Adaptation in the time of COVID

How Clifford Beers Housing is Responding: April 2020

Dear Friends,

As in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera, our lives continue regardless of this pandemic. We still love. We still argue. We still get tired. And we are learning about our ability to adapt and survive in the most dire of circumstances. I am so grateful for your support and concern for Clifford Beers Housing, our staff and residents during this pandemic.

I know that this may be an incredibly challenging time for you and your loved ones, with working and schooling from home, lost employment, changed routines, health concerns, and high levels of stress. In the midst of these challenges, we have the opportunity to practice empathy. More than ever, it is important to come together and support one another. 

I was recently at the store early in the morning because I had heard that is when the shipment would come in. I was looking for…yup, you guessed it…toilet paper. I took three packs off the shelf. When I got to the register, the cashier informed me I could only take two. So I gave the third pack to the person behind me, because there were only a few left. As I was leaving, the person that was behind me gave me the third pack back. I humbly thanked her and asked if there was anything I could do for her. She said no. She simply wanted to do a good thing. Despite COVID, countless acts of humanity and kindness are happening everyday.

-Our work-
Clifford Beers Housing is adapting as we continue to work from our homes. We are transitioning our annual fundraiser to a virtual extravaganza! Our three essential affordable housing developments continue as scheduled, with safe social distancing and hygiene observed at our construction sites in Long Beach, Sylmar and South LA. We hope that two of these will be completed this year, housing 96 households in dire need of a home.

-Our residents-
In conjunction with our on-site resident service coordinators and property managers, we are doing incredible work supporting our residents in creative ways while practicing safe social distancing. These include providing residents with food, phone and internet access, mental health services by phone and video, access to benefits and financial help, and information on how to stay healthy.

We have completed a financial analysis on our existing affordable apartment communities, to ensure that our reserves are strong and that we will be able to keep the lights on in the event that any of our residents are unable to pay their portion of rent due to job loss or other reason.

-Solutions-
COVID-19 is very much affecting our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness, and we stand with Governor Newsom’s and Mayor Garcetti’s efforts to continue providing essential services such as shelter, healthcare and resources to everyone in this situation. In this time, we are more convinced than ever that permanent housing is the ultimate prescription for health and the solution for homelessness.

We are committed to our mission to end homelessness in Los Angeles, because we believe that everyone should have a home, opportunities, and dignity of life.

As Lewis B., a formerly homeless military veteran who moved from the street into Clifford Beers Housing last year, said, “When you’re living on the streets, you’re worried about surviving in the moment. It’s not possible to social distance. Now that I’m here at home I can stay inside and be safe. I’m a senior so it’s important!”

We are also creating new models of housing that can be developed quickly – we’ll be presenting those models to LA’s leadership for consideration.

We will get through this with your help and support. I hope we can bring all this learning with us into a better world, particularly for the most vulnerable.

With my very best wishes for your well-being,

Cristian Ahumada

Executive Director, Clifford Beers Housing

Christian Ahumada, Executive Director

I am incredibly thankful for each of you, your friendship, and your concern for us and for the most vulnerable in our community. If you are in a position to give, please donate HERE to ensure that we can continue our work to end homelessness, particularly through this crisis.

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