2022 Grants Challenge

The only way to change our city

Isn't it time, or beyond time, to change things in a big way in Los Angeles? What we are GOING to do, is start by changing the attitude in our City., and see if the new new normal can become a sense that we are in a shared society and the only way we can even begin to solve our most intractable problems is for each of us to do his or her part. What would our city look like if everyone did something to help our neighbors in need?


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Housing and Homelessness

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

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

When it comes to the issue of homelessness it's not up to our next Mayor, nor the powers in Washington. They have a role to play, but so do we. HERE IS THE MAGIC People want to help There are nonprofits and other groups which need volunteers on so many levels virtual, in-person and in-kind donations yet there is no organization really acting as the bridge between the helpers and the volunteer opportunities. Databases are too passive. Someone has to ask DIRECTLY for people to help. When that is done, and the task is easy, and it has impact, and it is happening in the coming week people say yes If it sounds too simple, that's because we have not done it well to date Volunteer Collective has been 'challenging' folks to volunteer do one thing, each month, and in our first two years thousands of people stepped up. Many had never volunteered before.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

If you accept the premise that asking people to help is all that is required, then the formula is so simple Ask more people. The modest grant we ask for is basically for outreach. The Volunteers the nonprofits serving our most needy citizens need are in churches and synagogues, they are students who are required to do community service, they are employees of businesses who are increasingly trying to be better community partners and retain employees by offering time off to volunteer. All of these groups, and the residents of LA in general, are hungry to hear about opportunities to do something for someone else. We all know how good it feels to help others. Maybe that national debate over mental health is solvable if everyone did a little to help a neighbor. And before you dismiss this as a bit too Utopian, please tell me why a program of asking for help, which can be done on a very small budget, is not worth a try? And also ask yourself, when someone last asked you to help someone you did not know. My bet is you can't even remember when it ever occurred. And we are hear to tell you it works.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

How about just raw numbers? We can hire a coordinator with this grant who can be full time talking to groups, posting on social media, speaking at meetings and engaging thousands of people to volunteer. And the down river effect is that everyone who volunteers and has a good experience tells the story to friends or family members and the narrative that there is nothing we can do starts to fade away...slowly...but definitely.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

1 coordinator a minimum of 20,000 volunteers in year one who will impact at least that many of their fellow citizens and tell the story to twice that many contacts

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 20,000

Indirect Impact: 10,000,000