The People Concern x J.ING
PEOPLE ARE OUR BUSINESS.
— By Judy Lee
People are their concern. It's ours, too.
Here at J.ING we want to use our privilege for good. We want to support real people and make real impact on the lives of those around us.
This winter, we take a stand for our neighbors in need.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, The People Concern has worked to provide support and permanent housing for members of
our homeless community.
Their successes have helped individuals flourish in all areas of life: family, education, career. Their work transforms not only their participants, but their staff and volunteers. Bringing real change to real lives—for everyone involved.
Stories of real people. Stories of real lives transformed. These are the stories of the People Concern. See how you can transform lives—theirs and yours.
ANDREW - PARTICIPANT
“After losing my leg, I was in denial for a long time and became depressed. It became a wakeup call for me to deal with my addiction and get my life together.”
Andrew was on the street for eight years before the accident that transformed his life.
Following a leg amputation, Andrew was brought under the care of the People Concern. After receiving rehabilitation, benefits, and permanent housing, he finally had the stability to regain custody of his two sons.
Andrew thanks the People Concern for helping his dream come true. “John Maceri, the CEO, knew me while I was in the program. He heard about what I was going through and wrote letters in support of me getting custody of my kids.” Today, Andrew, Maleek and Hezekiah are housed, healthy and safe. Andrew is working towards owning a home, and plans to return to college.
SHARON - PARTICIPANT
“I was robbed, raped and beaten. It’s hard to get help and be heard when you’re homeless.”
At 52, Sharon was a victim to violence, the loss of her husband, and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). She had lost everything. It was in the darkest moment of her life, sleeping alone in Tongva Park, Santa Monica that she was connected with The People Concern.
“They asked me if I wanted a home...that was the first time I had been asked that since my husband passed.”
Sharon was able to receive treatment for her TBI and shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. She even recovered her lost dog, Sissy.
RICHARD - PARTICIPANT
"I didn’t know it then, but I was diabetic. Roxana saved my life.”
It was raining when The People Concern’s outreach team found Richard unconscious on Skid Row. Roxana, the Associate Clinical Social Worker and Mental Health Team Lead, called 911 and stayed with Richard until the ambulance arrived.
After losing his wife, job, and house, Richard found himself in Skid Row for twelve years. He never reached out for help until The People Concern. “When I got out of the hospital I went straight to the C3 Center. When I saw Roxana she welcomed me...now I’m here every day.”
At the center, Richard has found recovery through wellness groups and relaxing music. “I feel safe here...The People Concern are helping me get what I need.”
"The People Concern came along and changed my life. They gave me hope, they gave me a reason to live again."
After his mother passed, Art's life spun out of control. He'd been on the streets for 7 years at his lowest point when he was connected with The People Concern.
“Art has gone above and beyond every step of the way; even with all of the barriers associated with COVID-19, he kept going." Through his perseverance and the support of his Case Managers, Art was able to celebrate 18 months of sobriety. He has also recently moved into his own home.
In the future, Art hopes to pursue a career as an Outreach worker. “Outreach is a very important thing. It’s the first door opening to people on the streets.”
The relationship that Art and his team have built is inspiring proof that with dedication and support, change is always possible. "I got my life back. I’m not lost. My mother is looking down on me and she sees that I am ok, and that’s the most important thing.”
MIKE - PARTICIPANT
"The People Concern sounded different and unique, so right there in the park, we began working together.”
A Los Angeles native, Mike's family faced severe financial hardships after the loss of his mother. Struggling to find employment, he felt lost and hopeless.
After being on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles for five years, Mike was approached by the People Concern. Their compassion and sincerity won him over. Soon, they'd found Mike a home for his family.
"When property management let me see my apartment for the first time, I almost fainted. I couldn’t believe I was in a new building like this. I feel that I have been blessed by the work of The People Concern."
Today Mike works towards finding meaningful employment, and volunteers with the building residents' service team. He enjoys collecting books and watching his favorite 80's music videos in the security of his own home.
CHARLIE - STAFF
“The People Concern lets the relationship drive the work and not the other way around."
Charlie was working as a public defense office clerk when he decided he wanted to help the people in his community. Today, he's been proudly serving with The People Concern for two years as an Outreach Case Manager.
Despite the added challenges of COVID-19, Charlie has managed to successfully place 50 people in Project Roomkey Hotels, temporary hotel and motel housing for homeless individuals. He attributes his success to their client-centric, harm-reduction approach: "When we are in the streets, I approach people and say this is what I have to offer and what I have access to. I will keep showing up. Over time, people see results and the trust builds.”
Charlie remains optimistic in the ongoing pandemic, which has heightened the urgency for helping those in need. "As we continue to build housing and provide services for people experiencing homelessness, dignity and respect for our unhoused neighbors will remain central to all that we do.”