Summer 2017

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/857677

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2 0 | PULSE S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 C O M M U N I T Y B E N E F I T T he challenges facing the homeless can seem staggering. ere's the issue of shelter, of course. But there is so much more—from health and nutrition to education and employment. Community's Child Residential Living and Personal Development Program, based in Lomita, addresses these factors and more, providing an impressive array of services to fill the pressing needs faced by homeless families. e organization's goal of assisting homeless and disadvantaged families is one shared by Torrance Memorial Medical Center, which supports Community's Child as part of its Community Benefits program. Community's Child originated as an effort to help homeless young children. "We were founded in 2005 when a group of citizens grew concerned about the rising number of homeless women and children in the South Bay area," says executive di- rector Tara Nierenhausen. "At the time, I worked in a crisis maternity shelter. e women would have to leave the shelter when their babies reached three months old, but they had no place to go. It broke my heart." Nierenhausen and her husband rallied com- munity members and raised $360,000 toward the purchase of a house in Lomita. Local contractors, suppliers and retailers donated everything needed to transform the original 1,400-square-foot prop- erty into a 3,400-square-foot home—with a beauti- ful yard and play area—that could house up to six women and their children. Nierenhausen soon found herself being called upon by other families, many struggling to pro- vide nutrition for their children. So Comunity's Child added a food pantry and also stocked it with school supplies. IT TAKES A VILLAGE COMMUNITY'S CHILD HELPS HOMELESS AND DISADVANTAGED SOUTH BAY FAMILIES. WRITTEN BY NANCY SOKOLER STEINER "WOMEN WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE SHELTER WHEN THEIR BABIES REACHED THREE MONTHS OLD, BUT THEY HAD NO PLACE TO GO. IT BROKE MY HEART."

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