LOS ANGELES — Inside every room at the woodlands is more than just a safe place to sleep and call home. Ken Craft, founder and CEO of Hope the Mission, said that for many families, this will be the start of a new life.
What You Need To Know
- Ken Craft started Hope the Mission 14 years ago by offering hot food for families in need
- Now they have 17 homeless shelters and 2,200 beds throughout Los Angeles County
- Imelda Padilla and Marisa Alcaraz are now campaigning to take the spot vacated by former LA City Council president Nury Martinez
- Martinez resigned in October 2022 after being recorded making racist remarks
“One thing that I know and I’ve realized, and has just been reinforced in my life again and again, is that we can not leave people in the streets,” Craft said. “The longer people stay on the streets, the longer people stay on the streets, the worse they get.”
Craft started the nonprofit 14 years ago by offering hot food for families in need. Now they have 17 homeless shelters and 2,200 beds throughout Los Angeles County. While there are outreach programs and a help center in LA City Council’s District 6, the nonprofit does not have any type of emergency or transitional housing in that district.
Craft said they have tried to open a number of facilities in the district, “but it was unsuccessful under previous administration. And so we are really looking forward to working with whoever is elected in this upcoming election.”
Imelda Padilla and Marisa Alcaraz are now campaigning to take the spot vacated by former LA City Council president Nury Martinez, who resigned in October 2022 after being recorded making racist remarks.
Spectrum News caught up with Imelda Padilla as she greeted supporters in her campaign office in Panorama City. She was the top vote-getter during the first round and is a longtime community organizer. Padilla said she wants to develop a public/private partnership to identify lots that can be turned into emergency interim housing.
“That’s the biggest thing I want to focus on is developing or finding those locations where we build emergency interim housing so that the streets can stop being the waiting room into permanent supportive housing,” she said.
Fellow District 6 candidate Marisa Alcaraz is currently the environmental policy director and deputy chief of staff to Council member Curren Price. She said Mayor Karen Bass declaring a state of emergency on homelessness was a step in the right direction.
“We all know that there’s an affordability crisis going on right now, so bringing up wages but also building housing, especially affordable workforce housing, is a key priority for me,” Alcaraz said.
Both candidates said that along with housing insecurity, economic development and environmental issues are also a top priority. Craft noted that all those issues impact housing instability and says that “whoever is elected, it is so important that they care and that they have a plan and that they follow through on their plan to bring people indoors.”