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Cedars-Sinai Donates $15M to Fight Homelessness



BEVERLY GROVE — Cedars-Sinai is contributing $15 million to 108 nonprofit programs and organizations that foster housing stability, provide sustainable programs for homeless residents and build clinical and financial capacity at community clinics. The grants, announced this month, also will support mental health training, services for LGBTQ+ and veterans’ groups, as well as a range of social services provided by several Jewish organizations.

Cedars is deepening its commitment to the health and wellbeing of underserved populations in Los Angeles County by significantly increasing its financial support for safety-net organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness and others who are vulnerable.

The organization contributed $5.9 million last year to safety-net organizations in the Los Angeles region.

The effort to address homelessness and housing stability comes at a critical time for the region. The 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count found a 12% increase in homelessness across the county compared to a year ago, pushing the numbers of homeless residents in the area to nearly 59,000. The count also showed that 600,000 people countywide face critical housing stability issues because they spend more than 90% of their income on shelter.

“We take our role in the community as seriously as we take patient care, research and education,” said Cedars-Sinai President and CEO Thomas M. Priselac. “We are driven by a strategic focus on improving access to care and addressing social determinants of health. Ultimately, we are working to break down barriers that affect tens of thousands of people within the safety net.”

More than 20 of the Cedars-Sinai grants are going to organizations that work directly with people experiencing homelessness or strive to improve housing stability. In total, Cedars-Sinai is contributing $2.5 million to these dual priorities. Among the recipients:

  • The City of Santa Monica is receiving $100,000 for a feasibility study about comprehensive healthcare for homeless residents in the seaside city.
  • Home for Good, a public-private partnership that invests in solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County, will receive $100,000 to support its work.
  • The Los Angeles LGBT Center will have $160,000 to develop vocational training for youth who are transitioning out of homelessness.
  • The People Concern is receiving $100,000 to expand a “navigator” program that connects homeless patients at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital with community resources and services. The Los Angeles nonprofit received a $100,000 Cedars-Sinai grant last year to launch the program.
  • St. Joseph Center is receiving $100,000 to train first responders in Culver City to meet the needs of the city’s homeless population and to teach members of the business community how to connect those who are homeless to social services.

Cedars-Sinai also is distributing several major grants to assist community clinics to reduce disparities in health and healthcare. More than 1.6 million Angelenos receive their healthcare from community clinics, making these organizations the backbone of the region’s safety net. The Cedars-Sinai Community Clinic Initiative is contributing $1.5 million over two years to help 17 Los Angeles County community clinics build greater capacity to address food insecurity and transportation issues for those who need the support. The contribution is among more than $10 million Cedars-Sinai has devoted to community clinics over the last four years.

Planned Parenthood also is receiving $500,000 over three years to help develop wellbeing centers on school campuses across the county. Other community clinic grantees include Saban Community Clinic, APLA Health, Eisner Health, Venice Family Clinic, and Korean Health Education Information and Research Clinic.

Behavioral health is another priority area. Cedars-Sinai is providing funds for training and partnerships with clinics and social service agencies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital is receiving more than $1 million to develop a self-sustaining behavioral health program for its local community, which significantly lacks access to care. Other behavioral health grantees include Beit T’Shuvah, Korean American Family Services, The Maple Counseling Center, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services and Para Los Niños.

Several grants also are going to institutions and programs in alignment with Cedars-Sinai’s Judaic values of welcoming and treating all people with dignity and respect. Grants are going to Jewish Family Services, Sharsheret and Bet Tzedek to serve a range of social, education, homeless and legal needs.

The Jewish Free Loan Association will receive $500,000 over five years to establish the Cedars-Sinai Housing Stability Loan Fund, designed to provide immediate housing assistance to stabilize those on the verge of homelessness.

Cedars-Sinai also is making significant investments in workforce development to train healthcare workers in the community. Charles Drew University Medical School is receiving a grant of nearly $1.4 million to help develop a medical education program and a community health worker training program focused on serving people in vulnerable communities. Other workforce grantees include the Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers and the Los Angeles Urban League.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: From Homelessness to Healing: Felix Garcia’s Story

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21 Workers Test Positive for Coronavirus at Rock n Roll Ralphs



Workers protest outside Ralphs in Hollywood where 21 have tested positive for coronavirus

HOLLYWOOD (KTLA) — Workers rallied Friday outside a Ralphs store in Hollywood where 21 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The group called on the store to take more aggressive action when staff test positive for the virus, and to ramp up efforts to protect the grocery store employees, who are considered essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

They said they speak for thousands of workers who are afraid they aren’t getting enough protection as the virus continues to spread countywide, infecting more than 24,000 as of Friday.

The Ralphs at 7257 W. Sunset Blvd. has had an outbreak involving several workers who tested positive for the virus, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, which lists businesses and […]

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‘Stay Put, Order In’ and Dine With Friends on Zoom, Says Mayor



WEST HOLLYWOOD — WeHo is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and our community members are used to gathering around restaurant tables and enjoying meals together. Now, there’s an opportunity to, instead, gather around kitchen tables at home and enjoy a meal (or many!) while supporting our local restaurants.

“One of the worst things about the Safer At Home directive is being disconnected from friends, neighbors, and the city around us,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “Don’t be alone if you don’t have to be – take advantage of the technology out there and invite a friend to Zoom in for Ziti or share some Farfalle over FaceTime.”

Mealtime is a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends, family, and loved ones using virtual teleconferencing technology, while partaking in your favorite delivered or takeout food.

City Encourages Residents to Support Local Restaurants During Safer At Home Orders

Many West Hollywood restaurants remain open and are offering takeout, curbside, and delivery meals, which are sensitive to social distancing during the emergency. The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to offer a directory of “Stay Put, Order In” eateries in West Hollywood, which is accessible by (click the “Stay Put, Order In” link!) or This list is updated daily.

“We need to start hanging out together, and talking, and seeing each other again. So, why not plan to #WeHoDinnerConnect this week – maybe Saturday at 8 p.m.? Or Sunday at 7 p.m.? Or even just 15 minutes of screen-to-screen gossip,” said Mayor D’Amico. “And you don’t have to cook a thing… local restaurants have meals and menus tailored to take-away choices and they’re ready to send food over to your house or make arrangements for you to pick it up.”

If picking up food, remember to wear face coverings, which are required to enter essential businesses.

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Amoeba Music Won’t Reopen Original Sunset Boulevard Store



Amoeba Music won’t be reopening its original Sunset Boulevard store

HOLLYWOOD (TimeOut) — In a statement posted to its Instagram account on Monday, Amoeba announced that it would not be reopening its nearly two-decade-old flagship on Sunset Boulevard. Instead, the indie record shop will divert all of its resources to opening its new shop on Hollywood Boulevard, which they still hope to have ready in the fall.

“There are so many unknowns and uncertainties for a business like ours right now,” the statement reads. “The only way we can keep Amoeba Hollywood alive in the future is to make this difficult decision now.”

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It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that the massive impact from COVID-19 has forced Amoeba Hollywood to remain closed until we can hopefully move to our new location this fall. We are devastated. We know you are too. We never envisioned not being able to give the store the send-off it deserves, to give you all a chance to say goodbye. But we are facing too many mitigating circumstances. This is not the end of Amoeba! We are moving to a new location at 6200 Hollywood Blvd in the fall and we feel fortunate that this plan was set into motion long before COVID-19. There are so many unknowns and uncertainties for a business like ours right now. The only thing we do know for certain is that we intend to survive. We want to continue to be there for our amazing customers and our incredible staff in our new location long after this pandemic disappears. The only way we can keep Amoeba Hollywood alive in the future is to make this difficult decision now. Thank you ALL so much for your support during this time and over the years. We have the best customers in the world, as evidenced by the tremendous outpouring of support for our GoFundMe. Your generosity is going to help cover health care for our employees at all three stores, and generally help Amoeba continue while we all must remain closed. We miss you all and cannot wait until we can be together again. Please read our full statement online at

A post shared by Amoeba Hollywood (@amoebahollywood) on

Our original story about the store’s GoFundMe campaign appears below.

It’s become a pit stop on music-lover’s tours of Hollywood, it’s hosted concerts from Patti Smith and Paul McCartney, and it’s weathered the Great Recession and the transition from CDs to MP3s to all things streaming. But with Amoeba Music’s future more uncertain now than ever, the massive independent record store is turning to its devotees for nearly half a million dollars to try to stay afloat.

In an essay on GoFundMe, Amoeba cofounders Dave Prinz and Marc Weinstein recount […]

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