Report calls for new and independent entity to unite the community and provide accountability while addressing homelessness in Los Angeles
May 19 (Los Angeles, CA) — The Weingart Foundation, a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice, announced today its support and key role as a funder and convener of the Committee of Greater L.A.’s Homelessness Governance in Los Angeles: Centering the System report. This report proposes a governance committee to bring experts, community leaders, and philanthropists together to strategically work with local and federal governments in order to drive measurable outcomes on homelessness.
The Weingart Foundation’s President and C.E.O., Miguel A. Santana, also chairs the Committee for Greater L.A., which is a cross-sectoral group of Angelenos calling for sweeping systemic changes to dismantle institutional racism. Santana’s effectiveness in this role stems from his experience in uniting stakeholders across sectors, particularly in order to address homelessness in the Los Angeles region. Homelessess is an epidemic that continues to increase, up 12.9% since 2019.
“This humanitarian crisis needs a long term solution that takes into account the systemic racist inequality and history that we have all had a part in,” said Miguel A. Santana, President and C.E.O. of the Weingart Foundation and Chair of the Committee for Greater L.A. “It’s time we come together to develop a system that not only serves our community, but can be an example to other cities across the world. Based on the Weingart Foundation’s long experience in this field and working with communities, it is clear that true progress will only come when we align resources and institutions to address homelessness with urgency and accountability.”
Over the past 70 years, the Weingart Foundation has been a major funder of critical services for people experiencing homelessness, nonprofit affordable housing developers, and innovative solutions for housing production, providing more than $15 million over the past five years in grants and loans. But despite the Foundation’s contributions and that of others, systemic failures around collaboration and accountability continue to block real change.
“Any structure for addressing homelessness must focus on what will work for Los Angeles, given its unique governance challenges and its specific homelessness governance issues,” said Joanna Jackson, the Weingart Foundation’s Vice President of Programs. “The first step is forming an independent governing committee to work together, and having Miguel lead this initiative will bring us closer to addressing the specific needs of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.”
The Weingart Foundation’s commitment to ending homelessness led to its key role in funding the report by the Greater Committee for Greater LA, and its author Raphael J. Sonenshein, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. With Miguel A. Santana’s leadership, the new taskforce will work toward solving one of Los Angeles’ biggest challenges.
ABOUT THE WEINGART FOUNDATION
The Weingart Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all. Our vision is a dynamic and effective social change sector that is creating equitable systems and structures needed to achieve justice. Founded in 1951, the Foundation has to date granted over $1 billion to organizations, strengthening their efforts in human services, health, education, and community power building. In addition, the Foundation builds networks and collaboratives with philanthropic, public sector, and community leaders to advance equity and justice together.