Hope the Mission executives arrived in Sacramento late last week after cycling more than 500 miles to meet with state legislators to advocate for policy that supports affordable housing and the ability to build emergency and transitional housing.
Ken Craft, founder and CEO, and Rowan Vansleve, president, cycled from the organization’s headquarters in the San Fernando Valley to the state Capitol. When they arrived, they were welcomed by legislators Sen. Caroline Menjivar (SD-20), Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo (AD-40) and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (AD-46).
Craft and Vansleve embarked on this journey to raise funds to open a new shelter and to advocate for housing policy, like Senate Bill 4 (Wiener), which would provide a streamlined process for religious organizations and nonprofit colleges to develop affordable housing on their property regardless of local zoning restrictions.
“We cycled to Sacramento because we need a revolution in affordable housing and shelter to combat our state’s housing and homelessness crisis,” said Vansleve. “We are also there to thank our lawmakers for developing good policy that encourages the development of affordable and supportive housing, and we want to encourage them to continue supporting similar policies. The issue can be addressed by working together through private-public partnership, like Project HomeKey, that enabled us to open three family shelters in Los Angeles.”
“To effectively address the homelessness crisis, we must build a strong coalition from our neighborhoods and local nonprofits to local governments to state offices,” said Menjivar. “I am committed to working with city and county departments, community members and organizations, like Hope the Mission, to ensure that our solutions are inclusive and successful. I thank Rowan Vansleve, Ken Craft and Hope the Mission for their dedicated service to the most vulnerable Californians.”
At the finish line ceremony, Hope the Mission and legislators reaffirmed their commitment to working alongside one another to address an issue that impacts their districts and communities across California.
“Hope the Mission has done extraordinary work assisting people experiencing homelessness in our community,” said Gabriel. “But we must do much more to address our housing and homelessness crisis. We need more affordable housing, and more tools and resources to help organizations like Hope the Mission permanently house more people.”
“Tackling the homelessness crisis is a top priority for those in our community and our office and Hope the Mission has been a longtime leader in moving our neighbors out of homelessness,” said Schiavo. “I’m grateful for their amazing feat — biking 500 miles — to raise awareness about the needed housing solutions. I’m excited to work together to fight for the resources required to ensure that we have a home for everyone in need.”