Shelter Partnership and Fritz

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I want to Talk about homelessness and those who work to make it go away. And Fritz, we all know Fritz Coleman; he’s Toluca Lake’s mayor and is always hanging in our hood. Oh, and he is the favorite weathercaster in California, at our own KNBC. He shows up to countless benefits. But the best of our generous Fritz is always as the master of ceremonies at Shelter Partnership events — like their 22nd annual dinner at the Millennium Biltmore.

Celebrating 26 years of service, Shelter Partnership feels homelessness doesn’t have to be in our future, that homelessness can be ended if “we are strategic in our work, resources are made available, we work smartly, and we all work together.” So much done, so much to be done. Join their parade of great supporters and partners.

Diann H. Kim

From l, the delectable and happy Ruth Schwarz, executive director of Shelter Partnership and honoree Diann H.Kim.

The honoree for the evening was Diann Kim, a noted attorney, selfless volunteer and a survivor in the most amazing of ways. Diann Kim was recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in 2006. She serves on many boards, including 15 years for Shelter Partnership. And she’s a trustee for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. Diann is justly proud of her brilliant family, who in turn are proud and grateful to have her — literally. Her husband John Frank earned the Best Spouse Award for helping Diann navigate a diagnosis of a very rare fatal heart-related disease, one that killed her mother. With her court trials cancelled, Diann entered a drug study program at John Hopkins and got on the heart and liver transplant list at UCLA. In 2009 she received a liver, one that agreed with her. The miraculous double-decker of this is that her liver was agreeable for another woman. This receiver attended the event and stood when Diann Kim introduced her “liver sister.” Blessed people.

Our Fritz helped more blessed people donate via their phones through a special device that screened the donation, and any caring message, for all of us to see. A great idea: raising great funds to carry on with Shelter Partnership’s mission, which is…

Mission Statement: “Shelter Partnership Inc. is dedicated to alleviating, preventing and ending homelessness by assisting in the development of short-term and transitional housing programs, affordable housing and supportive services for the homeless and potentially homeless throughout Los Angeles County.”

Since its founding in 1985, Shelter Partnership has been a leader in the fight against homelessness in Los Angeles County. The agency accomplishes its mission through the following, free of charge, activities: Operating the S. Mark Taper Foundation Shelter Resource Bank by soliciting large-scale donations of merchandise and ensuring that these items are delivered to the people and agencies who need them most; providing technical assistance to community-based organizations and public agencies (helping agencies receive more than $870 million in federal funds); and more research and solutions. Fabulous.

In earlier days, many community groups had good intentions but a lack of expertise. The late Dennis Albaugh, a founding board member of Shelter Partnership, convened the planning efforts for this new initiative. Ann Reiss Lane, one of L.A.’s great women (and a best pal of my long time friend, Nancy Stone Bernard), represented the mayor. Ann went on to serve as the chairperson of the newly created organization — Shelter Partnership Inc. Community Leadership was in place with the late Mayor Tom Bradley’s determination to launch Shelter Partnership. And on March 3rd, 1985, they opened their door with only $5,000 in the bank and a free office donated space. Look at them now!

Our Fritz!

In between his very busy emcee duties, Fritz told me about the personal joy he feels doing this good stuff. He loves his job and it’s fun. But having the opportunity to put the spotlight and his talent to organizations that really help humanity – well, that is the real satisfaction. It’s only fair since we are all so satisfied with Fritz Coleman. And I’m sure he’d be pleased if you go to: www.shelterpartnerships.org and see if you can join in the pleasure of helping.

As you read this, I’ll be in New York City with a very surprised David. Lot’s to tell….We’ll Talk.

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