Thursday, October 1, 2009

Council of L.A. to commit up to $1 million to help prevent foreclosures

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles yesterday announced that it will commit up to $1,000,000 in support of its partnership with One LA-IAF toward the prevention of foreclosures in the Los Angeles area.

The announcement was made by Father John Lasseigne, O.M.I., pastor of Mary Immaculate Church in Pacoima, whom the Council is working with, at the 15th Annual Archdiocesan Public Policy Breakfast with Cardinal Roger Mahony in L.A.

According to an AP story, teaming up with One LA-IAF and Neighborhood Legal Services of L.A. County, Father Lasseigne has lobbied congressmen, councilmen and corporate executives for laws, funds and loan reductions.

He makes sure he wears his clerical collar to meetings. "I don't mean to strike divine guilt in their hearts, but it adds moral weight to the campaign," he said. "I would like to think that they see standing behind me the thousands of homeowners at risk."

Combined with the special training offered by One LA-IAF in the organization and management of this special program, the Society’s participation will enhance its existing outreach designed to combat homelessness in the region.

“It is the Society's great pleasure to be part of a collaboration designed to help those among us who are in such desperate need. Affordable housing for the working poor has been an ongoing major thrust for the Society and joining organizations of one mind will certainly guarantee more will be done on their behalf,” says the Society’s L.A. Council President Jim Weiss.

Ron Mulvihill, chair of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Housing Committee, adds that today’s housing problem is one that needs to be taken seriously.

“This will go along way in addressing an epidemic of foreclosures that people are currently facing. Preventing homelessness is just as important as helping people who are homeless,” he says.

The Society has served the City of Los Angeles for 101 years, helping to improve the quality of life for children, women and men, largely through ‘Vincentian’ volunteers who come from all walks of life to help those in need. Other programs include St. Vincent’s Cardinal Manning Center (shelter) in Skid Row, a West Ventura County Emergency Winter Shelter, a Circle V Ranch Camp for children and three thrift stores to help low-income residents and the above programs.

One LA-IAF is a broad-based, non-partisan organization of dues-paying member congregations, schools, unions and non-profits committed to building power for sustainable social and economic change.

Information: 323-224-6273.

Photos (l-r): The Council's Ron Mulvihill (l) and David Fields (r) with Father John Lasseigne, pastor of Mary Immaculate Church in Pacoima; Father John Lasseigne speaks to the crowd about the housing climate and announces the Council's collaboration with One LA-IAF.

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