Homing in on Tomorrow!
Together we can make housing happen for everyone!
We are halfway to our goal of $15,000 so we have extended our deadline until July 4. We are grateful for the generous donations we have received so far, and we hope you'll help us to reach our goal.
It is hard to overstate the need for affordable housing. In Pasadena, according to the last Housing Element, 43% of renters and 34% of homeowners are severely cost burdened, i.e. pay more than half of their income on housing. That adds up to around 20,000 residents of our city who are housing insecure, and many are at risk of eviction due to the COVID pandemic. Over 500 residents are homeless, and 600 families meet the federal definition of homelessness. Other cities are facing similar challenges, and are looking for solutions like the ones we have enacted in our city.
Two years ago Making Housing and Community Happen (MHCH) had a vision: we wanted to see affordable housing built on an empty city-owned lot next to Pasadena’s magnificent City Hall. We held prayer vigils, met with elected officials, and spoke up at City Council meetings. After a year of organizing, our prayers were answered: 112 units of affordable senior housing were approved by the Pasadena City Council, with at least 10% set aside for those experiencing homelessness.
Many years ago Pasadena mapped out a vision for its future where every resident has a decent, safe and affordable home. Like many other cities, Pasadena has been mandated by the state to plan for sufficient housing, including 6,000 units of affordable housing in the next eight years.
Some say this goal is unreachable. But it reflects the real need and it’s a golden opportunity to advance racial and housing justice. We’ve been working tirelessly in coalition with congregations and justice groups to make sure affordable housing happens to meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. We meet with elected officials, organize prayer vigils, conduct educational forums, and train people throughout our region and the country with our One-Day Housing Justice Institutes.
We now have 7 teams with over 50 volunteers working to make housing happen and help end homelessness. With our collaborative efforts, Pasadena has lowered the homeless count by 56% in the last ten years. It is possible to end homelessness! Our congregational land team now has 46 churches interested in having affordable housing built on their underutilized land, and is working with a handful of cities to adjust the zoning to make this possible.
We now have four part-time staff and two interns: Carla Marr (recently hired as our new Executive Assistant), Ryan McCune (an intern from Azusa Pacific University), Wendy Mesias (an intern from Fuller Seminary), Margaret Lee (a professor in the Sociology Dept. of Azusa Pacific University), and Bert Newton, (Mennonite pastor/activist).
As we increase our staff and volunteers, we would also like to increase the membership of our organization, which is helpful when we apply for grants. Please support our efforts with a contribution and/or by becoming a member: https://makinghousinghappen.net/2021/05/10/mhch-membership/ You can also make an online donation by going to this site.
Our goal for this campaign is $15,000; some may want to use stimulus checks and tax refund. Please note that if you want to use a check, please send it to MHCH, 1423 N Garfield Ave, Pasadena CA 91004, and make check payable to our fiscal sponsor "Social Good."
Now is the time to home in on our future and make affordable housing happen for everyone!
To see a video of our Housing Justice Institute, see https://youtu.be/SS_748UUeqU .