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Aug 02, 2022
LOS ANGELES — LA Family Housing (LAFH), City National Bank, and LA City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, District 7, kicked off the back-to-school season today by distributing backpacks filled with school supplies to approximately 300 school-aged children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.
“Supporting our community is a big part of who we are at City National Bank, and we are honored to work with LA Family Housing to make sure students enrolled in their programs have the supplies they need to succeed in school,” said Jennifer Nickerson, Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship at City National Bank. “LA Family Housing provides an invaluable service to our communities by connecting housing and critical resources to families experiencing homelessness, including nearly a thousand school-aged children.”
Other event supporters and partners include Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Los Angeles Public Library, the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Head Start program, Kid Dangerous, and School on Wheels. Students received clothing and shoes, and LAUSD was on site to register the students for school. The event took place at The Vagabond Motel in Sylmar, California, where LAFH provides interim housing and supportive services to families experiencing homelessness.
“The return to the classroom should be a time of excitement and joy for all students. With this support from City National Bank and Councilmember Rodriguez, we’re thrilled that the children of LAFH will be heading back to school with the resources to succeed,” said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, President and CEO of LA Family Housing. “These backpacks make a big difference for these students and their families because they send a message that we are here for them and rooting for them.”
This back-to-school season comes at a time when more students are living in shelters, motels, cars, and on the streets than in previous years. According to the Los Angeles County Office of Education, there are 51,287 students in LA County today who are without a stable place to sleep each night, which represents 1 out of every 50 students 18 and younger in Los Angeles.
“We know that students experiencing homelessness face greater barriers to academic success than their peers,” said Councilmember Rodriguez. “For the families LA Family Housing supports, these new backpacks and supplies are a symbol of hope. Our office is proud to be a part of sending them back to school with a fresh start.”
This event is part of City National Bank’s commitment to provide a backpack to every child enrolled in an LAFH program. This year, the bank will donate 1,400 backpacks to LAFH to be distributed across all its programs and housing sites. Since 2010, City National has donated more than 21,500 backpacks to students across the country.
As one of the largest homeless service providers and affordable real estate developers in Los Angeles, LAFH connects 12,000 individuals and families with the housing resources and supportive services that enable them to regain personal stability and transition out of homelessness. In 2021, LAFH moved more than 2,400 women, men, and children into permanent homes and has nearly 750 permanent and supportive homes in its real estate development pipeline to be completed in the coming years.