Empowering families to overcome barriers to housing and helping people transition out of homelessness and poverty, Upward Bound House offers programs that build on each family’s strengths and teach them professional and life skills while also bolstering their ability to be self-sufficient and independent. Since its inception in 1991, the nonprofit 501c3 organization has placed more than 1,400 families in permanent housing, including 2,600 children.
In line with its mission to eliminate homelessness among families with children in Los Angeles by providing housing, supportive services and advocacy, Upward Bound House stepped up to help families find housing after being displaced by the Woolsey Fire last November.
“We have assessed 35 heads of households and provided varying levels of assistance to 22 of them” states Paula Brooks, Residential Coordinator
The organization’s 7th Annual Home Run For Kids community fundraiser held in West Los Angeles this past February featured a morning of exercise, food and fun to benefit Upward Bound House’s programs.
A Successful Effort
Noting its extraordinary record of success in addressing family homelessness and helping thousands of people transition from homelessness into permanent housing, with more than 90% of these families still in their homes a year after placement, Upward Bound House operates on the premise that every homeless family has the potential to succeed—and helps make that success a reality.
“We strive to reduce the number of homeless families with minor children who are hungry and living on the streets of Los Angeles, by helping them access basic resources and successfully transition into their own homes with the capacity to remain there permanently,” states Christine Mirasy-Glasco, Executive Director.
Upward Bound House’s programs address housing and supportive services suited to each family’s specific needs and are designed to empower homeless parents and their children to obtain housing stability, build healthy relationships, and enjoy emotional and financial well-being. A team of professional staff offers an array of services in housing, employment and evidence-based, trauma-informed care to over 400 families annually in Santa Monica, Culver City, Compton and South Los Angeles.
Upward Bound House’s housing assistance programs include a variety of options:
For families in need of shelter and support, Upward Bound House provides medium-term bridge housing on the Westside.
Case managers, housing locators and employment specialists work with each family to assess their unique needs and create a customized plan for achieving long-term stability and independence. Once in permanent housing, families build on their success with aftercare support from program staff and an expansive network of community partners.
The goal is to ensure that families feel secure and supported, and that all school-age youth in the programs attend school. In addition to 21 one-bedroom units, families also have access to common areas, including a playground, laundry room, garden, and library, as well as an on-site food pantry and a “thrift store.” Parents and their children enjoy enrichment activities, including tutoring, life skills and holiday events.
Upward Bound House provides families in crisis with short-term emergency shelter on the Westside and in South Los Angeles.
Throughout their time in shelter, children and their parents are provided with daily grab-and-go breakfasts and hot evening meals, as well as clothing and household items as needed. While in a safe and comfortable living space with their children, parents work with case managers, housing locators and employment specialists to achieve stability and independence for their families. The goal is to help move families into permanent housing and connect them with a vast network of community partners while also continuing to support their growth with aftercare services.
Upward Bound House’s Rapid Rehousing program works to help the growing population of families in South Los Angeles who are experiencing homelessness.
Using the Housing First model, families are moved into permanent affordable housing as quickly as possible, and assisted with move-in costs, such as security and utility deposits and short-medium term declining rental subsidies, and provided intensive social services while families are in their own homes. These supportive services are designed to enhance each family’s stability and equip them with the skills and resources needed to sustain and thrive in housing and avoid future homelessness.
Urban Farm Project
Families and community members come together at a beautiful Healthy Living Farm to learn, grow, harvest and eat. Located in Santa Monica, this productive urban farm plays a vital role in reducing food insecurity in the homeless community, encourages community partnership, and acts as an effective tool for teaching practical skills for healthy living. The following are some key components of the urban farm program:
Healthy Living: The farm program is designed to promote healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle by teaching families to grow and prepare their own food.
Life Skills: Gardening, farming, shopping and cooking are integrated into the Life Skills classes offered to the parents in the program and also as an enrichment activity in children’s programs.
Vocational Training: The farm program is also designed as a teaching tool with the potential for vocational training in nursery, landscaping and culinary professions.
Community Engagement: Residents and volunteers from local schools and businesses grow, maintain and harvest the farm alongside families in the programs.
Contact Upward Bound House at 310.458.7779 or learn more at UpwardBoundHouse.org. Follow them at @upward_bound_house and Facebook: Upward Bound House.
Upward Bound House by the Numbers
1,050 Family members served
80% Families moved into their own homes
90% Families retained permanent housing for a year or more
780 Hours of 1-on-1 tutoring for school-aged children
1,400 Hours of job training workshops for adult family members
93 Adult family members increased their income through employment
Upward Bound House by the Numbers 1,050 Family members served 80% Families moved into their own homes 90% Families retained permanent housing for a year or more 780 Hours of 1-on-1 tutoring for school-aged children 1,400 Hours of job training workshops for adult family members 93 Adult family members increased their income through employment