First published in the April 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
This past week, Burbankers stepped back in time 100 years, from the 2020s to the 1920s, as Home Again Los Angeles, formerly known as Family Promise of the Verdugos, during the organization’s eighth annual fundraising gala.
“Burgers, Bourbon and Bow Ties,” a roaring ‘20s-themed evening, included bourbon tastings, custom cigar rolling, a dinner of gourmet burgers, music, a silent and live auction, and the presentation of the organization’s annual Hands On, Hearts In and IMPACT awards.
Albert Hernandez, executive director of Home Again Los Angeles, was joined by the organization’s board and its president, Jessa Freemyer, to welcome more than 375 supporters, many in the theme’s time-period attire, to Lakeside Golf Club for the fundraising festivities.
Known for the past 11 years as Family Promise of the Verdugos, the nonprofit, which provides assistance to unhoused families, has recently been rebranded as Home Again Los Angeles.
While the name has changed, the organization will continue to do what it has done for more than a decade — serve as a regional provider of hope and compassionate care to unsheltered households through an array of services that help clients find employment and permanent housing.
The organization’s team serves clients by providing shelter, food, clothing and case management. It focuses on rapid rehousing, transitional housing, homeless prevention services, and employment and community education workshops.
“With your support tonight and year-round, we are able to put these programs to use in making an even larger impact on the homeless crises,” Hernandez told the assemblage. “We want to thank you for making this work possible by attending tonight’s event, bringing your energy and values, [and] supporting our mission.”
Last week’s event, attended by local dignitaries including state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Mayor Jess Talamantes, Vice Mayor Konstantine Anthony, Councilmen Bob Frutos and Nick Schultz, City Clerk Zizette Mullins and City Treasurer Krystle Ang Palmer, saw Home Again Los Angeles’ 2002 awards bestowed upon Logix Federal Credit Union and the Burbank chapter of the National Charity League.
The 2022 IMPACT Award was accepted by Ana Fonseca, Logix’s president and CEO, whose company has been a key partner with Family Promise, investing in the organization’s work with both monetary and in-kind donations.
Over the years, Logix has sponsored many of the organization’s events and provided clients with back-to-work kits. It’s also assisted clients in opening bank accounts to help them reintegrate into employment.
The 2022 Hands On, Hearts In honoree was given to the local chapter of NCL, represented by the organization’s co-presidents Teresa Weeden and Michelle Ries.
Since the establishment of Family Promise of the Verdugos in 2010, the mother-daughter organization of NCL has provided countless hours of volunteer service.
They have partnered with the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Burbank to prepare and serve dinners to unhoused families and have assisted at various events, most notably, the annual Empty Bowl, where they have handled the fundraiser’s setup and tear-down, greeted guests, served soup and distributed artisan-crafted ceramic bowls.
Along with their volunteer work, the mothers and daughters of NCL have also raised funds that have helped Family Promise/Home Again purchase meals and furniture for its clients.
For more information about Home Again Los Angeles, visit homeagainla.org.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.