From left to right: St. Joseph Center Board Member David Herbst; Congresswoman Jane Harman; St. Joseph Center Executive Director Dr. Va Lecia Adams and St. Joseph Center Board Chair Dr. Kevin McCardle
From the St Joseph Center:
Congresswoman Jane Harman visits St. Joseph Center: Congresswoman Hears Firsthand About the Positive Impact of Stimulus Funds on the Community
February 23, 2010, Venice, CA. – Two days shy of the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (AARA) passage by Congress, California Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Venice) took the opportunity to spend some extra time in Venice. She found hopeful results while visiting the Hampton Drive facility of St. Joseph Center, one of the area’s most comprehensive social service agencies serving low-income housed and homeless individuals and families.
“I am pleased that the St. Joseph Center has continued to provide and in fact expanded its essential services and aid to some of the neediest in the community. The expansion of safety net programs and the employment it has created are precisely what Congress intended when it passed the AARA. This funding means new staff positions at the Center and more help for people in the Venice and Santa Monica areas,” said Congresswoman Harman.
During the visit, St. Joseph Center’s Executive Director Dr. Va Lecia Adams and Board Chair Dr. Kevin McCardle shared the devastating impact of the recession on the Center’s low-income and homeless clients and discussed the dramatic increase in need, especially for safety-net services such as the food pantry. Rep. Harman also heard firsthand from staff who are administering projects funded by the AARA, namely Santa Monica’s “Eviction Prevention and Re-Housing Assistance” and Los Angeles’s “Rapid Re-Housing.” These initiatives assist people who have been severely affected by the recession to obtain and maintain stable housing.
St. Joseph Center is creating six new staff positions to implement AARA programs, and after only a few months these new case managers have already helped 60 households in Venice and Santa Monica move out of homelessness or escape eviction. Over the next three years, more than 300 households will benefit from these critical services. Rep. Harman also learned about the Center’s money management services for veterans, a group that she has long championed as part of her notable work on security and intelligence matters.
Jane Harman has represented California’s 36th Congressional district (which stretches from Venice down to Torrance and San Pedro) since 1993, and has made personal contributions to support St. Joseph Center’s work in the community for many years.
About St. Joseph Center
St. Joseph Center is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3), community-based organization whose mission is “to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.” The Center was founded by, and remains affiliated with, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, but it does not provide religious services or instruction and assists persons regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. It creates an environment that develops self-reliance and promotes action in people capable of becoming productive members of the community. The Center serves more than 6,000 individuals annually through 10 integrated programs and a Thrift Store, which offers used items for sale to the public and offers vouchers for free clothing and household goods to those in need.