2018 Grants Challenge

World Harvest Dream Village: Affordable Housing with Food, Jobs, Healthcare, and Community.

It’s the dream we all dream of: A village in the city where you can live, work, eat, learn, play, heal, connect, and create.


Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

World Harvest is designing a 100-unit affordable housing complex that includes a grocery store style food bank, restaurants, jobs and job training, a health clinic, a credit union, a community garden, artists-in-residence, free bikes and Wi-Fi, a maker space, a small business incubator, and more. This model can be replicated across L.A. County and beyond. We will create project replication materials to help build affordable housing dream villages in every community.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your activation impact?​

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Housing affordability

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?​

LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?​

Digital organizing or activism

Trainings and/or in-person engagements

Encourage businesses to change practices

Influence individual behavior

Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to LIVE?​

We all dream of living the village life, but we love our big city, too. The World Harvest Dream Village is a place where you can have it all: Affordable housing, groceries and restaurants, healthcare on site, jobs and job training, a maker space and small business incubator, a credit union with microloans, free bikes and Wi-Fi, multigenerational housing, artists-in-residence, community gardens, participatory budgeting projects, and other elements of a healthy, thriving, authentic village community — located in the big city.

We are not reinventing any wheels. These elements all pre-exist. Our innovation is to bring them together with affordable housing, which is made possible by the passage of County Measure H and City Proposition HHH, which provide funds to build affordable housing. We’ll stretch these dollars by bringing in additional partners to fund the build. Activating Angelenos to help plan this project will raise awareness that there is a better way to live, that we can live our dreams, and that it’s up to us to build it for ourselves. We can do it!

Food, housing, and healthcare are the top three metrics addressed by the proposed project. Over a third of households in Central L.A. experience food insecurity, and a sixth experience hunger — among the highest rates in L.A. County. A combination of rising rents, barriers to building affordable housing, and stagnant wages has resulted in a humanitarian crisis of homelessness and housing insecurity. L.A.’s poorest residents pay more than half of their income to stay housed. Universal access to healthcare remains out of reach. The proposed project addresses these issues through a replicable, modular Dream Village model.

Operating almost entirely without grant funding for nearly ten years, World Harvest social supermarket has a proven capacity for managing complex projects. In addition to serving 50,000 clients annually on a self-sustaining budget, we provide many tons a week of high-quality diverted waste food on demand to clients like the L.A. Zoo and reentry transitional housing agencies.

With the award of LA2050 Activation Challenge funding, the World Harvest Dream Village will lead a two-year activation in collaboration with the city, the county, our neighborhood council, neighborhood residents, and future residents of our dream village. AltaMed will help plan the Dream Village health clinic design. ADX will help plan the maker space and small business incubator. Participation in the planning process will activate Angelenos around a vision for wholeness beyond mere housing.

Now is the time to make affordable dream villages a reality. The World Harvest Dream Village is more than a housing project; we’re building a community. Join us in building a road out of homelessness and hunger to a better future for Los Angeles.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to LIVE​

Our activation will mobilize Angelenos to make LA the best place to LIVE through digital organizing and activism, trainings and in-person engagements, opportunities and motive for businesses to change their practices, increasing food waste diversion at the individual level, and impactful volunteer opportunities.

We will activate Angelenos around planning the World Harvest Dream Village including our immediate neighbors, the 50,000 families we serve, clients of our project partners, and LA2050 citizen activists. Tools include email newsletters, press releases, robocalls, texts, and social media viral videos that invite Angelenos to community events, planning meetings, trainings, focus groups, and future resident meetings. Our team uses Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to reach a wide audience. Events include surveys to inform planning for the dream village and to identify future residents. Trainings and focus groups will address volunteer opportunities, participatory budgeting, small business development, maker spaces, and other topics informing the public about elements of the Dream Village and eliciting feedback. Community events will include focus groups, planning meetings, surveys, food giveaways, health screenings, and fun family activities. We will invite our corporate food donors to design their own food waste diversion kiosks for placement in the new Dream Village social supermarket, increasing awareness and encouraging corporate responsibility.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

A successful activation engages 5,000+ Angelenos in the World Harvest effort to make LA the best place to LIVE. We’ll invite our neighbors to share our vision to end homelessness and hunger and help design L.A.’s first Dream Village. Success measures include collected feedback and data to inform the village design. Other measures include events (participant demographics, and food and services received, e.g., training and health screenings), volunteerism and social media activism by activated Angelenos (event & viral video shares), and surveys collecting self-reported changes in consumer behavior re: preventing food waste. Success measures also include diversity among participants. We will track diversity demographics for in-person activations. Equity in planning our Dream Village includes diversity among planning participants that reflects neighborhood demographics.

We anticipate planning eight quarterly community events over the course of two years, sending press releases to our media list, monthly newsletters to our 2,000 subscribers, doubling the subscriber base, sending weekly robocall/text updates to our list of 50,000, posting daily on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and Snapchat. This is a team effort that will be a continuation from the campaign to win the most votes for the LA2050 Activation Challenge; we will continue to use our team assignment tree to divide the labor of social media outreach among six staff members, with additional support from two new staff.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

In five years, we hope to have activated 5,000 Los Angeles residents to share about this project on social media, participate in trainings, focus groups, and planning sessions, volunteer with us, and change their consumer habits to include diverted waste food from our social supermarket. We hope to have a complete World Harvest Dream Village project plan at the end of two years including agency partnerships and timeline. In five years, we hope to have identified a site, raised grant funds and secured funding partners, and completed the permitting process. Ideally, in five years, the Dream Village will be under construction. We will continue to activate the 5,000 Los Angeles residents activated through this process.

In five years, we hope to have established World Harvest as a thought leader in ending homelessness and hunger. We hope to see the all-inclusive, wraparound service, authentic community village model become the norm rather than the exception in Los Angeles. Once the project plan is complete, we will work with the residents we have activated to identify organizations and neighborhoods that will replicate the Dream Village, personalizing the model for the individual needs of each neighborhood.