YouthBuild students at a volunteer day
Dear Friends,

Happy October! We're very excited about the progress all of the VCH teams have made recently, from transitioning to online programming to hosting several virtual events. Most notably, we have picked up the momentum on community engagement activities relating to the Reese Davidson Community in anticipation of the first Planning Commission Officer's hearing.

This month's newsletter includes information about one of the most significant measures on the ballot, a recap of Housing Development's progress, and photos from activities at our buildings. Read on for more!

Venice Community Housing
Have you made a plan to vote?
This year's ballot includes many important items that will impact the future of our communities at the national and local levels. VCH has taken an official position on seven measures and propositions. To view our full voter guide, please click here.

Although the deadlines for registering to vote online or by mail have passed, you can still register in person until the day of the election, November 3.

If you've already filled out your ballot, make sure to drop it off at an official dropbox location. To check the status of your ballot, click here!
VCH has endorsed Measure J, a charter amendment to allocate money from the general fund to alternatives to incarceration.

The following was written by Chelsea Byers, Westside Field Organizer, United Way's Everyone In campaign:

Communities have gone too long without the life-affirming resources needed and it’s beyond time for a shift. Measure J is an LA County ballot measure that ensures countywide programs supporting housing access, mental healthcare, and alternatives to incarceration are funded and accessible to Black and brown and low income community members. This ballot measure - if passed on November 3rd - will permanently allocate 10% of the county’s unrestricted funds for a variety of community programs and will be entirely restricted from use by law enforcement. As campaign co-chair Isaac Bryan says, “We’ve always budgeted for incarceration, but we haven’t budgeted for care in the same way.”

Addressing root causes of crisis through care-first practices and policies is the only way we are going to make long-term changes. The impacts of criminalizing homelessness instead of ensuring housing is available to people at all income levels are felt in Venice and all across the county. Measure J is a historic advancement on our shared goals in LA to ensure everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home and a helping hand when needed. I am proud to vote Yes on Measure J and will be making calls to voters for their support through November 3rd. I hope you will join me! 

If you're interested in volunteering for Yes on J, click here or email Chelsea at
Growing Together
The virtual RDC community meeting on October 14
Expanding Support for Reese Davidson Community

On October 14, VCH held a successful community meeting to present updates about Reese Davidson Community (RDC). Around 50 supporters and neighbors joined to learn more about the project and participate in a Q&A session. If you're interested in hosting a smaller-scale virtual event to hear about RDC, please email Linda Lucks at

The first public hearing for the project is scheduled for October 22, and we need as many supporters to call in as possible. This is an extremely impactful way to express the strong need for more affordable housing in Venice to the City.

RDC Wins an American Architecture Award
Reese Davidson Community received The American Architecture Award for 2020! The project was submitted by Eric Owen Moss Architects to The Chicago Athenaeum.

Now in its 26th year, The American Architecture Awards are the nation's highest and most prestigious distinguished building awards program that honor new and cutting-edge design in the United States. This annual program also promotes American architecture and design to the Museum's public audience in the U.S. and abroad.

This year, the Museum received a record number of projects for new buildings, landscape architecture, and urban planning from the most important firms practicing in the U.S. and globally. To view the full list of award winners, click here.
Progress Updates

The concrete podium deck at Rose Apartments was poured on Friday, October 16. This is a major milestone in the construction period. The next phase is rough framing, where the pace of the work picks up and the building begins to take form. Construction is approximately 22% complete. Check out the photo below of an aerial view of the project!

Lincoln Apartments successfully defeated an appeal of its entitlements through the Los Angeles City Council, but an appeal to the California Coastal Commission (CCC) has been filed. The team is working with the staff at the CCC to schedule a hearing in December. Simultaneously, the Housing team is working on a funding application to the Los Angeles County Development Authority that is due in November.

Despite several delays, the team is still working towards a construction start in late 2021.
Creating Community
VCH's YouthBuild program provides young people ages 18-24 with the opportunity to work towards their high school diploma and earn job training certificates. Each month, participants volunteer in Venice and the surrounding community. In October, they came together to clean the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) and reflect on its cultural and historical significance.

The VJAMM is located on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards and commemorates the 1,000+ people of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly removed from Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu and taken to the War Relocation Camp at Manzanar in 1942. They remained wrongfully incarcerated for most of World War II.

Thank you to our YouthBuild students and staff for ensuring the monument remains well-maintained and engaging in thoughtful conversations about its importance!

Artists for RDC Happy Hour
Thank you so much to all of the artists who participated in our second "Artists for RDC" Happy Hour! We are particularly grateful to Francisco Letelier, Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg, Louis Carr, and Greg Cruz for showcasing their art for fellow attendees.
We are looking for more artists to join us at our next event and nominate others to showcase their work! If you or someone you know is interested, please email to join our community!
Meet a (former!) VCH Tenant, Sabrina
This month, one of the tenants at the Westminster Transitional Living Center (TLC), Sabrina, moved into permanent housing. Before leaving, she answered a few questions about her experiences being unhoused and living at the TLC. To hear more of Sabrina's story, click the video above.

What was your housing journey like before you moved into the TLC?
Immediately previous I was at a motel through St. Josephs. I was there since November of 2019, and it was just me and my son. Prior to that I was mostly bouncing around couches with my son, staying with friends, family, mostly my parents.

What was the hardest thing about not having secure housing?
The unknown of where we would be at next. For me, my biggest priority is my son and his safety and health. Not knowing how long we would be somewhere, and not having a place I could call home for him was really heartbreaking.

What has being housed in TLC meant for you and your son?
It has provided us with the opportunity to have some sort of stability in this interim. Going from a motel to coming here was a blessing. I remember the first weekend I was able to get up and make pancakes for him. I had a stove, I had an oven, and a big refrigerator. I didn’t have to worry about where I was going to wash the dishes, or if I could actually cook something. Being able to have that freedom to make a pancake for my son was glorious.

How do you think people who are housed view those who are unhoused?
I feel that there is a lot of inclination to want to think the worst possible. That either we are lazy, or we are taking advantage of the system. I believe that’s far from the truth. I never thought I would be in this situation. I don’t think many people do, but at the end of the day, given the proper assistance, direction, understanding, and support, we can establish a sense of aid and support for people like me right now who just need that little boost.

Check out the happy image of Sabrina at her new home below. Congratulations!
Transforming Lives
Celebrations at Roots to Grow
Roots to Grow held a few outdoor resident events this month, including a birthday BBQ and welcome events for the two newest team members. House residents and staff have also been dedicated to maintaining the garden and lettuce tower in the backyard.
Taking Action
Support VCH's mission by taking action! This section of the newsletter will include volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved:
Meals for RTG Youth

VCH's Roots to Grow (RTG) is a transitional living program that houses 20 youth ages 18-24 across two properties, Mitchell House and Ashton House. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, residents have faced heightened food insecurity. Because of this, staff have started a Meal Train donation program through which supporters can donate a meal to residents at either house. These meals mean a lot to our RTG community and are a great opportunity to safely ensure that residents have access to nourishing food.

Join Us in Our 2020 Re-Occuring Giving Campaign
Pledge to donate $20/month each month of 2020 by visiting
or by sending a check to Venice Community Housing, 200 Lincoln Blvd., Venice CA 90291.
Have some bakeware?
Please gift it!
Our TLC needs new or lightly used bakeware! If you have any you'd like to donate, please contact Lucia Mendez at or (310) 399-9380.
Donate to RTG's wish list and support our residents!
We are looking for weight sets, a punching bag and stand, skates, skateboards, bikes, and gym memberships or passes for our Roots to Grow house. If you would like to contribute please contact Erika Lee at or (310) 573-8414.