Every night, Ascencia’s dining room is filled with families and adults who are living in its 40-bed emergency shelter. On the afternoon of Dec. 2 it was filled with the people who helped make the two-story space and the offices and the shelter surrounding it possible.
Ascencia’s board of directors and staff celebrated the community of supporters who helped Ascencia surpass its three-year Advancing Ascencia capital campaign $7.45 million goal by $340,000 to raise a total of $7.79 million. As a result of the Campaign, Ascencia has established itself as a permanent institution in the community with the purchase and renovation of an 11,500 square-foot Access Center that serves as the vibrant hub of programming, as well as a nearby nine-unit supportive housing apartment building for chronically homeless households, and the expansion of services to homeless individuals and families in Northeast LA.
David Ho, Jr., president of Pacific BMW, spoke on behalf of the S. H. Ho Foundation, which donated the initial $2 million grant that was matched by the City of Glendale with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
Ho told the audience, “This campaign has been a perfect blend of government officials and departments working alongside the private sector to together, make real change happen in the city of Glendale. Simply looking at the list of names of all those who donated, it is easy to see that the mission which Ascencia is seeking to achieve is something that will benefit everyone in the city of Glendale. It is with a unifying mission of ending homelessness in the greater Glendale area that Ascencia has managed to ignite the passion of giving of both the public and private sector.”
The S.H. Ho Foundation gave over $2.5 million over the course of the campaign.
In addition to recognizing their leadership, the event also honored outgoing Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich for his generous contribution to the Campaign with the permanent naming of Ascencia’s commercial kitchen. Over the course of a year, hundreds of volunteer “guest chefs” use the kitchen to prepare hot meals numbering more than 14,600 for shelter residents.
Additional areas named in the building include the Pacific BMW and David L. Ho, Jr. Lobby, and the W.M. Keck Conference Room. The event will also commemorate the historic accomplishment through unveiling a permanent donor wall recognizing the individuals, foundations, and government agencies who contributed to the Advancing Ascencia campaign.
Past Ascencia Board President Mia Lee opened the program and Executive Director Natalie Komuro named the foundations and individual donors who contributed to the campaign’s capital and program elements.
“We now have a home, we are not at risk of being homeless ourselves and, because of your support, we have not only the buildings that enable us to carry out this work, but we have been able to hire the staff that makes this agency what it is,” said Komuro.
Ascencia is one of only a few comprehensive homeless service agencies in Los Angeles County, and the only one serving Glendale and its surrounding communities. Ascencia provides homeless people with a path to permanent housing and stability by providing assistance with employment, trauma therapy, addiction recovery, mental health services and securing housing, as well as practical needs including laundry, showers and mail service. The facility also contains a 40-bed shelter for families and children. Ascencia serves 1,200 men, women and children each year through its Access Center and coordinates services with partner agencies in Northeast Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Burbank, and the San Fernando Valley.