Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been honored by seven of the Westside’s leading homeless service providers for championing Project 50 and similar projects implemented in his district to address chronic homelessness.
The Third District supervisor was recognized by the CLARE Foundation, OPCC, St. Joseph Center, Step Up On Second, Upward Bound House, Venice Community Housing Corporation, and Venice Family Clinic during a ceremony Aug. 23. More than 60 community leaders attended the event, including Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Mike Arnold, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould, and Kathy Aikenhead, president of the William H. Hannon Foundation.
As supervisor, Yaroslavsky has been a champion of Project 50, a program to provide permanent housing to some of the county’s most vulnerable and chronically homeless people, according to the agencies.
Dr. Va Lecia Adams, executive director of St. Joseph Center in Venice, said that thanks to Yaroslavsky’s efforts “hundreds of vulnerable people who were at great risk of dying on the streets have been moved into safe environments that have nourished their wellbeing and often saved their lives.”
At the conclusion of the lunch, the supervisor was presented with a special award in recognition of his contributions toward the fight to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles. The award consisted of small canvases that were painted by staff and clients from the various agencies to illustrate the theme “One Man Can Make a Difference” and mounted within a frame.
“Homeless people don’t vote, don’t contribute to my campaign, but I put my political capital behind them,” Yaroslavsky said. “It’s almost inhuman to look someone in the eye and turn your back on them when you see they are suffering. Our society needs to make eye contact.”