February flew by and March is nearly over! We’re in Daylight Savings Time already? If you follow us on Twitter or visited our Facebook page, you know we have been busy. We hope these busy days find you well.
On March 15, 2012 the Glendale Chamber of Commerce honored Ascencia as Organization of the Year. We are very grateful for this recognition. In accepting the award it was clear I would not have enough time to do justice to all those who help us fulfill our mission. So I led an aplauso. As I clapped, I asked our Board to stand, our staff to stand, and then went down the list…the City, our Guest Chefs, our homeless registry volunteers, and so on. By the time I was done, half the room was standing. It was all the evidence we needed to show that this agency and the work we do extends far into the community and across all sectors. Thanks to all who stood with us!
Many years ago, when I was working in homeless services in Los Angeles, our world and concerns seemed very far from those of business. While we both wanted people off the streets, there was no way to pay for the housing that was needed. Business groups were focused on public safety and dismissed proposals by advocates that promoted services and housing. Advocates maligned the business community’s proposals. Those entrenched positions impeded progress in crafting a broadly accepted plan to end homelessness.
These differences have not been completely erased, but as Home for Good shows, Los Angeles has made progress.In Glendale, we have not been experiencing that divide. In fact, business has been a crucial supporter to the work we do. Our greatest supporter has been Pacific BMW, but many other businesses have supported us over the years financially and as Guest Chefs. It is important to us that local business understands that we want the same things – we don’t want people living on the streets either. We are, in fact, a service to business and to the larger community. If a business sees a homeless person on its doorstep, the staff can call us and we’ll send out an outreach team to help the person. This first step can save precious law enforcement resources for more critical needs.
It was also an honor to be recognized by the business community because nonprofit organizations are often perceived as being fluffy entities, run by a bunch of do-gooders.
Yes, we are a bunch of do-gooders. But we have to be competent do gooders. We have an extraordinary amount of requirements to fulfill to retain our nonprofit status and the public funding we receive. We also have a responsibility to our private funders to ensure we are fulfilling our mission and spending their donations wisely.
Much credit goes to our Board of Directors for all they do as stewards of this organization, as well as to the staff who work tirelessly to fulfill our mission to end homelessness in the greater Glendale area, one person, one family at a time. Cue the applause!