Some of L.A.'s wealthiest philanthropists and foundations are setting their sights on solving the city's most chronic social dilemma -- providing housing for those without it. But even the mega-donors can't tackle the problem on their own.
Los Angeles is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. If it were a country, its roughly $700 billion gross domestic product would rank it amongst the top 20 richest nations. From entertainment to aerospace to technology, the city is replete with high-earning industries and the wealth they create. More than 125,000 millionaires call L.A. home.
Philanthropy is on the rise, but we have a ways to go to reach pre-recession levels of generosity.
Across Los Angeles County, there are more than 35,000 non profit organizations. Some find homes for pets and some find homes for people. Some prevent sexual and domestic violence and some prevent environmental devastation. Some try to improve the public school system and some try to improve the criminal justice system. Operating at a wide variety of scales, these non-profits are all similar in that they’re attempting to meet a need that’s not otherwise being met, whether from a lack of funding from the public sector or a lack of attention from society in general.
‘Philanthropy lab’ People’s Liberty is funding individuals with smart ideas to benefit Cincinnati, in the hope of finding a new generation of local civic leaders.
When Brandon Black and his wife were trying to fix up the old two-unit house they’d recently bought in Cincinnati, they discovered they needed some help from people who actually knew what they were doing. His old wrestling coach and her father – two baby boomers with construction experience – proved to be invaluable home improvement mentors, who happily guided them through the process.