Venice Community Housing Corporation as your charity of choice!

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