From Dora’s Desk

L.A. Clippers Benefit Game

Beyond Perceptions 30th Anniversary Celebration

Meet Our New Board Member

Beverly Terrace Grand Opening

Meet Our New Director of Housing

Closing 2017 With TWO Grand Openings 

  From Dora’s Desk

2018 will be a memorable year for A Community of Friends as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary.  We are excited to commemorate this milestone event and look forward to sharing anniversary news and events throughout the year for friends, colleagues, and partners to celebrate with us.

As we mark this anniversary, it’s hard not to look back to see how far we have come.  When ACOF was founded in 1988, no one had heard the term “permanent supportive housing” or understood the benefits of it. ACOF was a pioneer in the pairing of onsite supportive services with affordable apartments as the solution to ending homelessness for those most vulnerable. Given the innovative nature and the novelty of our work at the time, we had to be creative in pulling together existing resources to build our homes.  30 years later, our resourcefulness and determination has paid off as today ACOF operates over 1,500 apartments, housing over 2,000 adults and 600 children.  We have seen families re-united, children go off to college, and lives transformed with the provision of services in affordable homes.

But as we see in today’s headlines with homelessness still rising, we know our work is far from being done. The need is still great and ACOF is positioning ourselves to do much more.  We recently completed Beverly Terrace, a 36-unit supportive housing development for transitional age youth who are young mothers, in partnership with St. Anne’s Maternity Home.  In the coming year, we will complete Fullerton Heights and expect to start construction on two new developments in LA County.

Thanks to the support of the voters of Los Angeles, we no longer have to contort ourselves to access funding to build and operate supportive housing.  But we have also learned that funding itself is not sufficient. We need the continued collective voice of all of us to say yes to supportive housing.

The goal of ending homelessness is a bigger challenge today than it was in 1988, but with your support we can continue to make a difference in ending homelessness, one home and one family at a time.

  L.A. Clippers Benefit Game

On Sunday, April 1 at 12:30 p.m., ACOF will be featured as the Los Angeles Clippers’ non-profit of the game as the Clippers take on the Indiana Pacers!  ACOF will receive recognition as one of the great Los Angeles non-profit organizations before the game.  All ticket sales go to ACOF plus half of the 50/50 raffle, courtesy of the L.A. Clippers Foundation!

As the featured non-profit for this game, tickets are available to purchase to attend this exciting match-up with all proceeds going to ACOF. To purchase tickets, please visit the L.A. Clippers/ACOF dedicated ticket site here: L.A. Clippers/ACOF Tickets. Tickets are limited so purchase yours soon!

  Beyond Perceptions 30th Anniversary Celebration

Save The Date for Beyond Perceptions! A Community of Friends is pleased to announce that our 30th Anniversary Awards Celebration, Beyond Perceptions, will take place on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 

Click for Sponsorship and Ticket Information.

  Meet Our New Board Member

Stephen Breedon has joined A Community of Friends as a Board of Director. With his appointment in January, the ACOF Board of Directors now has 19 members.

Mr. Breedon is currently a real estate private equity associate with Oaktree Capital, a leading global alternative investment management firm with expertise in credit strategies. In his current role, he is responsible for underwriting commercial and residential opportunities both in equity and debt throughout North America.

When he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in real estate, he became clearly aware of the widespread need for affordable housing in his new city that he now calls home, which ultimately led him to ACOF. During his board candidacy, he visited Arlington Square where he was impressed by the quality of the building and ACOF’s commitment to providing permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless people with a mental disability. “Hearing about ACOF’s decision to develop properties outside of Skid Row gave me a better understanding of the organization’s goal to provide housing in livable neighborhoods that promote a path to independence for its residents,” he said.

Prior to his current position, Breedon served as real estate banker at Morgan Stanley in New York. He is currently Co-Social Chair of Young Professionals Los Angeles (YPLA), which is the local junior organization in support of Children’s Bureau. Mr. Breedon holds a B.S. in Hotel Administration with a Minor in Real Estate from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. He is originally from New Jersey.


  Beverly Terrace Grand Opening/Spring 2018

ACOF will be officially holding the grand opening of Beverly Terrace with our partner St. Anne’s in the early spring. The date and time will be announced soon! 

Beverly Terrace is a new construction of a 40-unit, mixed-use apartment building, consisting of 21 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units, and one two-bedroom manager’s unit with commercial space that includes an early education center for 60 children.

  Meet Our New Director of Housing

Mee Heh Risdon joined A Community of Friends in November as the Director of Housing after spending her nearly 20-year career working in non-profit project management positions. As the Director of Housing, she is responsible for ACOF’s acquisitions program to ensure a strong pipeline of projects as well as a consistent quality of development across its portfolio.

Prior positions before joining ACOF include serving as the Senior Loan Officer at CHS where she originated $83 million in loans to 35 supportive housing developments throughout Los Angeles County and as the Senior Project Manager at Mercy Housing where she managed multiple $10-$40 million affordable housing developments throughout all phases of development. Mee Heh was also the Senior Project Manager at Beyond Shelter Housing Development Corporation (BSHDC) managing interdisciplinary development teams from predevelopment through construction for multi-unit properties. At BSHDC, she helped secure financing for four family developments totaling over $40 million.

Mee Heh received her Masters in City Planning, concentration in Housing Community and Economic Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her BA in Community Organizations from Stanford University.

  Closing 2017 with TWO Grand Openings

A Community of Friends hosted two beautiful, powerful, and dramatic grand openings for Silver Star Apartments and for Arlington Square. Board members, elected officials, funders, staff, guests, and tenants cheered the ribbon cutting ceremonies while several tenants opened their homes to admiring visitors.

Silver Star Apartments Grand Opening was on November 17, 2017. The new 49-unit development was designed to meet the needs of homeless veterans. Silver Star Apartments is the first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) multi- family, affordable housing project in Los Angeles. We are pleased that Barker Management will serve as the property management firm for Silver Star Apartments. The People Concern will be the service providers for our tenants.

The Arlington Square Grand Opening was on December 6, 2017. It is a newly constructed apartment building consisting of 24 studio units, 23 one-bedroom units, and one two-bedroom manager’s unit. Arlington Square is a 100% special needs community serving individuals who were homeless and living with a disability, with 35% of the units (17) reserved for veterans, and 20% of the units (10) reserved for people living with HIV/AIDS.