Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

OPCO Merges With Larger LAMP Homeless Services Organization

OPCC and LAMP Community unveiled the name of a new organization - The People Concern

As detailed in the latest episode of Shameless, nobody wants a homeless shelter in their neighborhood. Nope, Not In My Back Yard. It is for this reason that the Ocean Park Community Organization is located not in swank Ocean Park, but on Cloverfield, 100 yards from the City dump.

Anyway, below is the press release. I can't make heads or tails of it, other than the first paragraph, which says that OPCC has merged with LAMP, whatever that stands for, to form "The People Concern." Which I thought was a restaurant near that new shop where you can buy an $8 donut, Sidecar on 7th and Wilshire. Across Wilshire Blvd from where the people who changed the local Howard Johnson's into "The Viceroy," are building another $2000 a night hotel. But I digress -- here's the press release, by Rachel Bracker:

OPCC and LAMP Community unveiled the name of a new organization - The People Concern - which will unify the efforts of the two social service providers that have been trusted partners for communities in Los Angeles County for more than five decades, serving homeless individuals and families, survivors of domestic violence, challenged youth, indigent Veterans and others with nowhere else to turn.

At its Fall Affair gala on Oct. 5, elected officials, civic and business leaders, and executives from the new organization spoke about how The People Concern will be able to better execute the missions of OPCC and LAMP Community by bringing them together. The People Concern will become the largest social service provider of its kind in Los Angeles County.

During his presentation, The People Concern Executive Director John Maceri unveiled the new logo and spoke about the new organization's priorities.

"Less than a year ago, we announced the merger of OPCC and Lamp Community. And from that merger, a new agency, The People Concern, has emerged with the collective strength to impact the lives of our city's most vulnerable neighbors in profound ways," Maceri said. "We move forward confident that this new identity encapsulates our focus on long-term involvement in human lives. Through comprehensive, integrated care, The People Concern is empowering the most vulnerable among us to rebuild their lives and become active participants in our broader community."

At the gala, The People Concern honored Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Mark Walker, senior vice president of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The People Concern Board Member and former Chairman Richard Hirsch introduced Kuehl, who has worked for decades to advance solutions for the complex challenges of homelessness and domestic violence.

"OPCC and Lamp Community has a longstanding history of delivering integrated, comprehensive care to Los Angeles County's most vulnerable residents," Supervisor Kuehl said. "I'm excited about the future of The People Concern as it moves forward with its renewed commitment to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are housed, healthy and safe."

The People Concern's clients often face a combination of severe challenges, from substance addiction and homelessness, to serious mental illness and physical disabilities, to past trauma and domestic violence. The organization's model of integrated and comprehensive care empowers their clients to navigate these multi-faceted obstacles and rebuild their lives because it breaks down the silos between agencies typically serving society's most vulnerable.

Other speakers included award-winning Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, whose columns about a Julliard- trained musician living on skid row brought attention to the need for better services to reduce homelessness and inspired the movie "The Soloist," which was produced by Gary Foster, who introduced Lopez. Lopez honored Mollie Lowery, a director of OPCC who recently passed away after a lifetime of service that included co-founding LAMP and helping to pioneer the housing-first model that became the gold standard of care for homeless citizens.

The gala was hosted by comedian Greg Fitzsimmons, who has appeared on a variety of late night shows and comedy programs, and Emmy-nominated actor Greg Germann, known for his SAG award-winning role on "Ally McBeal" and appearances on shows including "Once Upon a Time," "NCIS", and "Law & Order." Percussionist and solo artist Adam Topol, a frequent collaborator with Jack Johnson, performed throughout the evening.

About The People Concern: The People Concern is a leading provider of, and advocate for, evidence-based solutions to the multi-faceted challenges inherent in homelessness and domestic violence. A partnership of two trusted social service organizations, OPCC and LAMP Community, The People Concern is one of the largest agencies of its kind in Los Angeles County. With compassion and profound respect, The People Concern provides a fully integrated system of care, including housing, mental health and medical treatment, and social services, empowering the most vulnerable among us to rebuild their lives.--Rachel Bracker


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