FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2015
Contact: Josh Kamensky (323) 326-7438
LOS ANGELES – The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles with Mayor Eric Garcettiand United Way’s Home for Good, announced today the #HomesForHeroes campaign, an effort to raise funds to cover the move-in costs of 500 homeless veterans in the City by the end of 2015.
“Our veterans have sacrificed it all to keep our home protected and safe. Now it is our turn to do what we can to ensure they have what they need to stay in a home of their own,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The #HomesForHeroes campaign allows us to target a very specific area of need, where private dollars can fill in the gaps public funding cannot.”
This campaign, led by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, calls on Angelenos to give what they can towards this effort that will go towards covering necessary move-in costs like security deposits, basic furniture, and essential toiletries and supplies. In many cases, these simple expenses can be the last barrier to housing for veterans who have HUD-VASH Vouchers, addressing a significant backlog of veterans currently living on the streets.
“Removing the final barrier for the backlog of homeless veterans to move into a home for the holidays fills a glaring gap in public resources,” said Deidre Lind, President of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles. “Angelenos tell us time and again they want to help and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is the starting line to get involved. Our work continues to identify gaps, expand impact and drive results across City programs. The Mayor’s Fund serves as a bridge to create opportunities between the public sector and the broader philanthropic community.”
Under the leadership of Mayor Garcetti, this campaign will work in partnership with the Home For Good Homes for Heroes program, dedicated to identifying 1,000 private landlords across the City and County to accept veterans as tenants with HUD-VASH vouchers. To date, the Homes for Heroes program has identified nearly 200 landlords. The #HomesForHeroes campaign will ensure that those veterans in the City of Los Angeles who find a home through the program will also have the resources needed to cover their move-in costs.
Mayor Garcetti kicked off the #HomesForHeroes campaign by moving in furniture, bedding, and kitchenware into the home of formerly homeless veteran and single mother of three, Lakeisha Anthony. Lakeisha served in the U.S. Navy for four years but like many other veterans, she struggled to find employment after her service, and she eventually fell into homelessness. Her family’s life was changed when she was connected to the Veteran’s Administration, who would qualify her for a HUD-VASH housing voucher. She also received basic assistance with housing expenses from PATH, People Assisting the Homeless, a non-profit organization and member of the Home For Good collaborative, which helps those experiencing homelessness find permanent housing. PATH was able to provide Ms. Anthony with basic furniture and kitchen supplies.
“In the last two years we’ve helped over 1,700 veterans move from the streets into permanent housing, and it’s important to also provide people with the tools to succeed in their new home,” said Joel John Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of PATH. “Move in assistance raised through the #HomesForHeroes campaign will help us, and other nonprofits like us working with Home For Good, move our homeless veterans into the home they deserve.”
This holiday fundraising campaign will help advance Mayor Garcetti’s long-term goal to combat veteran homelessness. Since July 2014, more than 4,600 homeless veterans in Los Angeles have been housed, but approximately 2,000 remain homeless.
Donations can be made at mayorsfundla.org/homesforheroes. Donations are being accepted through December 31, 2015.
Lakeisha and her family with Alfonzo, their VASH Housing Specialist.
Mayor Garcetti unpacking a brand new bunk bed with two of Lakeisha’s daughters.
About the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles
The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving life for all Angelenos. Bringing together institutions and experts from across the City, the Fund supports programs that will create transformative change across Los Angeles, making it a world leader in economic prosperity, government efficiency, community resiliency, and quality of life for all of its residents. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of local government, business, philanthropy, and non-profits, the Fund enables communication and collaboration that will tackle some of Los Angeles’ most complex challenges. The Fund is supported by private donations and is overseen by an independent Board of Directors. More information can be found at www.mayorsfundla.org.
About United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Home for Good
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways out of poverty. One such pathway is to end homelessness in L.A. County for all of our vulnerable neighbors. Through it’s joint initiative with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Home For Good, is a powerful county and citywide collaboration with over 200 cross-sector organizations. Home For Good’s plan provides permanent homes for our homeless veterans, friends and families. For more information, visit www.unitedwayla.org.