Ratkovich is focusing on homelessness

| June 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

‘Distiguished Citizen’

At a recent Rotary Club of Los Angeles (Rotary 5) special luncheon held at the Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles on June 9, Rotary 5 presented Wayne Ratkovich, of Windsor Square, with its Distinguished Citizen Award. The recognition is for an Angeleno who leads the community in the spirit of Rotary’s motto “service above self.”

Following a fascinating and fact-filled introduction of Ratkovich by leading local architect Brenda Levin, FAIA, the honoree finally took the podium.

WAYNE RATKOVICH (far left) with (left to right)) Jo Ann Ratkovich, Darryl Holter and Brenda Levin, who introduced Wayne.


Although Ratkovich was being saluted for his long career in real estate development, what he wanted to share with the audience was his current eleemosynary activity — working with other private sector leaders to help resolve the problem of rampant and dangerous street dwelling in Los Angeles.

Beginning during his recent term as president of the Jonathan Club, Ratkovich has organized symposia for Jonathan Club members and guests to learn about specific aspects of homelessness and solutions that can be implemented.

In accepting his award, Ratkovich explained that the involvement of the private Jonathan Club in this civic matter evolved because its leaders recognized that the city is in a crisis. “We at the Jonathan Club asked, ‘What can we do?’ We decided that … we have a platform, a facility in the City of Los Angeles … and that it was time for us to step up.”

During the past several months, the club hosted three symposia on homelessness, fully knowing, said Ratkovich, that, “other people around the city are doing exactly the same thing, and that’s wonderful to hear because the more of us that speak up … the better.”

The symposia featured speakers including those “who are out on the street every day, even homeless people.”

Ratkovich said that, “When we’re finished with [the final] symposium, we’re going to publish a paper. It is a paper that will contain what we think we have learned from the four symposia.” He noted that the shortfall of needed housing is obvious, but that, “For us to succeed on the homeless issue, we need to deal with everything … and that includes alcohol addiction, criminality, mental illness.

“They’re all there. And we’re kidding ourselves if we think we can solve this problem in a simple way. It is a major issue, and it requires the best we have to offer.”

Ratkovich is the founder and CEO of The Ratkovich Company, for 40-plus years a Los Angeles-based development firm often specializing in historic preservation, including of local landmarks like the Wiltern Theater and its surrounding Pellisier Building,

The Downtown-based chapter of Rotary International is the fifth oldest group of Rotarians in the United States.

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Category: People

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