Mission & History
Ascencia’s mission is to lift people out of homelessness, one person, one family at a time. We envision a community where people in need can find services, resources, and safe, affordable housing.
How We Began
Ascencia has provided housing and services to homeless individuals and families since 2006, when it was founded as PATH Achieve Glendale. But that was not the beginning. In 1995, concerned Glendale residents and organizations, including the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and the Verdugo Jobs Center, came together to form a multi-service center to help homeless people in the area address multiple needs. The multi-service center included street outreach, employment services, substance abuse recovery assistance, benefits advocacy, an onsite health clinic and psychiatric services, as well as an adjacent shelter. The project added a transitional housing program and permanent supportive housing and became Project ACHIEVE. Also during this time, the Guest Chef program launched, bringing together local volunteers who purchased, cooked and served dinner to the shelter residents. By 2005, Project ACHIEVE’s operator informed the City of Glendale it would no longer run the programs. The City operated the programs for six months until People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) created a new organization, PATH Achieve Glendale, to manage the programs. Nick Lam of Pacific BMW agreed to chair the new Board of Directors and in 2007, they hired Natalie Komuro as Executive Director.
In those early years generous donors made facility improvements including new landscaping from Bruce and Mary Khouri and a new building sign from Glendale Sunrise Rotary club. The Community Foundation of the Verdugos funded new interior flooring and paint, and Pacific BMW completely rebuilt the computer network, including refurbishing a server donated by Cathay Bank. Leadership Glendale’s class of 2007 donated new computers for clients, a children’s play area and completely refurbished the children’s study.
As the new organization stabilized its financial situation, we began to assess our program focus and outcomes. In 2009, Ascencia expanded services to intensify its efforts to end chronic homelessness in Glendale. We joined the 100,000 Homes Campaign in 2010 and created a registry of vulnerable homeless people to prioritize for housing. Working with the Glendale Healthier Community Coalition, we built the relationships with local hospitals that made it possible to participate in the 10th Decile project. Nearly 12,000 homeless men, women and children have been served by Ascencia since 2006.
After a five-year period in the PATH family of agencies, we became Ascencia in 2011. In 2012, Ascencia was named Organization of the Year by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. That year we also launched our first ever capital campaign Advancing Ascencia. Read more about the successful completion of our Campaign here.
In 2013, Ascencia moved to our new location at 1851 Tyburn in Glendale. Please check back or join our email list to receive the latest news about Ascencia.