Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Jackie Reid
American Family Housing 

Easter Event Directed at Homeless Children


David Ganezer

Parishioners at St. Monica's Catholic Church celebrate Palm Sunday. Worship services on Palm Sunday include a procession of the faithful carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.

For over 30 years, American Family Housing (AFH) has been providing a continuum of housing and a broad spectrum of related services to vulnerable populations facing barriers to achieving housing stability, including war veterans and adults with disabilities and mental illness. Operating 63 housing sites, with 283 units that serve more than 1,300 adults and children each year in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, AFH is committed to permanently ending the cycle of homelessness-helping low-income families and adults achieve a self-sustaining way of life and become engaged and contributing members of their communities.

In celebration of Easter, AFH will host its 13th annual Easter Egg Hunt and Picnic at the Brother's of St. Patrick Monastery at 7820 Bolsa Avenue in Midway City, California. Taking place Saturday, March 19, with the simple goal of giving children an afternoon of fun, games, great BBQ and an entire day away from the worries and anxieties of being homeless, AFH has rallied the Orange County community together to make this annual holiday event a success. Partners include:

· Brothers of St. Patrick

· LDS Church of Huntington Beach

· Four Winds Aviation

· Knights of Columbus

· LaQuinta High School Key Club

· Rancho Alamitos High School Key Club and Red Cross

It is the hope of AFH as well as its partners, that while these young children excitedly participate in a traditional Easter egg hunt, they will find not only brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies, but also new friendships and unconditional support from the many organizations-of all faiths-and people of all ages who have joined forces with the organization and generously donated time and resources to make this a special day.

Media attention at events like these not only helps raise awareness of AFH's critical work to end the cycle of homelessness but also continues to shed light on a troubling predicament. Southern California still ranks highest among homelessness in America and Orange County alone consistently ranks among the top ten costliest places to live and the most expensive rental housing markets in the U.S. It also has the largest numbers of unaccompanied homeless children and youth for smaller U.S. cities and counties.


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