Legal-name: Abode Communities
Address: 1149 S. Hill Street, Suite 700
City: Los Angeles
Officer: Robin Hughes, President and CEO
ContactName: Robin Hughes
Title: President and CEO
Tel-952: (213) 225-2762
SecondaryPhone: (323) 377-1318
GrantPurpose: Abode Communities is requesting emergency funding so it can address the COVID-19 needs of residents at three affordable housing properties in the Long Beach area.
Periodoftime: 4/1/20 – 6/30/20
Audienceserved: Abode Communities owns and operates 37 affordable and supportive housing properties throughout Los Angeles County. Three of these properties are in the Long Beach area – Evergreen Apartments, Las Brisas Community Housing and Grisham Community Housing – and are home to 972 people. At its core, Abode Communities strives to alleviate the housing gap for families and individuals that have been left out of Los Angeles County’s rental market. Residents of the three Long Beach area properties include low-income families, senior citizens on a fixed income, the working poor, multi-generational families, single parents, formerly homeless people and those at risk of homelessness, and people with mental and physical disabilities.
Demoofaudience: Residents of the three properties are diverse. Nearly all (99.5%) are minorities – 39.6% are Black, 7.1% are Asian, 50.7% are Hispanic, and 2.1% are other races. Women comprise 61.1% of all residents. Nearly one-third (32.1%) are children under the age of 18, and 7.1% are senior citizens. The overwhelming majority of residents living in Abode Communities’ affordable and supportive housing properties earn between 30% and 60% AMI, including senior citizens and low-, minimum‐ and living‐wage professionals such as janitors, child‐care providers, bank tellers, nurses’ aides, security guards, retail clerks and truck drivers – individuals whose skills we rely upon but whose incomes are simply not enough to pay escalating market rents. These individuals are most adversely affected by COVID-19 as they are unable to go to work, have been laid off or furloughed, and have limited savings.
District: District 4; District 8; and Signal Hill Zip Code 90755
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : Through its Beyond Homes resident services program and property management efforts, Abode Communities’ staff at each of the three Long Beach area properties are supporting residents as emergency needs arise. Residents are following stay-at-home orders, and seniors and other vulnerable populations have refrained from visiting grocery stores and pharmacies. As such, staff are providing perishable and non-perishable food, personal hygiene products, and cleaning supplies effective at sanitizing against COVID-19 to residents who are unable to secure these basic needs.
Resident services and property management staff are also conducting directed welfare checks by reaching out to every resident over the phone, and providing case management when it is requested. The organization is determining ways to provide necessary goods to more residents; deliver prescriptions; supply residents, especially children who are out of school, with activities they can engage in within their homes; and increase building cleaning and sanitizing efforts to prevent COVID-19’s spread.
Staff have also begun working with residents to address financial hardships as jobs are lost and bills are due. Staff are reporting demand surges for services including rent support and forgiveness; assistance with applying for unemployment, Medicaid and other public benefits; financial counseling; and help purchasing educational resources and tools so children do not fall even more behind in school.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? Abode Communities would first like to express its gratitude to Long Beach Community Foundation for supporting nonprofits serving low-income and vulnerable populations during this crisis.
The requested $20,000 in funds will help Abode Communities:
1) Serve low-income individuals affected by COVID-19 by paying for critical expenses; and
2) Provide food and critical supply delivery to those who are home-bound.
Half of the requested funds will support our frontline essential resident services and property management staff as they serve the properties’ residents directly. This funding will help the organization meet the increased demand as it navigates stay-at-home orders. Staff of both departments are committed to ensuring residents have everything they need as we all move through this challenging period. Case management needs are high with both determining what goods households need that they are unable to procure, and working with residents concerned about their finances and ability to pay their bills.
While they are extremely difficult to find, the organization needs to procure gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and protective gear so staff do not bring the virus in or out of the buildings. The need for effective cleaning supplies is also pressing as staff are cleaning each property three times per day. Once the organization is able to procure these supplies, it must order three times as much given the new regiment. If COVID-19 has a second or third surge until a vaccination is available, we must be prepared to prevent additional spread.
Communication efforts also need to be adjusted. The organization cannot post notices in common areas and community spaces as residents are respecting guidelines and not leaving their apartments. The organization realized the need to distribute postings to every apartment, which increases production costs.
There are also increased expenses for packaging donated and purchased goods and delivering them to residents. Abode Communities is grateful for the myriad donations our community partners provide, including partners in Long Beach. Current challenges are prohibiting them from delivering donations from local partners including Food Finders, and prohibiting our staff from receiving and bringing them to residents.
The other half of the requested funds will be directly allocated to food and other critical supplies for residents. Case management staff have identified immediate needs for groceries, prescriptions, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies – especially for seniors and other vulnerable residents. With schools closed, distance learning is the only option for the 316 children in the properties. To continue their education and connect with friends, there is a need for iPads and smart phones so they can access educational resources including Kumon and Long Beach USD’s distance learning resources. There are also recommended educational resources and platforms which have fees residents cannot afford.
Additionally, while no residents have tested positive to date, those who do and have no family or others to help will need further support through welfare checks and the delivery of needed items.
The requested funds will further Abode Communities’ ability to keep its vulnerable residents safe and healthy by meeting their basic needs for the duration of the crisis, while we also ensure our staff remain healthy.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : Abode Communities’ three Long Beach area properties are home to 972 residents including low-income families, senior citizens on a fixed income, the working poor, multi-generational families, single parents, formerly homeless people and those at risk of homelessness, and people with mental and physical disabilities.
Almost a third (32.1%) of residents are children under 18, and we are intent on ensuring they continue to learn through this crisis and maintain their educational connections. Roughly 65% of these children regularly attend the after-school programs offered through the Beyond Homes program, and they are struggling with accessing resources and remaining socially distant from their after-school friends.
There are 69 seniors aged 62+ living in the properties who need assistance with obtaining food, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies. They also need assistance with medical questions, particularly what needs to be addressed with a medical professional and how to do that during these times, and what can wait for an in-person appointment when restrictions are lifted.
All adult residents need assistance with financial concerns, and with ensuring their families have the tools they need to move through the crisis. Beyond Homes and property management staff are providing financial counseling and assistance with applications for unemployment, Medicaid and other public benefits.
Finally, there are many residents who presently have different levels of anxiety and need assistance finding the appropriate level of mental health support. They are nervous about finances and paying their bills, uncomfortable with staying home and being isolated, concerned about how long restrictions will last and how the economic downturn will affect them, and losing the quality of life they had just two weeks ago.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: Abode Communities has received $7,500 in emergency funding from California Community Foundation.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: Abode Communities is preparing applications for emergency funds from the Angelinos Fund in the City of Los Angeles, Community Foundations of the Valleys, City National Bank, United Way and COVID-19 LA County Response Fund as more details from these funds become available. The organization is also creating a development plan to secure emergency funding for goods and services, including reaching out to previous funders, and will pursue local funds if they become available. The organization will also apply for the SBA Payroll Protection Program which was included in the CARES Act. While we remain hopeful, we are certain each of these sources will be oversubscribed as the demand is staggering.
Abode Communities may experience a 25% to 50% reduction in grant revenue and property income, which support its Beyond Homes resident services programs, in the next three months as the organization is determined to provide the goods and services our vulnerable residents need.