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Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Execs to Be ‘Homeless’ for a Week

Two executives of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission will spend next week sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles in an effort to fundraise for the mission’s ongoing build of the Trebek Center, which will offer 107 beds to people experiencing homelessness.

Ken Craft, founder and chief executive of Hope of the Valley, along with the organization’s president and chief financial officer, Rowan Vansleve, will have a backpack containing a single hygiene kit and $10 to use for the duration of the four-night initiative beginning Monday. 

They will craft video diaries of their excursion and attempt to replicate the experiences of needing to find new sources for food, shelter and hygiene services each day. 

“I have spent over 20 years working to eliminate the suffering and despair experienced by the unhoused. I have done my best to empathize with their pain and tell their stories, but each night I still have the privilege to return to my temperature-controlled home with cabinets that contain food,” Craft said in a statement. 

“I think it is time that I ‘walk a mile in their shoes,’ so that I can not only feel the pain and tell the story of those who languish on our streets but advocate and work towards a future where nobody must sleep outdoors and go to bed hungry,” he continued. “This initiative will not only remind us of how much we have to be thankful for, but it will reinforce our efforts to end homelessness here in Los Angeles and beyond.”

At last count in 2020, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority estimated 41,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles. The Trebek Center, which is set to open next year, will offer 107 interim beds at its location in Northridge.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.
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