L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Aaron, LA:RISE program participant
Before joining the LA:RISE program, Aaron was homeless, unemployed, and had no job experience. He said he was drawn to LA:RISE because it was an opportunity to gain new skills that would lead to a stable job and better future.

Aaron attended a janitorial training program conducted by

Daniel, LA:RISE program participant
Daniel was struggling to stay on top of his bills. He was at risk of experiencing homelessness when he learned about LA:RISE and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC), an LA:RISE social enterprise partner.

Daniel said he was drawn to the LA:RISE program because

LA:RISE and Chrysalis logos
Nicole was in an outpatient recovery program and eager to get back in the workforce after a 10-year absence. LA:RISE social enterprise partner Chrysalis helped Nicole enroll in a job-readiness program that provided her the opportunity to touch up her soft skills, work on her resume and practice for job interviews.

Chrysalis offered her a

Mandeep Singh, owner of the Mid-City area Pickford Market
EWDD provides Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), which spearheads the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network (HNMN). The program builds the capacity of corner stores by assisting neighborhood market owners to operate as successful healthy food retailers in underserved communities. This financial support allowed Mandeep Singh, owner of the

Crenshaw YouthSource Center participant Joseph Merchain (center) carries items in a parking lot at SoFi Stadium, the home base for the Los Angeles Rams
Joseph Merchain, a Crenshaw YouthSource Center (YSC) participant, was selected last fall for an internship with the Los Angeles Rams. Joseph split his time between the Rams headquarters in Agoura Hills and SoFi Stadium. He reported to Johnathan Franklin, director of Social Justice and Football Development for the Rams.

During his internship, Joseph met with

Juan and Neris Gonzalez, owners of the two Tamales House restaurants in San Fernando Valley
The South Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) assisted husband and wife team Juan and Neris Gonzalez with finding COVID-19 financial relief grants that helped them keep their Tamales House restaurants afloat during the pandemic.

Located in North Hills and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, the Tamales House Restaurants gained popularity for

Graciela Renderos, an East Hollywood area sidewalk vendor
Graciela Renderos, a longtime sidewalk vendor from the East Hollywood area, was awarded a $5,000 grant through the City of Los Angeles Comeback Checks Program in December 2021.

Graciela began her journey with the Hollywood BusinessSource Center (BSC) in 2020. She sought to obtain her sidewalk vending permit and spoke to a business consultant to learn more about the permitting process. The business consultant also rendered technical assistance services, such as

Alberto Paxtor (left) a South Los Angeles area sidewalk vendor
Alberto Paxtor is a sidewalk vendor in the South Los Angeles area who sells clothing, used items, and facemasks. Alberto suffered heavy financial losses to his business and livelihood due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this difficult time, the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC) built a relationship with Alberto to support his business and provide access to capital. In 2020, staff assisted Alberto in successfully applying for the

Dustin Kramer, LA:RISE participant
Dustin Kramer, 23, is part of the LGBTQIA community and has been navigating life alone since being impacted by the justice system. He does not have a close relationship with his family and after his charges, his family withdrew their support completely. He is currently on parole supervision.

LA:RISE partner Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO) helped

Trudy Magee, LA:RISE participant
At age 70, Trudy Magee lived in a homeless shelter and struggled to recover from a spinal surgery that she said slowed down her ability to think, talk, and walk. She had a career in local government and in 2012, ran for California State Assembly, where she garnered 2,487 votes.

"My struggle with homelessness took its toll on me. After

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