The Burbank-based Home Again Los Angeles was established as Family Promise of the East San Fernando Valley in 2010 by a group of dedicated volunteers and leaders of the local faith communities to help situationally unhoused families in Burbank and the surrounding areas.
The group has since expanded their services and rebranded themselves as Home Again Los Angeles.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, partnering with the city of Burbank, Home Again Los Angeles staged its inaugural Community Resource Fair at George Izay Park, with the event being a part of the group’s Lifting People Up program. More than 20 resource-offering organizations participated in the fair, including those which provide financial, food, housing, job and health assistance.
As he greeted people to the event, the organization’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Hernandez said the fair would be the first of many Home Again Los Angeles will plan.
“This event was organized and coordinated by one of our case managers, Lisa Partida, who has done a great job,” Hernandez said. “Our hope is to do another similar fair in the fall that would specifically focus on health and wellness. We do have some exhibitors providing resources on health care, but for this fair we placed more emphasis on child care, legal aid, housing and employment.”
Hernandez, who explained that he and his staff are extremely knowledgeable on offering services and resources to their clients — the families who fall within the scope of the help they give — said the purpose of these fairs is to provide that knowledge to a broader audience: the entire community.
“We’re good at what we do for our families, but the help and information we can make available at events like this will be for anyone in the community who needs assistance and doesn’t know where to turn,” Hernandez said. “By partnering with the city, we can reach out and get vital information about needed resources to anyone who needs it.”
Vice Mayor Nick Shultz, who attended the fair, agreed with Hernandez.
“This is a phenomenal partnership between Home Again Los Angeles and the city,” Shultz said. “We both have lofty goals when it comes to providing help and resources to our residents and we can’t have enough of these sorts of events that lift people up by giving them the information they desperately need.”
Mayor Konstantine Anthony, who was also in attendance and stopped by various booths to thank the participants for their involvement, said the partnership was one that will prove to be invaluable for many people who simply don’t know where to turn.
“It’s very organic ― a natural process ― for the city to be working with Home Again Los Angeles,” the mayor said. “Everything they do is what we want to do, and by working together we can streamline the process for those who have needs.”
In the wake of this first Community Resource Fair, the staff and board of Home Again Los Angeles are now working on their upcoming gala fundraiser, which will be presented on April 29 at the Glendale Civic Center under the theme, “California Dreamin.’”
The annual gala, which raises funds that assist the organization in continuing to offer supportive services for local families experiencing or on the verge of homelessness, will also see the ninth presentation of their Impact and Hands On, Hearts In Awards.
This year the Impact Award will be bestowed upon the city of Glendale, while Burbank residents David and Pat Augustine will receive the Hands On, Hearts In Award.
The city of Glendale has been a partner of Home Again Los Angeles for many years, having provided more than $2 million in pass-through funds, launching rental assistance and rapid rehousing programs in addition to funding security deposits.
The Augustines, longtime supporters of Home Again Los Angeles, have supplied much-needed financial and in-kind resources both personally and through their parish, Saint Francis Xavier Church, which has provided unhoused families with meals and safe lodging.
With the help of the city of Glendale and the Augustines, last year alone saw the organization assist more than 200 unhoused families in securing housing and an additional 400-plus households with rental assistance and eviction prevention.
Event sponsorships, tickets and program advertisements for the gala are now available for purchase by visiting HomeAgainLA.org, or by calling (818) 562-7778.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.