Sat, Apr 13, 2024

Jennifer Hudson Shines Spotlight on LARB’s Fight Against L.A Homelessness

  • PublishedFebruary 7, 2024

New York, New York- In a special episode of The Jennifer Hudson Show, Los Angeles Room & Board (LARB) Founder Samuel Prater joined shed light on the nonprofit’s impactful mission during Black History Month.

Founded by Sam Prater in December 2018, LARB has been making significant strides in its mission to end homelessness among college students. The nonprofit’s commitment to providing transitional housing for California’s community college students was discussed in detail during the engaging interview.

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Born and raised in Detroit, Sam’s journey from dropping out of high school to earning a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy reflects his dedication to empowering students. With a background of nearly 14 years in higher education, Sam Prater has developed a keen understanding of the intersection between housing and student learning environments.

Now in its fifth year of operation, LARB has expanded from a single house to four, offering a total of 190 beds along with three nutritious meals daily. The nonprofit has received support from the LA County Mayor’s office, empowering it to reach more students in need.

Prater emphasized the critical issue of student homelessness, revealing that 1 in 5 college students in Los Angeles faces housing and food insecurity. This staggering statistic includes an overrepresentation of foster, LGBTQ, formerly incarcerated, and BIPOC youths.

As the Founder & Executive Director of LARB, Sam Prater is deeply committed to ensuring California’s community college students achieve their postsecondary education goals.

LARB has already taken a significant step in this direction by acquiring Dunamis House through Project Roomkey. This 40-unit property located in Boyle Heights is set to undergo a transformation into interim housing specifically tailored for youth at risk of homelessness.

This historic property formerly served as The Evergreen Hostel, which provided a safe space for Japanese Americans to get back on their feet and to rebuild their lives.

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This funding, part of California’s state initiative totaling $243 million, aims to convert 14 hotels and multi-family apartments into interim or permanent housing for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The infusion of Project Roomkey 2.0 funding will result in the addition of 720 housing units across various locations, including Boyle Heights, Compton, East Hollywood, Inglewood, Koreatown, Redondo Beach, Lancaster, San Pedro, Westlake, Woodland Hills, and unincorporated Los Angeles.

As we celebrate Black History Month, LARB stands as a testament to the positive impact individuals like Sam Prater are making in the community. The organization continues to work towards ending college student hunger and homelessness, ensuring a brighter future for students pursuing their educational goals.

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