Thursday, August 16, 2018

SVdPLA's 2018 Coding Camp

Class started a little early this year as STEAM Coders taught their first session last Saturday, kicking off SVdPLA's 2018 Summer Coding Camp.

These classes are held at our Los Angeles thrift store location (210 North Avenue 21, Los Angeles, CA 90031) free of charge and open to all 5th-8th grade students in the community.

Monday, July 30, 2018

St. Basil's Conference Serves the CMC

Thank you to St. Basil's Conference of Charity who served lunch to the residents of the Cardinal Manning Center on Skid Row, Saturday, July 28, 2018.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Alejandro Lompart Art Exhibit at the Thrift Store

Last night, Thursday, July 19, St. Vincent de Paul's thrift store hosted artist, Alejandro Lopart's opening night reception for his powerful exhibit entitled, "Nimbus: In the Shadow of Inner Conflict."

Pictured to the left is the Mexico City artist himself, Alejandro Lopart, and actress, Heather Graham in front of one of his pieces.

The exhibit is still displayed here at the store, and it will continue to be here until the first week of August! You can peruse the gallery during normal business hours in the rear of the thrift store. Come and explore the "Shadow of Inner Conflict."

Directions: His work:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

St. Elizabeth Conference Serves the CMC

A picture speaks a thousand words!  The St. Elizabeth Conference provided a lasagna dinner for the residents of Cardinal Manning on Tuesday evening July 17th.  All were able to tour the facility, meet the staff and see the wonderful work Cardinal Manning does to support our homeless population.  Everyone added a special touch to the evening and we invite you and your conference to consider providing a dinner for the residents.   St. Elizabeth's is eager to return in October. If you would like information on how to organize a dinner, please contact Silvia Huerta. 

She can be reached at

Friday, July 13, 2018


by Beatriz Granados

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 11% of people over the age of 35 complete their GED. Willie Howard, CMC alumnus, did not let statistics interfere with his dream of furthering his education by completing his high school diploma.  In April 2013, Willie’s life took a turn, from living under a bridge for five years with limited family support, he decided it was time to make a change to better himself. He felt it was time to overcome his fears and enroll in the program that could help him find housing. He came to the CMC. When Willie entered the program he came in with three goals in mind: create financial stability, obtain permanent housing, and complete his GED.

After being in the program for over a year, Willie accomplished his first and second goal, on December 22, 2014. He signed a lease to his very own apartment. After leaving the CMC, Willie continued to engage in CMC activities and volunteer on the weekends. During one of his piano lessons lead by Jon Nerdig, a Vincentian Service Corp volunteer 20142015, he told Jon that he wanted to complete his GED. Soon after Jon connected him to his new mentor, Mary Lou Langedyke. Mary Lou played an important role in supporting and guiding Willie in identifying GED programs that would be appropriate for Willie’s learning style.

 From the very beginning of Willie’s path to furthering his education he stumbled upon roadblocks that made it difficult for him to persevere at times. The first obstacle Willie faced was not being able to retrieve his high school transcripts which resulted in him delaying the process of starting the GED program. He had to complete prerequisites required. Secondly, throughout his course studies he struggled to find a quiet place in his apartment building to study but he learned how to block off noise the best way he could. Willie also learned how to manage his time in order to finish the 36 courses with 16 lessons per course.  Another major obstacle was the ability to take tests. Willie recalls at one point taking a test 26 times before passing.

Every roadblock Willie experienced he took it as an opportunity to grow as an individual and build his self-confidence. For him, giving up was not an option. When he felt discouraged, he focused on the bigger picture - walking the stage and experiencing the feeling of hard work and accomplishment, and knowing that it took that one person to believe him. He was not going to let his support system down. On March  15, 2018 Willie graduated with his high school diploma at age 60. After the two year journey, Willie proudly walked on the stage and experienced the feeling of, “I did it.”

Willie has officially closed one chapter of his life but it is the start of a new chapter of endless opportunities. What’s next for Willie? Willie proudly says that he will continue to work with his mentor Mary Lou on finding employment and enrolling in a trade tech school or community college to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a tailor. He also plans to become a mentor and be that person to believe in someone.  I leave you, in his words,
"If I can help one person, I have helped a 1,000.”  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Incarnation Church Serves the CMC

Thank you to the members of Incarnation Church who served dinner at our Cardinal Manning Center last night! 

Wendy Motta Visits Circle V

Thank you, Wendy Motta, District Representative for our US Congressman Salud Carbajal, for visiting Circle V recently. We appreciate you taking the time to tour around camp and see the progress we’re making. We’re grateful for your invaluable support in helping us reopen in 2019!