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February 2022 NEWSLETTER

Hello Ascencia,

At Ascencia, we are committed to communities. Recently, we expanded our Permanent Supportive Housing services throughout Los Angeles County in collaboration with the Department of Health Services. Since June 2021, we have provided comprehensive homeless services in the areas of Hollywood and Los Feliz. This expansion complements our long-standing presence in the Cities of Glendale, West Hollywood, Burbank, and Northeast Los Angeles.  

Not only are we dedicated to more communities than ever, we are also committed to targeted ways of serving marginalized communities that disproportionately comprise the largest subpopulations of people experiencing homelessness in our county. Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in mid-January and Black History this month reminds me that we must continue to actively further Ascencia’s efforts to use an approach to address the impact of racism on the Black Community. Black men represent 4% of the county’s population but comprise 22% of the county’s homeless population. By acknowledging that racial disparities do play a part in housing displacement, we consider the impact of racism when addressing the complex problem of homelessness via specific goals based on the specific needs of a specific subpopulation. A “race-neutral” or “color-blind” approach that does not consider these factors when assisting people to remain in housing is less effective than an approach that realistically braids together the strands of sustainable income, housing, and education. 

February is also when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. As community members, we hope you “LOVE to Help" lift our clients out of homelessness with your donations of time, funds, goods and services and your incredible commitment to give our clients the community they deserve.

From all of us at Ascencia, thank you for your support in our efforts to bring affordable housing projects to more communities in Los Angeles County.   

With sincere gratitude,

Dr. Laura Duncan

Black History Month

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February is Black History Month, and Ascencia staff have decorated our access center to remind everyone who walks through our doors—clients, staff, volunteers, and supporters—that we recognize Black history and celebrate Black excellence.

We also recognize that awareness is just one piece of the puzzle. We understand how complex the causes of homelessness can be, and we make sure to consider how systemic poverty and racism play a part in housing displacement. The disproportionate rates of Black individuals experiencing homelessness are not lost on us, and we're committed to addressing the issue as best we can.

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Connecting with Clients

From Ascencia to Home: Alexandre

ALEXANDRES story finding hope when he thought that all was lost

"I'd given up and didn't feel like asking anyone for help."

In 2015, Alexandre left his home of over 10 years and found himself unable to find a new place to stay. For years, he moved from shelter to shelter and across state lines, until he eventually connected with Ascencia's Outreach Team at the Glendale library.

Alexandre was soon placed in Ascencia's Emergency Shelter, where he received three nutritious meals a day, a warm bed, and supportive case management services that helped him find stable housing. Within a few months, Alexandre found housing in Glendale and moved into his new apartment last week.

Alexandre's many experiences with shelters across the country left him initially hesitant to seek support, but he could not be more grateful for the help that Ascencia provided him. "Ascencia is by substantial margin the best homeless shelter I've been at," he says. For Alexandre, particularly memorable was the "pleasant staff, [particularly] Alfred and Christina, and volunteers" that gave him the help he needed to lift himself out of poverty.

We at Ascencia want to congratulate Alexandre for his recent move into a new house and give thanks to YOU, our incredible supporters, for helping each of our clients change their lives for the better.

Help Support our Clients

We'd LOVE your help...

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The cost of living is at an unprecedented high right now, and so is the demand for services from Ascencia. 365 days a year, people experiencing homelessness are unable afford the food and supplies they need to live.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Help us support our clients through this tough time with a commitment to your community.


In order for us to continue providing our clients with warm meals, hygiene kits, and life-changing services, we are in need of consistent monthly donations. If you're thinking, "I'd LOVE to help", click the button below.

Donate Here

Connecting with Supporters


Community Foundation of the Verdugos

We thank and honor the generous support from our friends at the Community Foundation of the Verdugos. Ascencia was recently awarded a $5K grant to fund our Parent Education and Children’s Art Therapy programs. During these life-changing sessions, therapists work with parents to address the needs of the child to ensure a healthy parent-child relationship and improve their lives socially, emotionally, and academically. 

Who is CFV: The Community Foundation of the Verdugos, a publicly supported charitable endowment, makes grants to nonprofits in the Verdugo area in order to address needs and improve the quality of life for all.

Connecting with Staff

Director of Grants and Contracts, Meredith!


We welcome our new Director of Grants and Contracts. Meredith Fleisher joined Ascencia in November of 2020 as the Grants Manager and promoted to her current position in January 2022. Prior to joining Ascencia, Meredith worked as the VP of Business Administration at Auritec Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company located in Pasadena, CA. Throughout her 9-year tenure at Auritec, she oversaw the operations, human resources and accounting teams. Her primary responsibility was handling all administrative tasks associated with grant applications and post-award management, which included managing annual audits and budgets. She graduated with a B.A. degree in History from Kenyon College in 2001and a M.A degree in History from the University of New Hampshire in 2004. 

Please join us in congratulating Meredith!

Connecting with the Board of Directors

Welcome, Stuart Cano!

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Stuart Cano is the Vice President, Relationship Manager for the Glendale branch of Bank of Southern California. He is responsible for customer service, performance and profitability. With banking experience since 1989, he is a well-known, respected, and recognized banking professional with a commitment to delivering superior service. Mr. Cano has served on Boards since 2014 and decided to join Ascencia’s Board of Directors after researching the mission and vision statements which made him realize he wanted to make a difference in his local community by helping people experiencing homelessness.

Welcome to Ascencia's Board, Stuart!

Well Wishes to Board Member, Jeff Ragusa

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Ascencia would like to thank Jeff Ragusa, Battalion Chief for the Glendale Fire Department, for serving on Ascencia's board from 2018-2021. Since 2015, Jeff volunteered as a Guest Chef for Ascencia, and attended and supported many of Ascencia’s fundraising events. He, along with his Fire Department colleagues regularly donated funds for and delivered hot breakfast foods to our Emergency Shelter clients which made many mornings extra special for many of Ascencia’s shelter residents over the last six years. We sincerely wish him well in his new position with the Alhambra Fire Department and know he will serve that community well too.

Other ways to help Ascencia: 

One of the best ways to help Ascencia is to introduce us to prospective new board members. It is an effective way to expand our influence in the cities we serve through its local business partners and influential members of the community.

The goal is simply, help us grow our Board of Directors by introducing us to your contacts from corporations, foundations or government agencies, or retired individuals that have a desire to impact our efforts to help people experiencing homelessness. You can personally introduce Ascencia staff and participate in the meeting. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know. 

For more information, please contact Camille Guerrero at cguerrero@ascenciaca.org

News and Updates

Ascencia's "I'd LOVE to Help" Valentines Day Campaign

This month, we're asking for monthly contributions to help us cover the costs of street outreach supplies, warm meals, and mental health services.

Click here to give

Volunteer Opportunities

Click below to sign up

Guest Chef Openings

Volunteer from Home Openings

Want to be a Volunteer for our Gala? Click here!

Social Spotlights

Click below to view each post

CARS Donation Program

Homeless Persons Memorial

12 Days of Ascencia

Upcoming Events

"Share the Love Gala" - RESCHEDULED for April 2, 2022

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Learn more about the Gala

Sponsor the Event

Buy Tickets

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