Have a Great Summer (HAGS!)
Dear Trojan Shelter Family,
On behalf of our Executive Board, we would like to wish you a very happy start to your summer. We hope it is filled with wonderful trips, much needed relaxation, exciting internships, and fruitful summer plans!
We would also like to give a special thank you to our wonderful volunteers. As I said in my first newsletter, we had a lot to do, and because of this hardworking Trojan team, we made some tremendous progress.
Cathy Wang and her Operations Committee successfully completed a draft of the Trojan Shelter Policy Book. The Policy Book contains important procedures and policies about how we facilitate operations within our shelter between our residents, volunteers, and case managers. We are currently in the editing process, and we are on track to have the refined draft by the end of the summer.
Hannah Mulroe and her Staff Committee hosted a wonderful Beach Day. We were able to connect with a handful of our volunteers, get to know them, and have smores together. It is exciting to learn more about why our volunteers have committed part of their college career to Trojan Shelter’s mission to support their fellow classmates.
With the help of both the External Affairs Committee and the Fundraising Committee, Emma Dessau and Raj Dua held a fundraiser with the Chipotle right by campus. The Trojan Shelter E-Board was in awe to see so many people within the USC community show up to support our mission. That night, we were able to raise $300 for Trojan Shelter.
The Media Committee and I created some exciting content for Trojan Shelter. Together, we wrote four blog posts debunking myths about homelessness, showcased three outstanding volunteers, released a promotional video, and were featured on both Annenberg Media and the Daily Trojan. We will continue to write blogs and have plans to create another video, so stay tuned for more content!
These are only a few highlights of the many accomplishments our organization completed this semester. This semester was equally as busy and crazy as it was successful and fruitful, and for that we are all grateful.
As we finish the permitting process with our space, we have plans to start the renovation process, continue fundraising, participate in meaningful media opportunities, and develop the infrastructure that will allow us to launch successfully this upcoming school year. As USC students like to say, “the grind never stops!”
Lastly, I would like to share some news about the homelessness climate in Los Angeles and California with you at the end of this newsletter, and in future letters as well. New policies, programs, and funding, at local and larger levels are deeply connected to our greater mission to participate in the eradication of homelessness beyond Trojan Shelter.
Originally, California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed $500 million to be “set aside to help local governments build shelters and add services to help individuals experiencing homelessness.” However, in his recent revised budget Gov. Newsom sent to California lawmakers, he now sets out to increase spending to $650 million making the total homelessness budget $1 billion.
Other proposed expenditures include more funding to community colleges that will aid in a second year of free tuition, full access to Medicare, and the development of affordable housing. These are all factors that can lead a student to housing insecurity, and though we still have to wait and see how this budget is applied in our communities, we are happy to see these issues being addressed in Gov. Newsom’s new budget plan.
Again, we hope that this summer is fruitful in whatever you plan on doing. I will continue updating you on Trojan Shelter’s progress in our monthly newsletters.
Have a terrific summer!
Matthew Lee, Director of Media