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Shelter Partnership Celebrates Green Rehabilitation Of 108,000 Sq Foot Resource Bank At Annual Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2009

Contact
Ruth Schwartz, 213.943.4580 or rschwartz@shelterpartnership.org

 

 
SHELTER PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES GREEN REHABILITATION
OF 108,000 SQ FOOT RESOURCE BANK AT ANNUAL TOUR

Shelter Partnership celebrated the completion of a 24-month rehabilitation and greening of its 108,000 square foot S. Mark Taper Foundation Shelter Resource Bank today at the annual lunch and tour of the facility.

Major funding for the project came from the S. Mark Taper Foundation; the project is the Foundation’s largest investment into homelessness to date. "Working with Shelter Partnership gave the Foundation an opportunity to make a single investment, which will continually serve hundreds of agencies serving the homeless throughout the county," remarked Ray Reisler, Executive Director of the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

The event featured Fritz Coleman, KNBC 4 Weathercaster, as host and live entertainment by Washington Rucker and the Jazz Collection. More than 200 supporters and community members served by the project attended, including the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Tours highlighting the green design elements of the refurbished facility were given throughout the day. According to John S. Egan, architect and construction manager for the project, "Among the green features are a reflective cool roof, low flow toilets and faucets, motion activated lighting throughout the warehouse, and recycled, natural or no-formaldehyde materials for walls and ceiling. The electrical and water consumption plans beat state environmental standards by 50%." The architects were elated to preserve the original wood beams supporting the warehouse roof and 1940’s World War II architectural elements. The striking 80-foot high ceilings, beams, and walls were whitewashed with low VOC paint and large windows running the length of the warehouse were replaced with low-E glass maintaining the abundant natural lighting.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Shelter Resource Bank, the largest of its kind in the nation, has been an active distribution center for basic new provisions under Shelter Partnership for 20 years. The project provides necessities such as new baby clothing, diapers, personal hygiene products, household goods, books and toys, and men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes to over 200 agencies serving the homeless and at-risk in Los Angeles County each year.

Aisles of floor-to-ceiling shelving are neatly organized with hundreds of pallets filled with goods that are electronically tracked, inventoried, and distributed. In the most recent year alone the project distributed nearly $8 million of goods. Since 1989, more than $150 million in products have been distributed. For the emergency, transitional and permanent housing providers these provisions enable them to focus on other priorities such as funding for supportive services and operational expenses. "We’ve received a quarterly shipment from Shelter Partnership since they opened the warehouse in 1989. Last year, as the economic crisis forced families out of homes and jobs, these goods were instrumental in helping us to meet the tsunami of people seeking assistance," shared Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission.

There is a sense of purpose about the warehouse. It is well organized, spotless from floor to ceiling, the staff is professional, methodical and optimistic about their work. Among the sea of cardboard boxes, some with items taped to the outside of the box indicating what is inside – singing toothbrushes, teddy bears, polo shirts, tennis shoes, professional clothing– there is a sense of the local family or individual who may receive the special donation.

"Shelter Partnership was founded on the principle that homelessness can happen to anyone; it’s complex, it can be long-term or sudden, it sometimes requires assistance in multiple disciplines. We were established to help in both the development of housing for the homeless as well as providing some of the basic necessities," said Ruth Schwartz, co-founder and Executive Director of Shelter Partnership.

Other major foundation funding for the rehabilitation came from the Weingart Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Rose Hills Foundation, and the W.M. Keck Foundation. In July 2007, the U.S. Departments of General Services Administration (GSA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) conveyed the warehouse to Shelter Partnership at no cost.

Learn more about the S. Mark Taper Foundation Shelter Resource Bank including photos and video of the event, please visit www.shelterpartnership.org

View Event Photos