The Wilshire House in Santa Monica provides low-income housing for senior citizens through the Retirement Housing Foundation.
As of late, senior citizens of the Wilshire House have been involved in a community service endeavor through Project H.A.N.D.S. (Helping Angels National Donated Support), a program created by the Retirement Housing Foundation to encourage residents to make a positive impact on the lives of young people.
Founded in 1961, the Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF) is one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of housing and services for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and low-income families.
The foundation has provided 72 units for senior citizens in need of a residence.
The housing provided by RHF is subsidized by Section 8 Housing, which functions through the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.
The Section 8 program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides housing assistance payments to landlords in order to benefit those in need.
Project H.A.N.D.S. was created as a way for RHF residents to give back to their respective communities.
The project encourages residents to knit, crochet, and sew various items that are to be donated to children’s shelters and battered women’s shelters.
The senior citizens of the Wilshire House were eager to seize the opportunity to give back to their community.
Alla Begel, Social Service Coordinator for the Wilshire House, said this community service project was relatable for residents because for many, the fear of homelessness was real and present.
“We took this project upon ourselves and have been participating in it for two years,” Begel said. “We are giving back to the community and we understand the importance of helping others because our residents have been helped by the government.”
Ten senior citizens of the Wilshire House are creating items to be donated to a women’s shelter in Santa Monica.
Participants have been sewing, crocheting, and knitting mittens, hats, scarves, blankets, and stuffed animals, for youth and women in need.
The Wilshire House is currently seeking donations from the community to fund specific items for the home’s community room.
“Because we are trying to support the larger community, we are hoping someone will support our own community,” Begel said.
She said that the building is a quiet one, so it is important for the residents to be able to come together and socialize in the community room.
Begel is hoping for a new television as members of the home enjoy coming together and watching movies and sporting programs with one another.
“As many of the residents are hearing impaired and visually impaired, it would be nice to have a large, loud TV for them to gather around,” she said.
The Wilshire House is also seeking donations for the following items: Ping-Pong table, patio furniture, stackable chairs, and sitting area furniture.
“Letting the senior citizens get together and socialize with one another would be positive,” Begel said. “The community room, with its limited resources, is our only room for people to get together, so we want to make it comfortable.”
The Wilshire House is located on 1125 3rd Street #100, and can be contacted at 310.395.4545.