March 5, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Celebrating Stories Of Success For No Longer Homeless Individuals:

The 18th annual Celebrating Success Breakfast was held last Friday morning, honoring 24 previously homeless individuals who, with the support of local nonprofit agencies, made extraordinary transitions from homelessness to lives filled with passion and promise.

The event also honored 10 local businesses, organizations, and individuals who dedicated significant resources to supporting the member agencies of the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition. Home for Good received the 2013 WSHC Partnership Award.

Here are biographies of three of the 2013 honorees:

Ronald McKinley (recognized by Venice Community Housing)

I was born and raised in New Orleans, the first in my family to attend college. I first experienced homelessness shortly after moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a musician. I was not prepared for LA – it was so much larger than New Orleans and felt like an alien planet. I developed a cocaine addiction, and after having a falling-out with the friend I was living with, I became homeless, living on Venice beach. After a few years I overcame my addiction, found employment as a taxi driver and secured housing – living in my apartment for almost 17 years.

In 2007 I was evicted due to a combination of health problems, losing my job and the economic collapse. I was unhoused from 2007 to 2011. While homeless I would go to St. Joseph Center almost daily. It was like a job, a schedule I had to keep. I would often arrive by 4:30 a.m. to make sure I was first or second in line for a hot shower. I also got meals and participated in group sessions.

In August 2011 Venice Community Housing opened Horizon Apartments for chronically homeless individuals and I was able to secure an apartment. Although I have now been housed for two years, I am just beginning to accept that this truly is my apartment, my home. Recently I began playing music again and have been writing columns and poetry for The Venice Beachhead. In the future I hope to reconnect with my family, reconstruct my family’s history and explore my roots in the South.

Eydie Rockwell (recognized by Venice Family Clinic)

Eydie was born and raised in Phoenix but moved to LA the first chance she got. Her mom had to keep coming to fetch her back to Phoenix because she kept running away. But she would move back to LA. At 18 she got married. Before she knew it, she had two babies in diapers and soon after, a divorce on the way. Those were simpler times: her girls were raised on a waitress’s salary and, although she didn’t have much she managed. Once the kids were out, however, things started getting worse. She turned to drugs. Over time, using cocaine became ‘like breathing” to her. “It’s very addictive,” she admits. But she got help the same year she started using and moved in with her mom and helped raise her sister’s daughters. Then she moved to Venice beach to help her daughters raise their children.

In 2006 out of nowhere she had a stroke. “I remember having such difficulty trying to find words after the stroke.” At one point she remembers crying because she couldn’t read her own grocery lists. At that point she found Venice Family Clinic where she met Dr. King. During the economic crisis when she lost her home and just barely got by making candles, she found herself homeless. She “tried to afford a single apartment” but “I ended up in my daughter’s garage.” She stayed there for four years even though it was meant to be temporary. But, thanks to Venice Family Clinic, St. Joseph Center and the Integrated Mobile Health Team (IMHT), she has been housed. “I love my home! I can spend my life enjoying my family which has always been the most important thing of all.”

Bernadette Morris (recognized by New Directions for Veterans)

Hello, my name is Bernadette Morris. I’m a 53-year-old mother of three sons and three daughters. I stay in contact with five of my children and am still searching for one of them. Both of my lovely parents are alive and play a huge role in my life. I also have one brother who is surrounded with the despairs of addiction.

I started using drugs in junior high school, which in turn started me on a long path of addiction and homelessness. I was in and out of jail for my addiction and criminal behavior. I was also in and out of many drug programs but wasn’t ready to fight for my sanity, for my children or for my life. After my last arrest the shame and humility of being in jail yet again was the last straw. I was released to New Directions and I believe that this time I was ready and willing to learn how to change everything about me and to change my life. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity given to me through counseling, informational groups, therapy, and support groups, and to learn how living in a therapeutic community can help and guide me to become a better mother and a better person. I have a zest for life, a love for those in need and I will always remain grateful for the new life given to me through New Directions.

I am currently employed and have my own apartment. I attend meetings on a regular basis. Most of all I enjoy my new way of living. I thank God for a new way of life.

in News
Related Posts

(Video) Sweet Lady Jane is back. The Santa Monica location on Montana soft opened today. Exclusive: The other locations will start to soft open later this week

March 5, 2024

March 5, 2024

The triple berry cake is packed with juicy berries. @Sweet Lady Jane @smmirrornews Sweet Lady Jane is back. The Santa...

Malibu Canyon Road Safety Inspection By LA County Public Works Department Completed

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

Engineers Examine Rockslide Area to Ensure Road Safety for Commuters Los Angeles County Public Works Department officially reopened Malibu Canyon...

Suspect in Custody After Breaking Into Woman’s Residence, Masturbating While She Slept

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

The Man Was Arrested for Burglary, Indecent Exposure and Attempt to Commit Rape By Zach Armstrong A homeless man has...

“We Must Have Significant Green Space Within a 10-Minute Walk of Every Resident”: Mayor Brock Issues 2024 State of the City Speech

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

Plans Were Announced to Rename Virginia Avenue Park After the City’s First Black Recreation & Parks Commissioner By Zach Armstrong...

Instagram Executive Puts Spanish-Style Venice Home on the Market

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

Nestled in the heart of the East of Lincoln neighborhood, the bungalow includes coved ceilings According to a report by...

Seven-Bedroom Beachfront Home Lists for $12.5M

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Built in 1929, Amenities Include a Sparkling Pool, Home Theater and Elevator  This beachfront residence, boasting panoramic views from Palos...

LA City Council Greenlights Master Leasing Program to Tackle Homelessness Crisis

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Unanimous Vote Sets Stage for Different Approach to Expand Housing Options The Los Angeles City Council came one step closer...

LAHSA Report Exposes Failures of Anti-Camping Ordinance, Allegedly Kept Secret Since November

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

City Controller and Council Members Speak Out Against Withheld Report  LA City Controller Kenneth Meija posted comments on social media...

Construction Alert: Topanga Canyon Boulevard Faces Nightly Closures Starting March 4

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

Caltrans Announces 18-Mile Project Spanning Chatsworth to PCH Commuters in the Los Angeles area should prepare for significant delays as...

Film Review: Nyad

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

FILM REVIEWNYADRated PG-13121 MinutesReleased November 3rdOscar Nominations: Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress “I failed many times, but I can...

Security Officers Being Deployed at Big Blue Bus Stations and Routes

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

The Guards will be provided by a firm with other security contracts with the city of Santa Monica  By Zach...

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

Upcoming Ice Cream Shop on Montana Ave. Will Serve Multitude of Vegan Flavors

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

The Company Has Come a Long Way Since Its Humble Beginnings as a New York City Food Truck By Zach...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...