Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
My name is LaShawn Smith, I’ve worked with the Los Angeles Homeless community in an advocacy role for over 21 years.
In 2019 A Brighter Beginning Transitional Housing was born. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality housing to the community of Los Angeles. This is something I’ve dedicated my life to because everyone needs a safe place to call home.
Being that ANYONE can become homeless at any time is why A Brighter Beginning is such a needed facility. We provide case management, mental health, and a widespread of supportive services. We also assist with getting individuals tied to government assistance to help them get back on their feet while working with our employment team.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
The quality that makes me different and unique from everyone else in the industry is my ability to not pass judgment on anyone. I know the feeling. I’ve lived it!
It enlightens me knowing how many smiles I put on individuals’ faces by being sympathetic and caring about their well-being.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
THAT moment when I realized I was doing what I was born to do was when a young homeless mother reached out for my services who had nowhere to go and no family to lean on and stated she was ready to “give up”.
I was able to consult her and work together with her to get her and her children housed in a safe place and obtain all the services she needed to make great decisions moving forward for the betterment of her children.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
One of the biggest challenges is maximizing facility space to accommodate more individuals. Also a lack of appropriate resources for funding for small nonprofit organizations.
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