Housing / 2013

Enhanced Permanent Supportive Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Jenesse Center, Inc.

In response to addressing the need for temporary shelter, supportive services and permanent housing assistance, Jenesse Center provides family-centered transitional programs to underserved and unserved victims of domestic violence and their children who are moving from instability and violence to safety and independence. Jenesse Center’s state of the art services are designed to help clients become self-sufficient, as the agency recognizes that becoming economically empowered is an essential component for every client’s transition to self-sufficiency. Jenesse’s experiences over the last 33 years has shown that affordable, permanent housing is a key component in helping our clients to break the cycle of violence in their lives once and for all. Therefore, our idea is to provide long-term, supportive housing to victims of domestic violence by converting one of our transitional shelters into a permanent supportive housing facility for twelve families consisting of four to six individuals. Jenesse’s main strategy under this initiative is to ensure that survivors of domestic violence are rapidly placed into permanent housing after completing our transitional program. This strategy ensures maintenance and expansion of placement for homeless domestic violence survivors at Jenesse Center, thereby completing our housing continuum.

Clients that are eligible for permanent housing through Jenesse will have access to a wide range of supportive services including: Independent Living and Life Skills Training; Legal Representation; Vocational Education Programs; Economic Empowerment Workshops; Children’s Enrichment Program: Individual and Group Counseling; Mental Health Services; Health Education and Management; and Community Resources and Referrals. Services will be provided free of charge and will be focused on safety and sustaining independent living.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Jenesse Center has long believed that in order to make a real and lasting change in how families and communities view and respond to domestic violence, we have to talk about it openly and honestly. Since their inception, Jenesse has successfully begun to change the conversation on domestic violence and remove a lot of the stigma unfairly associated with the issue.

The “Conversations” events began in 1999 to bring together new and potential friends and supporters, in a relaxed environment to discuss new and exciting ways to support Jenesse. The events also provide an opportunity to discuss domestic violence without the stigma that is usually associated with this issue and remind people that victims of domestic violence should be applauded and supported in their efforts to stand tall, and ready, to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

*Kaiser MLK Project – Employees from Kaiser participated in a special remodel warehouse project at our Emergency and Transitional Shelters organized *Joan Honig and Carolyn Wright Lewis held a special jewelry fundraiser on Jenesse’s behalf. *Jenesse Center hosted an series of information booth s at West Los Angeles College for Teen Violence Prevention Month and Denim Day *Jenesse hosted a visit from the Women’s Foundation *Jenesse hosted a Learning Collaborative site visit for Blue Shield as the beginning of its ongoing Leadership Educational program to build capacity of leaders in the field

  • Jenesse CEO Karen Earl was appointed to the City of Los Angeles DV Task Force for the Council District 8 to offer policy recommendation
  • Jenesse hosted its annual “Silver Rose Weekend ,” which includes its Gala and Awards Auction and its Halle Berry Celebrity Golf Tournament Blue Shield hosts Jenesse as its technical assistance provider *Jenesse receives a grant from Verizon *Jenesse hosts its first session in partnership with Blue Shield for its cultural competency Learning Collaborative *Jenesse hosted its first annual Soul Cycle event *Halle Berry hosted her second annual “Conversation for Jenesse” *Jenesse’s Legal Department assists with trafficked youth program *Jenesse hosted a special presentation at Morgan Lewis Stanley, to recruit pro-bono attorneys *The Grant LA Bar Foundation presented Jenesse with $10,000

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Jenesse Center has worked hard over the past 33 years to build our infrastructure to support this project. We currently have a working relationship with Los Angeles Housing Department to support our efforts

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Jenesse has a great success in sustaining and evaluting new programs that are later fully intergrated into the overall complement of core services provided to domestic violence clients.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

Jenesse’s own data and experience in this issue also found that affordable housing and insufficient resurces contributes to the chronic homeless problems of our clients. After completing our program, our clients are ready to live on their own providing a safe, nuturing home for themselves and their children. Nonetheless, being able to do so is not an easy task. Thie high cost of rent and poor credit scores often make it nearly impossible for them to attain adequate housing. Our data reports that , of clients who graduated from our transitional program, 30% had to move in with family, 37% moved to rental housing, 7% leave Jenesse and go to another transtional or homeless shelter, 6% move into Section 8 or other subsidized housing, 3% move to a psychiatric hospital, and 17% are unknown. According to the United Way, 70% of Angelenos cannot afford to purchase a home and renters spend disproportionately more for housing than homeowners. With a rapid increase in demand and a slow increase in supply, the United Way reports that both rental and home prices have skyrocketed over the past few years, with the majority of renters in SPA 6 having to use 50% or more of their income just to pay rent.

Jenesse has been studying this problem for years and knows that women who exit our program need affordable, permanent housing. This is why Jenesse Center, Inc. plans to transform some of its transitional housing into affordable, low-income housing. The facilities will accommodate unserved and underserved members of SPA 6 including those who have not previously resided in a Jenesse facility, including emancipated youth. Jenesse will offer tenants self-contained an interactive facility that contains a classroom/computer lab, recreation room, and in-house store. All tenants will be mandated to follow a client responsibility standard that will be explained to them before they move in.

Jenesse Center, Inc. intends to assist with meeting the housing needs of the 21st Century and to make sure that residents have the opportunity for safe, affordable housing that meets their ever-changing and ever-growing needs.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

We have a hope to see every victim of domestic violence housed with sustainable reasources.