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Affordable Housing News, Action Update, with a Joy….March 17 , 2023

21 Mar

Hello all from Marisol!

Today I choose to highlight a story that powerfully embodies the spirit of Women’s History Month! Anne Miskey speaks boldly and fiercely in favor of our unhoused brothers and sisters. I was reminded of “The Oath of an Amazon” in the contemporary movie Wonder Women as I read about Anne Miskey’s passion. “Sisters in battle, I am shield and blade to you,” says Wonder Woman. “While I live, your cause is mine!” Our unhoused neighbors need our help, our voice and strength to overcome. Thank you and blessings to our sister-in-battle Anne Miskey!

Stories in This Issue:

  • Tuesday, March 28, at 7 pm. MHCH Housing Justice Forum on 2023 State Housing and Homeless Bills—Which ones do we support? And how? 
  • San Gabriel Valley Housing Justice Symposium on April 1.  
  • Anne Miskey: Champion for the Unhoused and Most Vulnerable by Anthony Manousos.
  • Downtown Women’s Room Video narrated by Anne Miskey.
  • Legislative Priorities of Housing California by Jill Shook and Anthony Manousos.

Click Here:

Anne Miskey: Champion for the Unhoused and Most Vulnerable

by Anthony Manousos

During Women’s History Month it seems fitting to celebrate Anne Miskey who serves as Chief Executive Officer of Union Station Homeless Services. Anne is a nationally recognized expert on strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to ending homelessness. She is a passionate proponent of the most vulnerable in society and of creating long term, positive change and strong systems that support those experiencing poverty, violence, racism and homelessness.


Prior to joining Union Station Homeless Services, Anne was the CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) and first ever Executive Director of Funders Together to End Homelessness.

What a great joy to talk with Anne at the Faith Summit on Homelessness last week and also meet with her in her office this week! Anne recognizes the importance of advocacy and strongly supports the work of MHCH. She has hired people with “lived experience” of homelessness (like Shawn Morrissey) to be advocates. She supports efforts like Measure H and rezoning religious land for affordable housing (SB 4). We at MHCH deeply appreciate Anne for her knowledge, passion and commitment to end homelessness. Here’s a powerful message she delivered at the Homeless Memorial of All Saints Episcopal Church:

 Anne Miskey’s Message

March 6, 2023

We must ask ourselves, why, in a country of billionaires, anyone is forced to live in a car, a doorway or on a park bench.  We must ask, why there are so many people who are living and dying on our streets?

 For most of us, we can live the American Dream. We have a home – a place that offers warmth and safety, a place that offers security from the dark unknown. We have a place where we can gather together in warmth and comfort and safety.

But sadly, this American dream is out of reach for too many – for all those who fall through the cracks into homelessness and too often are discarded, ignored and forgotten.

Many in our society simply throw up their hands and say we can’t solve this – it’s impossible and therefore they do nothing.  Others deal with it by turning the blame or the responsibility on those very people living in homelessness. They blame people who may be suffering from an illness – whether mental, physical or the disease of addiction – they blame them for being victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and even blame them for their poverty. My favorite is when they talk about people “choosing to be homeless” – as if 65,000 people in Los Angeles, or 550 people in Pasadena woke up one day and said – I no longer want to sleep in a safe, warm place. I no longer want a bed, a kitchen or my own bathroom. And still others simply hold their hands over their ears and close their eyes, choosing to not let the tragedy facing so many spoil their own lives and dreams.

 Tonight, we are here to say this is not acceptable – it is not acceptable in God’s eyes – nor should it be acceptable in ours. To ignore the problem, to sweep it under the safety and security of our own lives or to blame the victims – is not loving nor is it just. We are called upon to do more and we are called to be more.

 We have gathered here this evening to honor all those without homes who have left this mortal world this past year. We are here to make sure they are not forgotten – that they are more than simply a homeless person – as if that was all there was to their very existence. No – we are here to honor and remember them because they are all God’s children and each and every one one our brother or sister. We are here today to remember and to honor those who have died – but we are also here to see, to see all those still living without a home.

But the truth we are called to is to do more than honor them, or see them – rather, we must fight with them- with those still living on our streets –  and we must fight for them. We are called to fight for justice, for compassion and for love – we must fight for humanity, both theirs and our own. For to be truly human is to love our neighbor whether they live in the house next door – or under the underpass down the street. Every faith has this golden rule – that we are all called upon to love others as we would have them love us.   

Tonight – and going forward, let us reframe the American dream so that it is not just about us – but that it is about all of us – all our neighbors, especially those who are unhoused. So let us come together in love and in justice to ensure that everyone has a safe place where they can go – that they can call their own. Let us remember those who have died – and in honoring them, let us fight together – but more importantly, let us love together so that no more are forgotten or left to live and die on the streets.

Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With a Joy….March 3, 2023

15 Mar

Hello All from Marisol!

Who is a good neighbor? Simply put, someone who looks out not only for their own personal interest, but also for the interest of those around them. Treating others as we ourselves would like to be treated. Twice my little dog Frodo has run out into the streets and two different neighbors have come to our rescue! Thank you, good neighbors! This next story is a perfect example of what it means to be a good neighbor. Shout out to Betsy Bohuslavsky, a member of La Fuente Ministries and Bert Newton, one of our own here at Making Housing and Community Happen, for being good neighbors and building this Beloved Community we call Pasadena!

 Stories in this issue 

  • Join us for an hour-long “MHCH 101” and learn how you can engage in our housing justice work, a monthly series starting at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 7.
  • Building the Beloved Community is Fundamental to Organizing for Justice by Bert Newton.
  • Join Our Affordable/Supportive Housing Advocates (ASHA)!
  • A Time to Mourn the Deaths of Our Homeless Neighbors….by Anthony Manousos.
  • Homeless Memorial at All Saint Church in Pasadena on Monday, March 6, at 6:00 pm
  • LA County Faith Summit on Homelessness: 9:00 am-1:00 pm, March 9 at Lake Ave Church.
  • 2023 State Housing and Homeless Bills—Which ones do we support? And how?  MHCH Housing Justice Forum on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 pm.
  • How the US made affordable housing illegal (video) with intro by Anthony Manousos.

Click Here:

Building the Beloved Community Is Fundamental to Organizing for Justice, by Bert Newtone83328_e7fdb62a90c0482187e0dab15b4b8683_mv2

Claiming rent control rights has provided an opportunity to build stronger relationships of solidarity. I’ve been going out to churches to spread the word that, under measure H, many Pasadena renters are due a rent rollback and, possibly, a refund. As of January 1, rent on units covered by the rent control portion of Measure H (click here to find out if your unit is covered) should have rolled back to whatever the rent was on May 17, 2021, and if the tenant overpaid rent in January, February, or March, then the tenant is owed a refund or can take it off of the next month’s rent.

But, of course, many landlords are not letting their tenants know about the rent rollback, and many tenants don’t know about it.

Nevertheless, due to our outreach efforts, some people are not only beginning to claim their rent rollbacks, they are also telling other tenants about it and forming relationships with their neighbors, creating bonds of solidarity that are crucial to building what Dr. Martin Luther King called the “beloved community.”

Betsy Bohuslavsky, a member of La Fuente Ministries, started talking to a couple of neighbors in her building, and then I assisted her in going door-to-door to talk to the rest of them.

It’s recommended that tenants who have the same landlord act together to claim their rent rollback so that the landlord cannot retaliate against one person.

Betsy noted that she was not only protecting herself by getting the neighbors involved but also building community in a place where normally everyone tends to keep to themselves.

We talked about how relationships and community are necessary in the work to build sustainable justice and how that is what Jesus did when he travelled throughout Galilee and Judea. Jesus brought people together through free healing (healthcare) and food and then taught the people about the beloved community, which he called the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

As we work together for housing justice, we too can find ways to connect with our neighbors and draw them into the work to build the beloved community so that we can transform our city into one that is just and sustainable.

To learn more about your new rights as a Pasadena tenant, and to obtain a “toolkit” to help you obtain your rights, go to

You also can click here to watch our MHCH Forum on Rent Control.


Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With a Joy….March 10, 2023

14 Mar

Hello all from Marisol!

This week I experienced Hebrews 10:24 come to life through the beauty of God’s orchestrating power! Many brothers and sisters came together, concerned for one another, stirring each other up in love and good works! You’ll read in this story about how a team of missionaries from Missions Door and 20 students from Phoenix, Arizona, gave up their spring break to serve our Pasadena Hispanic Church and our community! They worked on demolishing structures where we will soon build a center for our youth and a playground for our children! They participated in an affordable housing tour and learned about the work we do at Making Housing & Community Happen. Truly, such amazing people! 

Stories in This Issue

  • 2023 State Housing and Homeless Bills—Which ones do we support? And how?  MHCH Housing Justice Forum on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 pm.
  • State and Local Housing Legislation Supported by MHCH by Bert Newton.
  • A Great Joy: Hosting 20 College Students from Arizona and Initiating Them Into Our Housing Justice Work! by Anthony Manousos.
  • Celebrating the Lives of 97 Unhoused People Who Died Last Year in Pasadena by Anthony Manousos.
  • Good News About Safe Parking and Safe Haven Programs Shared at the Clergy Community Coalition by Anthony Manousos.
  • Mary Nelson: Champion of Faith-Based Community Development and Affordable Housing by Jill Shook and Anthony Manousos with video about the life of Mary Nelson.

Click Here

Hosting 20 College Students from Arizona and Initiating Them Into Our Housing Justice Work

by Anthony Manousose83328_5b45414c09ff41da81c768fc215ac9c4_mv2

What a joy it was to host a group of 20 college students from Arizona who came to Pasadena under the auspices of Missions Door–the organization for which Jill has worked as a missionary and “catalyst” for over 20 years. Led by Myke and Melody Dickens, this enthusiastic group of Christians did a work project at the Hispanic Foursquare Church co-pastored by Jose and Marisol Lopez, who is also an MHCH staff person.


Jill and I took them on an affordable housing tour of the city where they had a chance to see first-hand completed projects and those under construction. They saw Heritage Square South (69 units of supportive housing for seniors which will open up later this year), the site of the Civic Center project next to City Hall (106 units of affordable senior housing), and Westgate (where 97 units were set aside as affordable with no cost to the city due to the inclusionary policy we helped pass).

They also learned how advocacy is crucial to making affordable housing like this happen. They enjoyed playing the Unjust Housing Game and learned how racially biased housing policies have created economic disparities and led to displacement of people of color. They then came to our home to learn about our MHCH housing justice work over a meal of Mexican food (beans, Spanish rice, bolillos, and pastries). We felt blessed to be part of this service learning experience with such amazing young people!

 If you’d like to learn how you can be involved with our work, check out this 20-minute presentation which we shared with this group. It is narrated by Bert Newton, our MHCH organizer and resident theologian.

Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With a Great Joy….

28 Feb

February 28, 2023

Hi All!

The call today is urgent! May we not linger, wait, leave it for another day, what we can do today. As a believer I pray our hearts would be stirred up collectively to righteousness and justice as instructed in Psalms 89:14. Today I hope you will hear the voice of righteousness and justice through Rick Cole, in this article where you will read his simple, yet profound plan to end homelessness in Pasadena. There are so many ways, as presented in this newsletter to be a part of God’s move in our city to help, to change, to touch the life of another with righteousness and justice. I know, I’m also tempted to procrastinate, but this is too important! Let’s not leave it for another day. Marisol Torres

 Stories in this issue:

  • Join us for an hour-long “MHCH 101” and learn how you can engage in our housing justice work, a monthly series starting at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 7.
  • 2023 State Housing and Homeless Bills—Which ones do we support? And how?  MHCH Housing Justice Forum on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 pm.
  • How To Assert Your New Rights as a Tenant Under Pasadena’s Rent Control Law.
  • LA County Faith Summit on Homelessness: 9:00 am-1:00 pm, March 7 at Lake Ave Church.
  • Rick Cole’s Five-Point Plan to End Homelessness in Pasadena.
  • News of Pasadena’s City Council: 710 Working Group and the Need for Motel Vouchers for our Unhoused Neighbors.
  • Black Affordable Housing Rock Stars: The Sharrods and Community Land Trust by Anthony Manousos
  • The Black History Parade and the N. Fair Oaks Empowerment Initiative by Jill Shook and Anthony Manousos with videos of Dr. Gilbert Walton and Genee Johnson sharing their stories.
  • Homeless Memorial at All Saint Church in Pasadena on Monday, March 6, at 6:00 pm.

 Click Here:

 Rick Cole’s Five-Point Plan to End Homelessness in Pasadenae83328_986ef8aa25cf4cc1a397a082e8cf9e39_mv2

 Rick Cole wrote a powerful op ed calling for a realistic and attainable plan to end homelessness in our city, which is a “must read” (see Pasadena Now). His assertion that we should treat homelessness as an emergency (akin to an earthquake) seems especially relevant as another chilling winter storm is about to strike our city and our region and we have motel vouchers for, at most, 50-80 people out of the nearly 300 who are living on the street, Here are the steps Cole feels we as a city need to take to address this dire emergency. We’re interested in learning more about this plan. Please let us know if you’d like to learn more by contacting

The Pasadena Partnership’s plan seeks “evidence-based best practices to help reduce homelessness.” They don’t have to look far. Perhaps the most successful model is called “Built for Zero.” Community Solutions is a national non-profit funded by major foundations to develop and test evidence-based best practices.  You can find them here.  Their best practices for ending homelessness are as simple as they are bold:

  1. Create a shared definition of success: Pasadena, like too many other cities, focuses on managing homelessness through outreach, referrals and as the Partnership Plan advocates, providing food, clothing, toiletries, laundry, and showers to the unhoused. Real success should be measured by driving the number of homelessness to “functional zero,” meaning it should be “rare, brief and non-recurring.”
  1. Assemble an accountable, community-wide team: Ever heard of “the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness”? Neither had I and I serve on the Planning Commission and teach a class on homelessness at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. To end homelessness, the City, School District, Community College, businesses, churches, non-profits and neighborhood groups need to be working closely together, with a core team that meets weekly to track progress.
  2. Use real-time data, which accounts for everyone by name and need: Pasadena conducted the first ever annual Point in Time count in California back in 1993. But in 2023 we should be using daily information collected and shared with the consent of unhoused individuals where each person on the list has a file that includes their name, homeless history, health, and housing needs. The Federal government actually mandates such a database, but it is confined to non-profit service providers. Emergency responders, medical professionals, schools, law enforcement, transit agencies, libraries and every other entity encountering people experiencing homelessness needs to coordinate their efforts to help get people the services and housing they need.
  3. Center racial equity: while Black people make up just 8% of the population of Pasadena, they make up 34% of our homeless population. Unless we are prepared to confront Pasadena’s long history of racially-segregated housing and discrimination, we can’t get to the root of solving it.
  4. Target data-driven housing investments: Pasadena is without a local source of funding for fighting homelessness or providing affordable housing. We have many needs in our community, but none rank higher than ending the scourge of people living in misery on our streets. If Pasadena is truly “the center of the universe” as Mayor Victor Gordo proudly proclaims, it should be the center of solutions to this human catastrophe in our midst.

These five evidence-based best practices have produced remarkable results in scores of communities around America. Pasadena should get on board to end homelessness, not to tolerate and “manage” it. The longer we wait, the higher the cost in wasted tax dollars and devastated lives.

 Rick Cole is a current Pasadena Planning Commissioner and a former Mayor of Pasadena. He serves as Chief Deputy Controller for the City of Los Angeles.

Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With a Great Joy….Feb 17 , 2023

21 Feb

Hello Everyone,

In this featured article we will introduce to you three amazing individuals from Pasadena using their gifts and talents to serve our community! We call them Housing Rock Stars! God doesn’t call us to be mere observers but to be participants in God’s great work and do our part as people of faith. As someone seeking to follow Jesus, I work with youth and find great joy in doing that. What are your gifts and talents? And how could you use them today to bless someone? Marisol Torres

Stories in this issue 

  • MHCH Housing Justice Forum: “Pasadena Rent Control Is In Effect, Despite What Some People Say–Know Your New Rights and How to Assert Them.” Discussion led by Michelle White and Bee Rooney.
  • Invitation to join us at Pasadena’s Black History Parade this Saturday, Feb. 18, at 9:30 am at Bethel Church on the parade route.
  • Prayerfully Bending the Arc of the Universe Toward Racial Justice by Bert Newton, with video of our affordable housing vigil confessing our racial inequities and committing to righting wrongs.
  • Local Black Affordable Housing Rock Stars: Jasmin Shupper, Michelle White, and Andre White. Video of Andre White telling his story and sharing his Spoken Word “Breathe.”
  • A Great Joy : Our Videographer Morgan Duff-Tucker just gave birth to her first child, a boy!
  • Join us for “MHCH 101” and learn how you can engage in our housing justice work, a monthly series starting March 7.
  • Join the National Low Income Housing Coalition….for a webinar on homelessness and Housing First.

Click Here

Honoring Local Black Affordable Housing Rock Starsunnamed (1)

by Anthony Manousos

This week I’d like to give a shout out to African American leaders here in Pasadena who are affordable housing rock stars. It has been a joy and a privilege to know and work with these amazing people:

Jasmin Shupper (pictured above) started the Greenline Housing Foundation that provides down payment grants so people of color can purchase homes. Because of redlining and other discriminatory practices, it has been difficult for people of color and, specifically, African Americans to purchase homes and acquire generational wealth. Greenline raised over $300,000 last year to help homebuyers of color with down payments and correct this historic injustice. She convenes the Restorative Justice 710 Freeway Coalition and also serves on the board of the San Gabriel Valley Community Land Trust, which was birthed by MHCH. You can listen to this inspiring podcast about Jasmin’s work in which she talks about her faith and how her church (Fellowship Monrovia) encouraged her to start her nonprofit. Her goal this year is to raise $500,000 to help people of color purchase homes. Click here to hear Jasmin on a podcast “Nonprofits on the Rocks” by Matt Kamin. and check out and

Michelle White, executive director of Affordable Housing Services, has been an advocate for housing justice for over 30 years and recently help lead the successful rent control campaign. She is also a Quaker and dear Friend.

Andre White is a member of our Congregational Land Committee that advises churches that want to have affordable housing built on their underutilized land. He is Harvard-trained and grew up as a Hilton Head native Islander where his family owns 40 acres of land going back to Reconstruction. He has helped develop affordable housing nationwide. Passionate about housing justice, he makes sure that churches get a fair payment for a long-term ground lease when they have affordable housing built on their land.  

I am grateful to be able to work alongside these affordable housing rock stars as well as  many others in our city who are committed to ending homelessness, preventing displacement, and ensuring that everyone is decently and affordably housed.  Yes, we can!

 I highly recommend watching this 9-minute video of Andre White, which includes not only his moving story but also a “spoken word” tribute to George Floyd called “Breathe.”

Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With Two Joys….

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

While reading through the articles for this week, I am reminded of the scripture in Mathew 25:35-40 in which Jesus tells us that nations will be judged on how they treat the poor, sick and marginalized:  “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

As a Christian I believe that God wants our lives to overflow with mercy, love and compassion, as was the case with Dr. King, the late Pasadena City Council Member John Kennedy and Rev. William Barber. I want to encourage you, as I was encouraged by reading this week’s newsletter  to believe that we can make a difference. Marisol Torres   


Black Affordable Housing Rock Starse83328_6c934b1df9014f90aad57a74fd8e980f_mv2

Dr. King, the Poor People’s Campaign and Councilmember John Kennedy

by Anthony Manousos

Dr. King deserves recognition for his commitment to affordable housing and ending poverty. (Incidentally, since I’m being Pasadena-centric, did you know Dr. King spoke three times in Pasadena—In 1958, 1960, and 1965—at Friendship Baptist Church and CalTech?)

During the final year of his life, in 1968, Dr. King focused on two causes that made him many enemies and may have cost him his life: opposing the Vietnam War and leading the Poor People’s Campaign for economic justice. An important aspect of the Poor People’s Campaign was to petition the government to pass an Economic Bill of Rights, which demanded, among other things, construction of 500,000 low-cost housing units per year until slums were eliminated. Today Rev. William Barber is carrying forward Dr. King’s call for economic as well as social justice:

Instead of spending nearly $180 billion per year on mass incarceration, we could use those resources to build and maintain affordable housing for everyone. We could put the 18 million vacant homes to their intended use and end homelessness. The trillions of dollars being created and spent by the government and the Federal Reserve show that we have the resources to solve these problems and end this injustice. See Fact Sheet.

In 2018 Jill, Bert Newton and I partnered with Rev. Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign and made it the focus of the Palm Sunday Peace Parade, which lifted up Jesus as the Prince of Peace and attracted around 150 people of faith each year.  2018 was also the year when we started our nonprofit Making Housing and Community Happen (MHCH).

In 2020 Pasadena City Council member John Kennedy was given the MHCH Affordable Housing Rock Star award and has a special place in my heart because he was such an ardent advocate for affordable housing. He called for 1,000 units of affordable housing for low- and very-low-income residents in 1,000 days. Through his passionate persistence he helped our city to reach this goal. He also supported rezoning religious land for affordable housing and cast a vote in favor of this policy last summer. To our shock and dismay, he died three days later. We grieve his loss but are grateful that his legacy lives on. This year Heritage Square South—a project that will provide a supportive home for 69 unhoused seniors—will open up in Kennedy’s district. It was a project that would not have happened without his support.

The best way to honor the memory of this amazing man is to continue to advocate for what he liked to term “the least of these” and make sure that everyone in our city is decently and affordably housed. Yes, we can!

Stories in this issue – CLICK HERE

  • Black History Month: King and Councilmember John J. Kennedy.
  • MHCH Housing Justice Forum: “Pasadena Rent Control: It Is In Effect, Despite What Some People Say–Know Your New Rights and How to Assert Them.”
  • Two joys this week: A win for democracy and for our homeless neighbors!
  • “How Federal, State and Local Law and Policies Segregated US Cities….” “Segregated by Design,” a video based on Richard Rothstein’s Color of Law.
  • Black Affordable Housing Rock Stars: King and Council member John Kennedy. Video with John Kennedy receiving his award.
  • The Pasadena Affordable Housing Coalition Update by Ed Washatka.

MHCH Housing Justice Forum: “Rent Control in Pasadena: Know Your New Rights and How to Assert Them.’

9 Feb

I am so thankful that you supported rent control. My rent decreased!”Measure H

We’ve heard this good news from a couple of tenants, but we’ve also heard reports of landlords refusing to comply with rent control and even illegally threatening tenants with eviction.

Tenants Union organizers Bee Rooney and Michelle White will discuss Measure H (Rent Control) which is now in effect. They will explain its major provisions, such as the rent cap, rent roll back to May 2021, and eviction protections.

Rooney and White helped craft this Measure, so they are well equipped to answer your questions.

They will dispel misinformation spread by landlords and give practical advice on how you can effectively assert your new rights. They will also explain how you can apply for the Rent Control Board. 

 Register in advance for this meeting:

bee rooneyBrigitte (Bee) Rooney  came to Pasadena in 2015 from Southern Illinois to study at CalTech and earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science. She became an organizer with the Pasadena Tenants Union and was one of the Tenants Union members who received the MHCH “Affordable Housing Rock Star” award..


Michelle White has been an advocate for rent control for over 20 years and helped lead the successful Measure H campaign in Pasadena. An attorney who worked closely with the ACLU and NAACP, she is the executive director of Affordable Housing Services. She was also a recipient of the “Affordable Housing Rock Star” award.


Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With Three Joys….

7 Feb

Feb 3 , 2023

Hello Everyone!

Today, I want to say how grateful I am to work with Making Housing and Community Happen! Although I am new to the MHCH team, my husband and I are local pastors and have found that since connecting with MHCH a real value in this  information for our work in ministry and community. 2nd Thessalonians 1:3 says “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.”

As communities of faith we are always looking for ways to connect with the community, to show the love of Christ, be God’s hands and feet.  Take a moment to read our Newsletter and sense how the Spirit may use you! With topics like Safe Parking, Rent Control, Meeting City officials; I’m certain you’ll find something valuable for your church and community to get involved with! Suzanne’s story on Safe Parking has really tugged at our heart! unnamed

“I Am So Blessed…” Reflection on the Safe Parking Program

It was a great joy to hear Suzanne share her story at the January MHCH Forum: “Emergency Shelter for Our Unhoused Neighbors: Safe Parking and Safe Haven.” Several of our safe parkers have been housed and we are praying that Suzanne will be next! Here is her testimony from our Forum:

Hello, everyone! My name is Suzanne and I have been with the Safe Parking Program for about a year. I ended up in the program because I had several major health issues—cancer and a stroke and I lost my hearing in one ear.

I was a legal assistant for many years and I just ran out of money. I didn’t know what to do and I was very scared and had only lived in my car two days. I had been visiting friends for a couple of years but had no where to go. I was afraid that the police were going to arrest me.

Then I found out about the Safe Parking Program and I’m so blessed. I was accepted and it has provided me with a foundation from which I can try to get my life back together. Because I have restrooms, I have a safe place to park with a lot of light at night, I have other safe parkers, and we take care each other. You don’t feel alone [like when you’re on] some dark street somewhere.

The restrooms are number one for those of us who don’t have a home, so that’s terrific! On top of that I have made many friend with the congregation and the safe parking committee. I’ve gone hiking with one of the people, traded books, reading ideas and that helps you maintain a sense of who you are.

Because you can lose that if all of a sudden you’re a thrown into a situation with a lot of mentally ill people, addicts. [The Safe Parking program makes you feel] grounded and also to have fun, to have people to talk to. I have been to some of the [church] services. Everyone has been so generous with me.

I was in shell shock but I am very much centered now that I have this experience here at the church.

I would like to say one more thing. If you need me to speak to other groups in the San Gabriel [Valley], I will come with you to tell them all the benefits and how it will make a huge difference in a person’s life. Thank you.

Stories in this issue:

  • Black History Month: Jackie Robinson, Affordable Housing Builder.
  • MHCH Housing Justice Forum: Pasadena Rent Control: “Know Your New Rights and How to Assert Them.”
  • Joy #1: “Persistence Pays Off for Democracy” by Bert Newton.
  • Joy #2: Meeting with our Amazing New City Manager Miguel Marquez by Jill Shook.
  • “Yes in My Backyard: Delivering Housing Solutions. “ Upcoming Bonita Democratic Council Zoom Event on Thurs. Feb 9 with Jed Leano and Jill Shook.
  • Joy #3: “‘I Am So Blessed’: Reflection on Safe Parking” by Suzanne.
  • Busting Myths, Providing Solutions: “Affordable Housing Is Good for the Environment” by Anthony Manousos.”

Click here:


MHCH Forum on Safe Parking and Safe Haven

1 Feb

Hi Everyone!Homeless Count 2023

It’s me again, Marisol, excited about my second blog entry! This week I’m especially impressed by an article by our MHCH Co-Founder, Anthony Manousos in our weekly update that features our homeless count that took place in Pasadena last Tuesday. Anthony took part in the January homeless count with activist Sonja Berndt and Mark Chase.

He added a quote by Jill Shook that resonated with me and made me wonder: What if we could all take a moment and remember that “…in God’s scheme of things everyone counts and everyone matters.” How would that change our day, our decisions, our community?

“When you’re counting homeless people—and it’s so important to do that to get the Federal funding we need—in God’s scheme of things everyone counts and everyone matters because we’re made in God’s image. Throughout the Bible you find long lists of names of people because people matter.” Jill Shook, MHCH Co-Founder

Stories in this issue:

  • Were You or Your Family Members Displaced by the 710 Stub? Apply for the 710 Working Group by Tues., Jan 31.
  • Upcoming Zoom Event “Yes in My Backyard” with Jill Shook and Jed Leano, Chair of San Gabriel Valley Housing Trust.
  • “Everyone Counts, Including Our Homeless Neighbors” by Anthony Manousos.
  • “Who Subsidizes Whom? or Why Suburbia is Financially Unsustainable” by Bert Newton (with video by Not Just Bikes).

To see our News Letter for January 27 click here

MHCH Weekly Update week of the 16th: Join Us Tonight 7pm – On Safe Parking and Safe Haven

26 Jan

Hi Everyone!

My name is Marisol, I’m new with MHCH and this is my first blog! I’m especially excited about an article in our weekly update that features Episcopal Bishop John Harvey Taylor who is calling for 25% of all LA churches to provide affordable housing on there underutilized land. Wouldn’t it be great if all denominations made this kind of commitment! And please note that our Housing Justice Forum is tonight. Come, learn how churches are providing temporary shelter through Safe Parking and Safe Haven and a path to become housed. So far 24 have been housed in last 2 years! To register for to nights event click here. 

To see our News Letter for January 20 click here

We hope to see you tonight!

Episcopal Bishops Pledge To Commit 25% of Church Land to Affordable Housing on MLK Day

We at MHCH applaud the Episcopal Church for its strong commitment to affordable housing and racial justice. We are reprinting excerpts from this article that appeared in the Episcopal News Service.

 Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, along with Bishop John Harvey Taylor and Mayor Karen Bass, issued a rousing call for housing and socioeconomic justice at the Jan. 15 annual King Day celebration in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where more than 40,000 are homeless and five people die daily on the streets.

 Curry delivered a spirited “the power of love urges us on” revival message to hundreds of cheering and applauding ecumenical, church, civic, and community leaders who packed Christ the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in the city’s historic Leimert Park neighborhood for the annual celebration.

 Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, along with Bishop John Harvey Taylor and Mayor Karen Bass, issued a rousing call for housing and socioeconomic justice at the Jan. 15 annual King Day celebration in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where more than 40,000 are homeless and five people die daily on the streets.

 Curry delivered a spirited “the power of love urges us on” revival message to hundreds of cheering and applauding ecumenical, church, civic, and community leaders who packed Christ the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in the city’s historic Leimert Park neighborhood for the annual celebration.

 Taylor said the diocese, in embracing truth-telling and its own legacy of racism, is in part focused on housing equity, “which Dr. King was talking about over 60 years ago.”

 Bishop of Los Angeles John Harvey Taylor pledged that 25 percent of its churches would work toward building affordable housing on their campuses.

 Turning to Bass, he said: “One doesn’t get a chance to make a campaign promise to the mayor very often, but here goes: We have 128 churches, not just in your magnificent city but all over six counties in Southern and Central California. Homelessness is a regional crisis, and we’re committed to building affordable permanent supportive housing on 25 percent of our church campuses.”

 Two such projects currently are under construction; one more will break ground in the summer, Taylor said. “There are 10 more on the drawing board. By your inspiration, and the light of Dr. King’s witness, as we follow the presiding bishop and by the grace of Almighty God, there are 20 more to come in the name of love.” Click here for entire article.

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