2020 Grants Challenge

Sanctuary of Love Resource and Referral Center

Our Sanctuary of Love (SOL) Resource and Referral Center in the heart of Hollywood. SOL has gained legitimacy in the eyes of community partners, volunteers and city leaders, earning recognition and awards for its community work. SOL enables us to: *Plan services, support, and training for clients *Collaboratively organize outreach, events, workshops, and self-empowerment training to support our youth *Strategize ongoing and sustainable growth with LF team members *Host dedicated events such as our annual Thanksgiving in our shared space


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

City of Los Angeles


In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

The youth homelessness is a tragic and growing problem. Current counts from the L.A. Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) state that of the 50,000 - 60,000 homeless people in L.A. in 2019, “youth, from minors through age 24, make up 8,915 of the county's homeless population.”

It’s important to understand that it’s NOT a lack of housing that causes homelessness. Most homeless youth think they have no safe or supportive environment to return “home” to. They feel unloved, utterly worthless and discarded by society and their own families.

As a community, we must address the conditions that CAUSE youth to feel they have such little worth that living on the streets and in a perpetual cycle of strife and chaos is what they deserve. Homelessness, disengagement, substance abuse, and prostitution are outward manifestations of deep feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.

Our youth desire kindness, resources, unconditional love and training, teaching self-love and respect.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

At age 35, Greg Johnson made the decision to clean up his life in 2005 after his father died of a drug overdose and just two months later his uncle took his life during a drunken binge. Knowing he was next if he continued with his methamphetamine addiction, Greg chose to live. His healing and recovery unfolded through a spiritual journey to forgiveness and rediscovery of the self-love.

Sober, Greg became a licensed spiritual practitioner & drug and alcohol counselor.

Having once been homeless, lost, and battling his own inner demons, Greg founded L.O.V.E. Foundation in 2012 to help homeless and disenfranchised youth cultivate their own innate power to heal their hearts, amplify their inner strength, and discover the leadership capability within in order to live, create, play, and thrive in life. Services and interventions are based on Greg’s extensive research on adolescent development and high-risk youth populations during his master’s program in Human Services.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 2,000

Indirect Impact: 10,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Real, lasting transformation starts from within and must begin at the core of the problem. We help homeless and otherwise vulnerable, lost young people who are READY to take charge and transform their lives to heal the deep inner wounds that are the true cause of their problems, whatever they may be. We teach our most vulnerable and emotionally damaged young people how to love, trust, and honor themselves so they can overcome their real and perceived obstacles and design lives that honor themselves and others. Then, they can teach others how to do the same through the power of their own example. With whole-hearted living, our youth are reconnected with their purpose to live a life of strength and passion, alive with integrity and character.

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

Funding will be used to help support our Sanctuary of Love Resource & Referral Center (SOL) operations and our outreach, resource and referral events, and transformational self-empowerment workshops. And finally, it will help us continue grow and improve our network of partners volunteers who want to work with us to make a transformative difference in the lives of our most vulnerable. Below are our services and that we will use your funding to help provide, grow, and/or improve.

Homeless Community Outreach

Through our street outreach and community events, we provide basic needs and a critically important sense of community.

Resource & Referral Events

Resource and referral events provide basic needs to our homeless young people and further build rapport, trust, and a sense of community. These events are planned and delivered in collaboration with numerous community partners and businesses to providing much needed food, supplies, and hygiene.

Self-Empowerment Workshops

Self-empowerment training workshops help our youth in crisis resolve their deep inner wounds and learn to love themselves. Those who attend our workshops learn that their challenges have purpose and meaning by helping them build resilience and grow into amazingly strong individuals. Until they can see how amazing they are for themselves,

Community Awareness & Education

We also raise awareness and build community collaborative support about the epidemic problem of youth homelessness.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

Opportunity youth (“Disengaged youth” 16-24 not working or in school)

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Office space for meetings, events, or for staff

Capacity, including staff

Strategy assistance and implementation