Veterans Gardens LA

submission by kevinpolk
Veterans Gardens LA

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


Organization(s) instagram handle(s):


Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


HomeFront Rising, a program of Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs, develops food, housing and career solutions for military veterans.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


What if homeless veterans were the solution, not the problem?

What if we helped the most capable homeless veterans become leaders with a mission to leave no one else behind, in exchange for accelerating their ability to earn, to save, and to purchase a home.

Like a homelessness peace corps.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


Patterns are among the most powerful structures in nature, in the arts, in our daily lives.

The patterns we have followed to house our homeless weren't designed to assist thirteen thousand newly homeless every month amid the worst housing affordability crisis in memory.

New patterns are needed. Our program demonstrates a simple pattern that any agency that houses displaced people can use to create low-cost housing for the future.

It would teach homeless veterans to convert empty lots into working farms, making use of recent initiatives by the City and County of Los Angeles that encourage urban agriculture.

For two years, these veterans would grow healthy, organic food, work full-time, save up a down, and graduate from the program by purchasing their own starter home.

When they no longer want to live there, each veteran would sell this starter home, at the price he or she paid for it, to a housing-trust-approved agency that has made a contractual commitment to not raise the price or the rent either.

That's our program. Now here's the pattern.

1) A housing program, a homeless person and a housing trust, agree to work cooperatively to increase the yield of the system.

2) The housing program greatly reduces or eliminates that person's cost of living and helps them get a job.

3) The formerly homeless person works, saves, and buys a starter home. Some people cannot work but receive financial assistance, you could do it that way.

4) A housing trust eventually facilitates the sale of that home to a housing program, on the condition that its price or rental cost will never go up.

Some version of each of these elements is in use now, in Los Angeles, but this idea coordinates them, using existing resources to maximize the good we can do.

Your vote would help four homeless veterans turn empty lots into farms in Los Angeles this year, and then again in two years, and so on, forever.

The immediate result is that healthy organic food would start showing up on tables in neighborhoods where few can now afford that luxury.

But the pattern can be repeated by every agency that wants to help remove housing cost inflation from the panoply of issues that make solving homelessness such a heavy lift.

And they will, when they see it work.

If information is the currency of the twenty first century, then Los Angeles will be defined by the patterns we choose to replicate.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We have developed a checklist of markers that demonstrate each veteran's progress toward self-sufficiency and home ownership. The ultimate measure of the success of this program is that four veterans will purchase starter housing under the terms of an agreement that will preserve each property from cost increases by the end of the pilot program.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

1 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

For more information about this project go to our Facebook page:

by kevinpolk
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015