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College Of The Canyons To Host Virtual ‘Meet the Grantmakers’ Event

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College of the Canyons
Photo Courtesy of College of the Canyons

The College of the Canyons Office of Grants Development is set to host a virtual ‘Meet the Grant Makers’ panel presentation and seminar this month.

On Thursday, April 8, Santa Clarita Valley non-profits have an opportunity to learn how to improve their fundraising efforts and see their organizations thrive, according to the office.

Held in partnership with the SCV Nonprofit Leaders Network, the event will feature interactive discussions focused on helping attendees:

  • Engage in dialogue with potential donors about their organization’s major priorities
  • Understand how to make their grant applications stand out
  • Learn how to build meaningful relationships with organization representatives
  • Network and form partnerships with other non-profit professionals
  • Successfully secure grants and other forms of aid

In particular, the panel presentation will be focused on current giving priorities, as well as both targeted and precise grant requests.

The featured panel speakers for this year’s ‘Meet the Grant Makers’ event will be Cathy Choi, Senior Director of Programs, The Eisner Foundation; Tony Newhall, Board Member, Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation; Kadar Lewis, Program Officer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation; and Marisol Espinoza, public affairs manager, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

The program will also provide attendees with the opportunity to network virtually with representatives from other non-profit organizations to create partnerships and explore the possibility of future collaboration projects.

‘Meet the Grant Makers’ will take place from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8 via Zoom.

For more information about ‘Meet the Grant Makers,’ email amber.cole@canyons.edu.

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Community Rallies To Support Dorsey Boys After Murder Of Mother In Santa Clarita

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Dorsey Family Santa Clarita Murder

The Santa Clarita community has rallied to support the thee Dorsey boys after their mother was murdered Thursday by her estranged husband. 

The Dorsey boys — ages 13, 11 and 9 — are now without a mother as they start to cope with the tragedy that unfolded in their Saugus home. 

“Please help the Dorsey/Smith/Jordan family during this difficult time,” the GoFundMe reads. “All donations will go to the boys and any extra costs the family will be accruing at this time.  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  Please keep their families in your prayers.”

As of Friday morning, the page has raised over $21,000 of the $25,000 goal to support the family. 

An outpouring of support has come from the community, including the captain of Los Angeles County Fire Station 108, which responded to the incident. 

“Our condolences to the boys and the entire family,” said Capt. Adam Clint.

On Thursday at about 5:10 a.m., deputies responded to the report of a stabbing on the 22800 block of Fir Court, according to Deputy Grace Medrano, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Information Bureau. 

The 39-year-old mother of three, Michelle Dorsey, was later pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Homicide detectives identified the suspect as the estranged husband, James Mathew Dorsey, from Washington State, according to LASD Lt. Barry Hall.

At about 4:40 p.m., deputies initiated a pursuit, following the suspect at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Dorsey crashed on 330th Street West, near the border of Los Angeles County and Kern County.

Hours later by 10 p.m., the LASD Special Enforcement Bureau reported Dorsey was taken into custody.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

To donate to the GoFundMe, visit here.

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Man In Bear Suit Walking From L.A. To San Francisco To Raise Money For Nonprofits

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Bearsun Santa Clarita Walk LA to SF
Photo Courtesy of @IamBearsun / Instagram

A man in a bear suit passed through the Santa Clarita Valley Tuesday on his 380-mile journey, walking from Los Angeles to San Francisco to raise money for nonprofits. 

Jessy Larios, known as Bearsun, left the Little Tokyo neighborhood of L.A. on April 12 and his documenting the trek on Instagram. 

Some members of the Castaic community took to social media to figure out why a person in a bear suit was walking along The Old Road early Tuesday morning. 

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station also encountered the “bear-y unique situation.”

“You may have seen a large teddy bear walking through town, yes a large teddy bear… walking,” said SCV Sheriff’s Station officials. “One of our deputies got the opportunity to meet up with the individual inside the bear and learned he is on a mission to complete a walk from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We wish him the best of luck on his adventure.”

Larios is working to get more sponsors and donations to help fund the Bearsun project, raising money to donate to any selected nonprofit, he said. 

The goal is to complete the cross-state trip on foot in under a week, camping outdoors the entire time. 

“I’ll have a photographer meet me at five pinpoints to take pics, do video documents so we can share as much as the experience with you,” Larios said. 

To track Bearsun’s journey visit the Instagram page here, and to donate visit his website.

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Second Tiny Home Village For Those Experiencing Homelessness To Open In North Hollywood

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Tiny Home Village Homeless Shelter North Hollywood Los Angeles 1
The tiny home village on Chandler Boulevard which opened on Feb. 1. Devon Miller / The Valley Post

The second tiny home village for those experiencing homelessness is set to open in North Hollywood, after the opening of the first in February. 

On April 26, the nonprofit Hope of the Valley is opening a tiny home community near Alexandria Park, consisting of 103 units and 200 beds. 

Ken Craft, CEO of Hope of the Valley, is seeking support ahead of the opening, requesting new bed sheets, towels and other items to furnish the tiny homes. 

“In order to get the site ready, we need 200 sheets, 200 pillows, 200 blankets, 400 storage bins and 200 towels,” Kraft said. “In advance, thank you for being a community member that cares and gives. We cannot do what we do without you.”

Each tiny home is equipped with heating, air conditioning, windows and at least one bed. The village offers another option for families and couples who are typically separated into separate housing areas.

The first tiny home village on Chandler Street, with 40 homes and 75 beds, opened on Feb. 1, with the assistance of L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian. 

“I believe in this model, this will be a viable, sustainable for many people who are coming off the street,” Kraft said in a previous story

The units also allow for privacy, which is important for those who have experienced trauma in their lives, allowing them to feel safe, secure and to start the rebuilding process, he said.

“It creates an alternative,” Kraft said. “This site allows for separation, especially during COVID. It allows for couples and families to be together. For example, a mother with a special needs son is able to still care for them. In a congregate setting, that may not be possible.”

Hope of the Valley, founded in the summer of 2009, operates nine shelters, two access centers and a job center. The nonprofit currently provides 507 beds per night at various shelters throughout the San Fernando Valley housing single adults, families and transitional age youth.  

The number of beds is expected to increase throughout the upcoming year, Kraft said. 

In addition to the tiny home village on Chandler, Hope of the Valley plans on opening five shelters in 2021, in addition to the former Skateland location in Northridge which is expected to be transformed into a 110-bed facility. 

The new shelters are expected to double the number of beds in the San Fernando Valley to about 1,100 beds in one year. 

“Once you come here, you can finally breathe,” he said. “You can think beyond today, and anticipate tomorrow. Coming to a place like this, it’s a new lease on life, it is where hope begins.”

The nonprofit also offers wrap-around services including case management, job placement, housing navigators, substance abuse counseling, mental health services, among others.

In 2020, the homeless population in the San Fernando Valley and across Los Angeles County has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Craft said their shelters have had to reduce their housing capacity to 70% in order to comply with the new health regulations made necessary by the pandemic.

The organization’s manpower has also been affected, as shelters across the county have been forced to suspend their volunteer programs due to the current surge in cases.

Hope of the Valley operates Thrift Stores throughout the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and Simi Valley.

The nonprofit relies heavily on donations and contributions from the community in order to operate. Those looking to donate, visit Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

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