Celebrating 30 Years of Building Stories of Hope and The Spirit of Giving

On October 25th, Hollywood Community Housing celebrated its 30th Anniversary at the iconic Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Our special evening was attended by 250 guests, including Congressman Tony Cardenas and City of Baldwin Park Councilmember Alejandra Avila. Talented young musicians from the Fernando Pullman Community Arts Center entertained our attendees with beautiful songs related to “home” and many guests hit the dance floor for a fun time during our “Dancing in the Wings” after-party featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jeffrey Osborne

Our milestone event honored three of HCHC’s residents, including two formerly homeless individuals, who have all volunteered and given back to their community.  Our three honorees who received the “Spirit of Giving” awards include: 

Franklin Abrams

HCHC Board President Jerry Neuman, Board Member Nisha Vyas, Honoree Franklin Abrams and HCHC ED Sarah Letts 

Franklin has been a resident with HCHC  for over 10 years and his time with HCHC followed a period of homelessness in 2008. Since Franklin understood the importance of receiving life-saving supportive services, he has since realized his calling of being a shoulder that others can lean on. He has given back to the broader community through his volunteer work at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where he shared his life experiences by serving as a facilitator. Later, he was hired by Pacific Lyons Care where he conducted support groups on homelessness, mental health and people living with HIV/AIDS.  

Franklin is currently in the process of writing a guidebook on how to navigate the system while being homeless, as well as sharing stories about his own journey, in the hope of inspiring others along the way.

The Barrera Callejas Family

HCHC Board President Jerry Neuman, Board Member Fr. Michael Gutierrez, Honorees from The Barrera Callejas Family: Socorro, Adrian, Veronica and Adrian Jr. and HCHC ED Sarah Letts

The Barrera Callejas Family – the parents Socorro and Adrian, and their children Veronica and Adrian Jr., have been residents with HCHC since 2009. Socorro and Veronica have testified in front of the County Board of Supervisors to advocate for more affordable housing.   They know how their lives have changed for the better – and they want more people to have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.  

In addition to encouraging elected officials to commit more resources to create affordable housing and provide essential services, they have also volunteered at HCHC’s Food Pantry for 8 years. They were a tremendous asset to the pantry and assisted with overall operations including loading and unloading of vans, sorting food items, checking for expiration dates, distributing food, and keeping the pantry clean and organized. In addition, Adrian Jr. is a keen photographer, and he donates his skills and time to take pictures at Hollywood Community Housing events.

Joseph Ramirez

HCHC Board President Jerry Neuman, Honoree Joe Ramirez, Officer Gutierrez, HCHC ED Sarah Letts and Congressman Antonio Cárdenas

Joseph Ramirez served proudly in the military for 4 years.  More recently, however, medical bills and a few other challenges entered his life, and Joseph found himself without a home for 6 years.   Frustrated with the inhumane conditions, Joseph approached El Monte Police Officer Rodney Gutierrez, a homeless liaison from LA County Sheriff’s department, with a proposition.

Joseph said, “I wanted to put some pride into where we were living, I asked him for shovels, brooms and trash bags and we just started cleaning it up. There were times when I was out there cleaning by myself, but I gave him my word and my word is all I have.” 

Joseph’s spark for change motivated other homeless people to join in, and even Officer Rodriguez found himself lending a hand when he was off duty. Their inspiring partnership resulted in removing approximately 31 dumpsters of trash from the riverbed. 

30K BBBF challenge in honor of our 30th Anniversary!

Mark Brown, former chair and invaluable patron of HCHC, and his wife Janet Brown, who dedicated her career to early childhood education, pledged to match donations made during the event towards our Books, Backbacks, and Bright Futures (BBBF) program.  The Brown Family agreed to match up to $15,000 to raise $30,000 in honor of HCHC’s 30years of service in Los Angeles.  The BBBF program supports the academic success of children living in HCHC properties strives to nurture a life-long love of learning. We are so pleased to announce that we surpassed our goal and raised funds in excess of $18,000 all of which was very generously matched by the Brown Family! We are delighted to have raised more than $33,000 and are very grateful to the Brown Family for their continued kindness. 

Thank you to all of HCHC’s supporters who continue to inspire us to focus on the future with a renewed determination to make Los Angeles a more just and equitable place for all people to live with dignity. With your continued partnership, we strive to build more stories of hope for many years to come!  

Special Thanks to Our Event Sponsors Who Made Our Special Evening Happen

30th Anniversary Sponsor 

U.S. Bank

Hollywood Boulevard Sponsor

City National Bank

Sunset Boulevard Sponsors 

Barker Management and CIT Bank 

Highland Avenue Sponsors 

Union Bank and Walton Construction

Fountain Avenue Sponsors 

Bank of America, DLA Piper, JP Morgan Chase, Keller and Associates and WestporConstruction

Western Avenue Sponsors 

AMJ Construction, Bocarsly Emden, Gallagher and Great American Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, Killefer Flammang Architects, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, the Lee Andrews Group, the National Equity Fund, Netflix, United Building Company. 

Vine Street Sponsors 

Alpha Construction, Brooks + Scarpa, Cedars-Sinai, Century Housing Corp., Citi Community Capital, Delta Air Lines, Deloitte, Enterprise Community Partners, HCVT, Kevin Daly Architects, Kilroy Real Estate, Low-Income Investment Fund, Mark Lahmon Architects, Rosenheim and Associates, Shelter Architects, LLP, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Wells Fargo. 

In-Kind Donors

Bright Event Rentals, Los Angeles Rams, The Television Academy

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