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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Los Angeles Room & Board

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Higher Education, Homeless & Housing, Housing Development, Construction & Management, Housing Support, Temporary Housing

Mission: The mission of Los Angeles Room & Board (LARB) is to ensure that California’s community college students achieve their post- secondary education goals by providing affordable transitional housing designed to end homelessness and, through our residential education program, promote persistence, retention, and completion from their certificate, associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs.

Results: In Los Angeles County, one in five of it's 230,000 Community College students are facing housing insecurity and homelessness. This is a result of policies and practices that perpetuate systemic inequities at the federal, state, and local level that have pushed students into homelessness and derailed their college completion goals, disproportionately impacting marginalized populations (students of color, foster youth, LGBT student, and low-income students). Contributing factors have revolved around financial aid policies that fail to account for the true cost of attendance and the high cost of living in Los Angeles. It is also the lack of awareness to the unique needs of students experiencing homelessness and hunger. College incompletion has a devastating economic impact that perpetuates the cycle of homelessness and inequity.

Target demographics: College Students Experiencing Housing Insecurity & Homelessness

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles County

Programs: Our residential education and living learning community program will promote persistence, retention, and completion from their associate’s, certificate, and bachelor’s degree programs. Our “Success Lives Here” initiative will be executed through our Living Learning Community model which emphasizes Interpersonal Leadership, Scholarship, and Service to Community. LARB’s residential communities will be managed and led by Community Directors, who are student affairs professionals with experience in university housing & residence life settings. These professionals have educational training in Counseling and/or Student Development Theory and are uniquely skilled at navigating students through their college experience and equipping them with tools to ensure their continued success, both inside and outside of the classroom. Our residential education program focuses on building skills for academic success through programming and interventions such as tutoring, academic mentoring, academic advising, test preparation, and building academic confidence. Additionally, our residential education program challenges student residents to build life skills such as financial literacy, career planning and readiness, and interpersonal leadership. LARB will partner with the local community colleges in close proximity to our residential facilities to ensure that our student residents are also taking full advantage of student services offered at their campus.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is the only non-profit on the westside that has minimal barriers and is open for college students that are in need of housing. This organization is an invaluable and extremely detrimental piece to helping our crisis of housing insecurity amongst students. The only issue currently is the lack of available beds, because while at capacity, many more students need a place, with supportive services, to live. LA Room & Board ensures these needs and securities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is an an amazing and innovative nonprofit that is truly meeting a need in a way I don't see from other housing nonprofits. The work towards collaborating with local colleges while also providing direct and tailored services to homeless students is thoughtfully done and set up in a way that can only lead to a lifetime of success for the young people involved! Kudos to LARNB!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sam Prater and Los Angeles Room & Board is committed to helping students achieve their personal, professional, and financial goals. UNIFY Financial Credit Union partnered with the Tackle Young Foundation to provide 6 weeks of financial education to all LA Room & Board Students.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

LA Room & Board is a wonderful organization providing much needed services to students and young people in Los Angeles. Their leadership is committed, has lived experience and works hard everyday to ensure the needs of their students are met. Grateful to have this wonderful organization as part of the LA service delivery system.

Pat C.10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to LA Room & Board a year ago as co-mentor to the young adults at the Opportunity House. The tireless work and effort that is being done to help support these young adults is incredible and I am grateful to be a part of it. It has been amazing to see these young adults thrive. Sam and his team go beyond what is asked to provide these students what they need to succeed. It is a family and I love that.

Greg S.4

Donor

Rating: 5

Incredible people doing incredible work. Sam Prater is a rock star.

Sabrina S.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A powerful nonprofit organization serving students in higher education institutions across the County of Los Angeles who are facing housing and food insecurity. Providing a safe and healthy space for supporting college students aspiring to a college degree.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A unique organization based in the heart of Los Angeles helping build opportunity for students experiencing housing insecurity. Without the critical work of the Los Angeles Room and Board, students now have the opportunity to find refuge in a safe space to complete their education. As someone who works in higher education I witness countless stories of students who have been forced to deal with the challenges of being houseless. Los Angeles Room and Board is transforming the lives of our future leaders.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve had the opportunity to converse with the students from LA Room and Board. The heartfelt experiences and relatable struggles reminded me of my transition to LA. I strongly suggest that this project become a movement ,which could ignite the healing many communities across America had longed for.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Los Angeles Room & Board (LARNB) has accomplished something very few non-profits can at this stage in their lifespan and as a board member, it is exciting to be part of such innovation, change and trailing-blazing. I have served on over half a dozen non-profit boards, both regional and prominent national organizations. So when I say LARNB is an impressive and impactful organization, it is in the context of this wealth of experience and exposure to various operational styles. LARNB's focus is to house housing insecure and homeless college students, while also addressing related issues such as food insecurity, mental health, general health, academic support and other supportive services necessary for the success of students. It was alarming how little was done in this area in a focused and intentional way (instead of a by-product of the larger homelessness or general college effort). This is important as this level of dedication is needed to ensure student success.
LARNB has also managed to build a healthy pool of consistent funders and grant sources that has permitted it to have enough funds for its Opportunity House for several years. LARNB recognizes that their model is successful but needs to be expanded. It is exciting to see LARNB scaling its programming efforts and playing a larger role on system change discussions. Supporting an organization like LARNB does not just translate to greater direct services to support students much in need, it also translates to creating larger system changes that can ensure all our students can achieve their academic goals. Educational equity is critical, and LARNB is playing a major role to ensure this happens! Get involved, be a part of a historic movement.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with LA Room & Board for just over a year, helping host monthly gathering through another organization, but also volunteering at their first annual fundraiser over the summer. The students are truly amazing, and what LARNB has made possible for them is inspiring. I was fortunate to help the first students move in last summer, and have been connected with the organization ever since. The kinship and community is palpable and seeing the students succeed is beyond measure.

Donor

Rating: 5

A wonderful , sincere and successful effort in Los Angeles to help people help themselves. Run by Sam Prater with energy and compassion, young people who are trying to improve their lot in life by pursuing their educational goals despite personal hardship and homelessness, people who want to be independent and hold up their end of the "social contract," are given the support they need. This is not bout handouts, but about teaching a person to fish so they can feed themselves. It isn't just about a place to stay, it is also about support and counseling and community and acceptance and having standards. I am thrilled and honored to be associated with Sam and LA Room and Board.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

LA Room and Board is an exceptional organization, building a stable environment for students who have all the capacity to succeed. The "home" they provide for systems-involved folks is a source of community and stability. Sam Prater is an incredible leader, and someone who has clear goals as well as standards. LA Room and Board has a promising future, and the capacity to fulfill it.

Martel O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We are thrilled to partner with LA Room and Board. The intentionality, passion, approach and compassion LA Room and Board gives to their clients is what other organizations should thrive for. It's important that we continue to provide support and care for this organization to continue to thrive and move this work forward!