Homelessness and supportive housing

| March 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

CO-CHAIR Marilyn Wells addresses sold-out audience in The Ebell living room about homeless supportive housing

A sold-out crowd gathered at The Ebell of Los Angeles to hear knowledgeable neighbors talk about solutions to a very visible problem, the vagrant and homeless people on the streets in all neighborhoods of Los Angeles, including those of our Mid-Wilshire communities.

The Ebell gathering was the first in a series of outreach events being organized by local residents Marilyn Wells of Hancock Park and Allison Schallert of Larchmont Village. At The Ebell, Wells introduced several speakers, including Windsor Square resident and First Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland, Fourth District Councilman David E. Ryu and United Way director of public affairs (who grew up in Windsor Square) Tommy Newman.

Allison Schallert, “Stories from the Frontline” co-chair

The title of the program was “Stories from the Frontline: Ending Homelessness through Supportive Housing.” Speakers, both formerly homeless and their advocates, shared their experiences dealing with the issue. In the adjoining art gallery, advocacy groups Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) Speak Up!, Imagine LA, Aviva Family and Children’s Services, United Way, League of Women Voters, and Safe Parking LA described their programs and enlisted volunteers.

The mood of presenters and audience was positive, literally “can-do.” There clearly is a problem with people living on the streets, but the women (a majority of those attending) and the men in the room were expressing a will to solve the problem and not just complain about it. The mood was reminiscent of the civic determination of Winston Churchill’s England during WWII as depicted in the film, “The Darkest Hour.”

Marilyn Wells, co-chair of “Stories from the Frontline – Ending Homelessness through Supportive Housing”

By the end of the evening, Ebell members and others in attendance appeared to be mirroring the optimistic, positive and take-charge spirit of Wells and Schallert.

Another such event — to educate neighbors and galvanize communities to welcome supportive housing for the homeless — will be held on June 5, 2018 at the CSH Supportive Housing Summit in Downtown Los Angeles. More details will be announced at: StoriesFrontline.org.

Of supportive housing, Wells said after the event at The Ebell: “Supportive housing works and the people who shared their stories are proof of that. By hearing the voices of the too-often faceless on the street, we want residents everywhere to take action. We are neighbors lifting neighbors.”

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