United Way of Greater Los Angeles
Our Future Los Angeles
Our Future Los Angeles is a countywide coalition of justice advocates and labor leaders who are committed to housing and economic justice across L.A. County. The coalition is focused on creating an L.A. County where everyone can thrive in a safe, resource rich community of their choice. The coalition will use communications, organizing, and policy change strategies and tactics to drive progress towards our shared vision.
Describe the mission of your organization.
UWGLA’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty for our most vulnerable neighbors. We strive to dismantle systemic racism and advocate for a more equitable L.A. County. Our initiatives focus efforts on three key pillars that address the roots of poverty – education, housing, and economic mobility.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
Of the 3,007 counties in the county, LA has the worst housing affordability, overcrowding, and unsheltered homelessness, and the pandemic has only made this more acute. Rampant racial segregation and real estate speculation are pushing lower-income Black and Brown families out of their homes and communities at an alarming rate. Compounding these challenges are the recent failures of our housing market. From 2008-2018 the Metro LA Area lost 200,000 units that rented for less than $1,000/month and replaced them with 500,000+ units that rent for more than $1,500/month. In a region that is defined by low-wage service sector jobs, this is devastating. Through a painful mix of bad tax policies, exclusionary housing preferences, and short-sighted thinking we have collectively allowed our housing infrastructure to atrophy and teeter on the brink of collapse, while at the same time not investing the resources and services our Black and Brown communities deserve.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
UWGLA is playing the role of fiscal sponsor and backbone for this new countywide coalition, Our Future Los Angeles, that focuses on building a countywide approach to our most pressing challenges: housing affordability, low incomes, and shameful wealth gaps. It consists of 50+ local organizations, including 22 who are working as a steering committee to coordinate action and advocacy that: 1 Helps people stay in their current homes: Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of losing their homes, with little notice or support. Our Future’s early priorities include fully funding a countywide right to counsel, support for renters at risk of losing their homes, and Ellis Act reform 2 Creates more affordable homes: We must allow the speedy construction of homes near mass transit and jobs, affordable to people at all income levels, without displacing existing renters or segregating our population. 3 Ensures every community is resource-rich: People should not have to leave their own communities to seek opportunity. We must address historic inequities to ensure that all neighborhoods have sufficient public and private investment. 4 Creates a single, independent, countywide housing solutions agency to fund and approve housing: It’s beyond time for the largest county in the nation to have a single, unified approach to housing, with the authority and funding necessary to meet our needs, especially for low-wage workers.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
We imagine a future where everyone has a safe, healthy and quality home–housing for all–in a strong and vibrant neighborhood of their choice; where everyone can succeed because we have dismantled the structures that create and perpetuate inequities; where everyone is safe because we have advanced new strategies that make homes affordable and create new pathways to home ownership; and where homelessness is unheard of because we have invested in proven solutions.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
We will measure our success by the incremental goals connected to our four priorities as well as the growth of campaign constituents. Our goals include: -5,000 social media followers by August 2022 -2,500 email list subscribers by August 2022 -One major piece of legislation or policy passed by August 2022
Which of the live metrics will you impact?
- Housing affordability
- Poverty rate
Venice Family Clinic
Emergency Food Partnership
Venice Family Clinic and UCLA are combatting food insecurity in our community through the Emergency Food Partnership. Our program harnesses the talents of UCLA food service workers to create nutritious take-home meals for hundreds of people in need, which promotes health and economic stability for our most vulnerable patients while preserving employment during the pandemic. It combines access to healthy meals with evidence-based education that teaches participants about the value of using food as medicine to help them get well and stay well.
Undergraduate Gerontology and Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Association (DBA The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s)
Virtual YouthCare, a Memory and Respite Care Program
Virtual YouthCare is an intergenerational respite and memory care program. For one hour, twice a week, student-senior pairs play games, participate in artistic activities, and deliver the research-backed Brain Boot Camp to help address cognitive decline - all in a virtual setting. Our program aims to help family caregivers reduce stress, address social isolation for persons with dementia (PWDs), and prepare students for careers in aging.