239 S. Barrington Ave. in Brentwood

239 S. Barrington Ave. in Brentwood

While the homeless issue continues to vex Los Angeles and other cities across the country, there seems to be a shift underway among business leaders when it comes to their thinking about the topic.
Hannah Madans’ cover story this week points to just one example of those changing attitudes. The piece explores unique public-private-nonprofit partnerships that have sprung up in a bid to help ease the homeless situation.

The resulting programs are compassionate and pragmatic, and they reward businesses (in this case, landlords) for their participation.

It seems like a smart approach, even if it is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to providing that much-needed bigger fix.

The story also reflects an increasingly widespread recognition that this problem, which clearly defies easy solutions, now requires some sort of broader community response.
Indeed, the Business Journal recently asked our readers if companies should play a role in ending the crisis. Nearly 60% of respondents said yes.

Although those polled differed on what that involvement would look like — from straight philanthropy and job training to working with elected officials to develop new assistance programs — the sentiment was clear.

The homeless question was a pressing one long before the pandemic arrived.
I can tell you that it was frequently raised by top local execs during lunches and coffee meetings, and could even be heard in snatches of side conversations when the Business Journal held its in-person events (here’s hoping we’re able to resume those soon, by the way).

While it’s likely that homelessness will remain a pain point for some time to come, it’s an encouraging sign that the business community is more willing than ever to participate in the search for answers.

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The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, a public-private partnership that includes Exposition Park’s Natural History Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum in Mid-Wilshire, has announced some leadership changes.

The board of trustees named Heather de Roos as president, Megan McGowan Epstein as vice president and Kermit Crawford as a board member. Naomi Rainey-Pierson has been added to the organization’s board of governors.

• • •

Bank of America recently announced that it will provide 104 Los Angeles-area nonprofits with $3.97 million in grants this year. The bank said its goal in supporting the nonprofits, which focus on workforce development and career education and resources, is to help disadvantaged individuals and families find economic stability and position them for growth.

BofA provided some $4 million in donations to nonprofits for food, housing and medical care during 2020 to address issues driven by Covid-19.

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