APRIL 2016


The full scoop on our people, programs & progress

Dear Friends,
Mother's Day is on May 8th. In honor of this special day, we are hosting our 4th annual month-long fundraising campaign benefiting our Westminster Transitional Living Center.

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

For a $20 donation, we will send a 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.

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

*card front pictured above, interior pictured below
21 Individuals No Longer Homeless

On April 5th, the second round of tenants moved in to Gateway Apartments. Gateway Apartments is now fully leased and houses 21 individuals who were formerly homeless and suffered from severe medical needs. All tenants moved into fully furnished apartments and received housewarming gifts from VCH and Hollywood Community Housing Corporation including furniture, kitchenware, flatware, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. We are proud to welcome our new tenants to VCH and so pleased that everyone loves their new homes!

Featured Volunteer- Nancy Rubin of Hems of Hope
Nancy Rubin is the Program Director and Seamstress for Hems of Hope, an organization that has been sewing customized dresses and pj pants for the children of the TLC. Nancy first began working with the TLC towards the end of 2015 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. After taking her first sewing class at age 10, Nancy swore off sewing forever. However, a Facebook video a few years back piqued her interest in sewing for a second time. Her inspiration was a 99 year old British woman who sewed a dress a day and sent them to Africa.

Nancy has self-taught herself how to sew using printable PDF patterns and with the help of YouTube and various internet resources. While she donates to other non-profits throughout Los Angeles, she says she particularly likes working with the TLC because of its happy environment. "Coming to the TLC was such a happy place, the moms were happy, the kids were so happy and adorable, and everyone was so appreciative. I just can't believe that something this simple can make someone so happy. I feel so fortunate that I get to do this... I'm positive I get more out of this than the kids and mothers."

Nancy hopes to keep giving hope to the women of the TLC. She says that with hope, life can be very joyful but without, very bleak. She looks forward to providing the children (and hopefully eventually mothers!) with more pillowcases, jammies, and dresses!  
Homeless Bill of Rights Action Day Recap

The Homeless Bill of Rights Coalition held a rally on April 1st at the Westminster Senior Center as an example of unused City property that could be better used for housing and/or homeless services, following a longstanding proposal by VCH to operate the building as a storage and service site.

This rally was held after the City Council approved LA Municipal Code 56.11, which strictly criminalizes the right to have property in public spaces, with the most severe impacts on homeless residents and street vendors throughout the City. 56.11 now has criminal penalties for possessing property that is not causing any other hazard. It also limits total property in personal possession to the amount that can fit in a standard City trash bin, determined by the police officer or sanitation representative enforcing the law. Despite many promises, the Council did not create any additional voluntary storage facilities OR allocate any additional funding to permanent supportive housing during the 8 months it had to reconsider this law.
2016 Venice Design Series
Here is your opportunity to step inside  LA's landmark architecture in the company of culture, civic and artistic leaders to benefit VCH!

Venice Design Series - Architecture + Experience
WHEN April 30 ( DTLA) Downtown LA Tour
- led by VCH's Becky Dennison & Sylvia Aroth (sold out) 
May 7 (AM) Walking Tour of Brentwood's rustic Sullivan Canyon- led by Patricia Choate & Jay Griffith 
May 7 PM A Venice Moveable Feast- led by VCH's Sylvia Aroth
May 14 AM (SWLA) Southwest LA Tour
- Leimert Village: Art + Practice Foundation/Exhibition Space; a performance by jazz and blues great Barbara Morrison; visits to private homes in Village Green, Baldwin Hills, View Park,
May 15 Sunset Soiree at Saddle Peak House
- with a performance by the principal cellist of the LA Philharmonic, hosted by Venice architect Michael and Kristin Sant (sold out) 
May 21 THE Party-
a celebration for all the hosts, sponsors, guests at the historic Pacific Palisades home of event co-founder/co-chair, Venice based landscape designer Jay Griffith

Available Now online
Linda Lucks  llucks@vchcorp.org 310.526.3857
CO-CHAIRS Jay Griffith | Linda Lucks | Dana and Eric Newman

Mike Bonin's Homelessness Implementation Plan

On March 29th, Councilmember Mike Bonin held a town hall meeting where he announced his plans to reduce homelessness in Venice and  Council District 11. His plan included ensuring that two projects move forward; first, a storage facility at the Westminster Senior Center and second, a new permanent supportive housing project in the parking lot between North and South Venice and Dell and Pacific Avenues. Bonin also hopes to provide additional social services, outreach teams, restrooms, and various facilities and support for our unhoused population. The funding for these projects will come from a ballot ask this coming November. Please join us in strongly encouraging Councilmember Mike Bonin in ensuring these plans come to fruition. To read more about Bonin's plans, please visit the article on our website, here. 
YouthBuild News
Venice YouthBuild Updates
April has been a busy month for Venice YouthBuild!  On the 7th, students with an interest in career firefighting visited Pasadena Fire Station 34 to learn about the career and process of becoming a fire fighter.  On the following day, the youth partnered with Heal the Bay for the third beach cleanup here at Venice.  The youth visited LA Trade Tech on Monday, April 11th and got to tour the campus.   The spirit of service was continued on Friday, April 15th when the youth went to the Westside Food Bank to paint and prepare food for to be distributed to those in need. 

Fund raising for the senior trip was kicked off on Saturday, April 16th here at VCH with a car wash that brought customers from all over Venice to support the cause.   Accompanied by YouthBuild Program Director Rick Solis and AmeriCorps Vista Brenda Hernandez, four students joined several other programs on a road trip to Sacramento, CA to attend YouthBuild Education Days where they participated in several workshops and learned how they can make an impact in their cities.  Last but definitely not least, the youth will be marching through Downtown LA on Tuesday, April 26th along with other local YouthBuild programs to celebrate YouthBuild Day in LA!      
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
VCH Volunteers & Staff Participate in Homeless Bill of Rights Event 
            The Homeless Bill of Rights Coalition held a press conference, rally and day of action, education and mobilization in Venice.  The goal:  urge true solutions to the City's homelessness crisis.  
            The event on April 1, 2016 took place at the long-vacant Venice Senior Citizens' Center on Pacific Avenue at Westminster.  This is the very location that VCH volunteers and advocates have been seeking and petitioning residents as a new storage location for unhoused persons.  It would replace VCH's Free Storage Venice program, now located near the Venice Beach Boardwalk, which is in a space far too small to meet the overwhelming need. FSV is the ONLY storage facility for unhoused persons on the Westside and has been operating for 3-1/2 years, largely through support of VCH volunteers.  
            VCH was highly visible at the event:  Executive Director Becky Dennison was an organizer, speaker and participant; Board member John Raphling conducted the legal rights education program; FSV's organizer and Board member Barbara Milliken and FSV's former volunteer/now employee Mike Lindley spoke at the press conference; and numerous FSV volunteers, supporters and clients attended.  

Becky Dennison, VCH's Executive Director, speaks to attendees at the beginning of the event. Photo:  Jack Prichett 

Mike Lindley, VCH employee, former volunteer for FSV, speaks at the press conference. Photo:  Jack Prichett 
Barbara Milliken, FSV organizer and VCH Board member speaks at press conference. Photo:  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 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.

*Requested Items from local unhoused community members*
- Art supplies (coloring books, blank notebooks, colored pencils, markers, etc.)
- Micro USB phone chargers
- Portable phone chargers

Upcoming Shop Days:
May 20
June 24
July 15

Please bring donations to our office located at 720 Rose Avenue in Venice, Mon - Fri 10am-2pm. 
According to the 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count results, Council District 11 has 266 homeless family members, 703 homeless female individuals, and 122 homeless individuals under 18.


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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