Monday, December 24, 2018

Jill's Christmas Appeal Focuses on the Amazing Volunteers that Make Housing Happen Possible

Dec. 16, 2018

Dear friends,

In this Christmas appeal I’m focusing on our amazing volunteers and the ways they are involved in transforming our community to make affordable housing happen, then zeroing in on one family.

On any given week between 40-60 folks are actively involved in our faith-rooted advocacy and educational work. We have a scientist, three ex-homeless women, an ex-city planner, pastors, a gardener, an actor, a docent, housing navigators, seminary students, a banker and more. You might find us in one of our four research sub-committees:

v  ADUs-accessory dwelling units “granny flats” low-income pilot program
v  Inclusionary housing, which we helped to pass in 2001, having produce 1,367 affordable units at no cost to the city.
v  PSH-permanent supportive housing for our homeless neighbors, focusing on converting problem motels.
v  Safe Parking program for those living in their cars, to stay in church parking lots.

Or you may find us meeting with key leaders, attending our monthly meetings, or showing up at public meetings—sharing from our heart about why we feel so passionate about providing affordable housing, and especially for Pasadena’s 677 homeless population. If you add our Making Housing and Community Happen (MHCH) Board members (from Boston, Denver and CA), plus those in our One-Year Housing Justice Cohort (starting in January with two of the participants flying in from TX and CO) as well as the 65 who attended our One-Day Housing Justice Institute this year in Monrovia, CA, and all of you who have donated, we have quite an army of volunteers involved!!  We feel humbled, deeply grateful and rich with the friendships needed to do this work.

I want to introduce you to one of our volunteers Anne Marie (pictured next to me to the left). She has
jumped in wholeheartedly, like many of our volunteers, for reasons that are deeply personal.

Anne Marie experienced homelessness as a teenager. She is now a Pasadena resident and has 5 children who she tries to involve in community activism. Her daughters Lilianna and Samantha are regular volunteers and participate by attending the city council meetings and our fundraisers. Anne Marie is creating a powerful legacy of a woman who is changed and is changing the world by putting her faith into action. She is one of our core group members giving guidance to our local efforts. She is also giving leadership to our ADU efforts, working with our city’s housing director to help shape a proposed city pilot program with an aim to provide low-cost loans to homeowners who wish to build a back-house or converted garage apartment for those in need of affordable housing.

Lilianna, Anne Marie’s oldest daughter, is our youngest advocate at 14, (Pictured to the right with her younger sister Samantha and Pasadena’s Mayor Terry Tornek). Lily has taken part in our housing justice prayer vigils and meetings with elected officials. She also works a few hours a week assisting me in the office. When I am stuck with a computer challenge, I can always count on Lily to figure it out. She also helped with a 50-50 raffle at our fund raiser. See images below.

On behalf of Making Housing and Community Happen we’d like to express our heart-felt thanks for your generous contribution towards our efforts to promote housing justice.

Including our Oct. 27th fund raiser, to date we have raised over $5,000, including a church in San Marino that contributed $1,000 last week—an encouraging start since launching our nonprofit in September! Our goal is $40,000 to hire much needed staff. We hope you will consider becoming a regular donor. Here’s how:

You can contribute in two ways: On line:

Or send checks made out to “Social Good Fund” with “Making Housing and Community Happen” in memo line to:

Making Housing and Community Happen
1628 N Garfield Ave
Pasadena CA 91104

With a grateful heart of joy, as we celebrate a homeless Savior born in a manger,

Dr. Jill Shook
Executive Director of MHCH

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