Nonprofit founder speaks

Iona Lee

HW Venture invited Alexandria House founder Sister Judy Vaughan to speak about homelessness on Mar. 9. Vaughan said the Alexandria House impacts the L.A. community and encourages students to become involved in social justice causes they are passionate about.

Founded in 1996, The Alexandria House is a non-profit charity that serves as a transitional residence. Traditional residences serve as temporary housing for those experiencing homelessness, specifically women and children. In addition to housing, the Alexandria House provides its residents with shelter, meals and access to therapy.

Vaughan said it’s necessary to advocate for issues that personally matter to a person.

“A mentor of mine said that there are so many issues you can be involved in, and they all need support,” Vaughan said. “The mentor said that you need to work on issues that stick like a washcloth in your throat. You have to find an issue that connects with your life and your experiences which will really draw you to do things.”

Vaughan said it’s important to have future generations work to eradicate homelessness.

“[Rates of homelessness] from 1982, when I started […] have not improved now,” Vaughan said. “For those of us who have been working a long time, we need young people like yourselves to understand the issue and carry it forward.”

Venture Leadership Team Member Grady Ramberg ’24 said he recognizes the importance of ameliorating homelessness and hopes the community addresses the issue.

“I hope that the school community gains an awareness of what it’s like to be homeless in Los Angeles and how we can help alleviate the issue,” Ramberg said. “Personally, I learned about different ways I can help such as joining programs like Start-Up Sisterhood L.A. or by being a tutor or volunteer. Also, I learned how important it is to help kids deal with homelessness.”

Leo Craig ’24 said he notices a lot of homeless people in Studio City and considers it a major issue.

“Homelessness is a big issue that our city is facing, and I think that we should devote more resources and time to helping these people with the underlying problems that drove them to become homeless like addiction or unemployment,” Craig said. “Raising awareness about the depth of the problem and what actions we can take to solve the problem is extremely important.”