This year, A Community of Friends (ACOF) celebrates our 25th Anniversary! From ACOF’s early beginnings of six founding board members, two part-time consultants and several advisors, ACOF has flourished into a robust company with 15 board members, 67 employees, a $5.8 million operating budget, and over $185 million in assets. ACOF has completed 41 buildings (36 of which are in our portfolio), providing affordable housing for over 1,700 individuals in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, placing us #35 on Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Top 50 affordable housing developers’ list for 2013.
In the past year, we have completed construction of three permanent supportive housing projects and are currently in construction on four more buildings, including two for homeless and disabled veterans and our first project for people with developmental disabilities. We have formed new development and service partnerships this year, with AMCAL Multi-Housing and Heritage Clinic, Telecare, and Community Housing Resources Inc.
At our Anniversary Gala “Beyond Perceptions” we honored three individuals and a business that have played an important role in ACOF’s success and/or exemplified the resiliency and perseverance so critical to success – The Honorable Richard Bloom who continues to champion permanent supportive housing as a solution to ending homelessness whether in Santa Monica or the State legislature; the law firm Paul Hastings LLP which has supported ACOF with funding, legal counsel and board guidance for 23 of our 25 years; founding board member James Preis whose steadfast commitment to ACOF’s mission serves as a constant reminder to board and staff of who ACOF is serving; and resident Kalina Nichols, a young adult living in ACOF’s only transitional housing program who shows us that who we are in our youth does not have to define who we are as an adult.
Looking forward, we will continue our work to end homelessness through the provision of permanent supportive housing. We will advocate for affordable housing resources, integrate property management into our work, and strengthen our services program to give our tenants every opportunity to live successful, independent and productive lives.