St. Joseph Center dedicated its new 30,000-square-foot facilities on Hampton Drive in Venice with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 18. The 30-year-old institution serves 6,000 working poor and homeless persons each year, and the new quarters unite five programs under one roof: the Family Center and Food Pantry, Early Learning Center, Senior Services, Affordable Housing, and the Culinary Training Program.
The Center sits on property that straddles the city limits between Santa Monica and the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, and so congratulatory remarks were made by both Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Richard Bloom and L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, as well as representatives of County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Congresswoman Jane Harman.
The new multi-use space allows for program enhancements and additions including simultaneous activities ranging from after-school programs for children to computer training for adults.
The September 18 program recognized Steven Hilton of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation who co-chaired the Capital Campaign Committee that has been raising funds for the project since 2002, James Bancroft who chairs the St. Joseph Center Board of Directors, and the Center’s Executive Director Va Lecia Adams, among others. Also recognized was former Executive Director Rhonda Meister, who served in that position for over 20 years until March of this year.
Students of the Center’s Culinary Training Program provided a light luncheon to the more than 100 people who attended the dedication.
The event was opened with a blessing by Bishop Edward Clark of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and closed with ecumenical blessings by Fr. Anthony Gonzalez of St. Clement Catholic Church, Rev. Canon Howard R. Anderson of St. Matthew Episcopal Church, Sr. Mary Sevilla, CSJ, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Rabbi Daniel Shevitz of Mishkon Tephilo Conservative Synagogue.