The full scoop on our people, programs & progress

Dear Friends,
 In honor of Valentine's Day this month, we are celebrating and spreading love at VCH! Some of our clients have shared what they love at VCH, and we encourage you to do the same!

"I love the friendship of the Shelter Plus Care program.... and all the delicious food we're given at the holidays."

"I love how the case managers go out of their way to help me."

"I love how close they are when I need help."

Share your stories about why you love VCH by replying to this email or email mbohan@vchcorp.org and have a chance to be featured on our NEW website! (Coming very soon!!) 
2016 Greater LA Homeless Count

Venice Community Housing was the deployment site for the Venice section of the 2016 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. We were honored to have this lead role in the count and to host very special guests, Secretary of the VA Robert McDonald, Councilman Mike Bonin, head of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Peter Lynn, and CEO of Metro, Philip Washington.

Over 40 volunteers spent the evening walking throughout the streets of Venice to get an updated count of the number of unhoused individuals in the community. Pictures from the night can be found here! Please feel free to tag yourselves! Thanks again to everyone who supported us and we look forward to another successful count next year! 2016 Count results will be released around late Spring.
The 2nd Annual Venice Design Series
Subscriptions to the 2016 Venice Design Series are selling briskly! Individuals event tickets are now available at $500 per person and may be purchased here.
Study Lounge Winter Field Trip

Study Lounge recently had their winter quarter field trip organized by the TEACH interns. Both Broadway and Washington site students had fun at the Cabrillo Aquarium in San Pedro. The students were split in groups and with the help of an intern, found answers to a scavenger hunt involving facts about the animals in the aquarium. After a picnic lunch outside, students had free time to play in the sand, play catch with Frisbees, and play tag before boarding the buses again and heading home.
YouthBuild News
Venice YouthBuild Updates
The Venice YouthBuid Program attended its annual Winter Leadership Retreat at Alpine Meadows Retreat Center, CA. In collaboration with partner, A1 Ventures Program, participants engaged in leadership and job-readiness workshops; team-building events; and some snow play. It was a great learning experience for both participants and staff alike.

The YouthBuild program is also pleased to announce that Gelleck Mendarava and Sarah Buso, current cycle 14 students have been accepted to be delegates for the 28th Annual AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders (CoYL), scheduled to be held March 7-9, 2016 in Arlington, VA. Gelleck and Sarah, along with 120 other participants, YB and other AmeriCorps staff will have the exciting opportunity to participate in a series of workshops and discussion forums that connect participants to the national YouthBuild movement, as well as represent our program to our elected representatives. We are pleased to have Gelleck Mendarava and Sarah Buso representing Venice YouthBuild and Venice Community Housing and wish them a safe, and enriching experience!

Finally, this month the Venice YouthBuild program will be introducing a scholarship opportunity for alumnus and current participants who successfully complete the program and are interested in pursuing a certificated trade or two-year degree in a high demand, living-wage career sector - the Career Pathways to Success Scholarship. Up to 5 scholarships can be awarded and they will be $2,000 on average per scholarship. Application details are on our facebook page. This is courtesy of a long-time valued program donor.

Alumni News 

Venice YouthBuild graduate, Gillete Nevado was featured in the YouthBuild Green Initiative Newsletter! Since program completion, Gillete has been active in the community advocating for renewable energy and working for Enerpath, offering clients modern and efficient electric systems. Congrats to Gillete for your continued success!   

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
Volunteer Nancy Griffin Delivers Healthy Foods Weekly to TLC 
Nancy Griffin, a leader of the TLC volunteer task force, visits the Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica every Monday morning.  She packs up boxfuls of fresh fruits, vegetables and staples such as eggs, peanut butter and milk, and loads them into her car.  At about noon, she arrives at VCH's Transitional Living Center where VCH staff member Lucia Mendez and some of the residents help to unload them, wheel them to the kitchen on children's wagons and sort them for each of the resident families.  
            "Delivering fresh food to the families at TLC is a highlight of my week," says Nancy.  "It helps the mothers put nutritious meals on the table for their kids, and they tell me how much they appreciate it." 
            VCH and the TLC are very grateful and thank Nancy for all her efforts.
Nancy Griffin and Lucia Mendez unload groceries at TLC; a resident is ready to help. Photo:  Jack Prichett 

Nancy Griffin and Lucia Mendez unload and sort the bounty at TLC's kitchen. Photo:  Jack Prichett

Free Storage Venice Review 
VCH's new Executive Director, Becky Dennison, visited and volunteered at FSV during a busy day at the facility.  She met clients, asking questions and discussing issues posed by homelessness.
            The visit was part of regular VCH assessments of FSV.  Possible changes include a move to the Westminster Senior Center.  
            VCH originated FSV over 3 years ago.  Since then it has been and remains the only storage facility for unhoused persons in the area.  It is especially critical in winter months, enabling clients to take buses to Winter Shelter.  VCH and its volunteers are determined to continue the program.
FSV volunteers Barbara Milliken, Mike Lindley and VCH's new Executive Director at FSV facility.
February meeting to review FSV.  Steve Clare, Barbara Milliken, Jack Prichett, Mike Lindley, Martha Cheres, Becky Dennison, Susan Millmann.

Volunteers in Venice Design Series Committees in Overdrive!
Advance planning is key to making this year's VDS again a successful fund-raiser for VCH.  Recently two committees met to organize the big concepts and refine the details.  At this point, all six events are in place, with many sponsors and ticket purchasers already committed.  
            Jay Griffith, co-founder of VDS with Linda Lucks, "wined and dined" the mostly volunteer members of the Event Liason Committee at his home.  All are pictured below, including a goat held by Jay.  In case you are curious-dinner was not 'ragout de chevre!'  The goat, Pepita, is Jay's newest pet.       
            Also the Public Relations Committee met, sorting out media relations and publicity tactics.
Event Liason Committee (from left): Jan Brilliot, Donna Manders, Sylvia Aroth, Jay Griffith with Pepita, Linda Lucks, Susan Moore, Lynne Southerland, Patricia Choate, Tom Paris.
PR Volunteer Committee Members:  Jack Prichett, Katie Klapper, Nancy Griffin, Kim Marshall
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:
March 18
April 15
May 20

Please bring donations to our office located at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice, Mon - Fri 10am-2pm. 
According to the US Census 2014 American Community Survey, 13.4% of residents living in zip code 90291 were below the poverty line. 


Becky Dennison joined VCH on January 19th as our new Executive Director. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Becky moved to Venice in 1992.

Although she currently lives in South LA, some of Becky's favorite activities are biking and rollerblading along Venice Beach. Her favorite TV show is The Wire and her favorite author is Barbara Kingsolver. Her current dream vacation (one of many she says) is to go to Mexico City.

So far, her favorite part of working at VCH are the people and being part of such a unique community that is Venice and working to preserve it for everyone to enjoy.

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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