After a chilly night, it was a bright sunny day on the Westside of Los Angeles. The sun had risen over an hour ago. However, the family covered with coats and huddled in blankets in the back of their van was not rushing to start their day. The family had been homeless for over one month. The parents had lost their jobs, depleted their savings, and eventually lost their apartment. With no safety net, the family became homeless. Life in a car for a family with children is too common a story these days. By some estimates, there are over 10,000 homeless families across Los Angeles County.
Today would be the day that changed their lives.
Fortunately, this family found their way to Upward Bound House (UBH), a non-profit agency providing housing and services for homeless families with children. UBH provides transitional housing at Family Place located in Santa Monica and emergency housing at Family Shelter located in Culver City.
At Family Shelter where this family landed, the stay is a maximum of 90 days. Case Managers will help stabilize the family and assist them in securing permanent housing as rapidly as possible. They will help the parents find a job, linking them with child care, enroll the kids in local schools and ultimately help them secure permanent housing. UBH provides private, safe and dignified accommodations, fully outfitted with linens, toiletries and other amenities donated by companies, service clubs or individuals who ‘Adopt a Unit’.
UBH’s Family Shelter celebrated its one year anniversary on April 16th, with a full brunch generously donated and served by the staff at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. Since opening in April 2010, Upward Bound House’s Family Shelter served 67 families, representing 72 adults and 108 children.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Culver City Councilmember Scott Malsin attended the celebration. Both applauded Upward Bound House’s success in addressing family homelessness and recognized The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey for their commitment to the community.
UBH Executive Director David Snow proclaimed The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey “a model community partner.” In addition to the brunch, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey has also participated in UBH’s annual Welcome Home Block Party, donated bikes to the children in residence, and is adopting a unit at the Shelter. “Our success is dependent on community support,” said Snow. “The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey is making a meaningful impact on our efforts to address family homelessness.”
In addition, the event featured the unveiling of a new van to assist UBH with its on-site food programs at the Shelter. The van was donated by the FRIENDS OF UBH, a support group whose mission is to support UBH through hands-on volunteer projects, delivering on ‘wish list’ needs, advocacy, and recruiting new “Friends.”