Ventura County Star (March 21, 2015)

Entering 35th year, Many Mansions in Thousand Oaks looks to private sector for funding

An excellent article was posted in Sunday’s Ventura County Star (link below) about Many Mansions, its office move and direction. Be sure to check out the timeline at the end of the article with pictures of our properties! Read the article on the VC Star’s website.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Moving just one block away may seem silly.

But the staff at Many Mansions believes leaving a hidden corner on Thousand Oaks Boulevard for a prominent spot on the same street could make a world of difference.

The housing nonprofit recently moved its offices to a new building with its blue logo on display for all drivers getting on or off the freeway at Rancho Road to see.

“The more prominent we are, the better,” said Many Mansions President Rick Schroeder. “There’s still many in our community who don’t know about us.”

That may be hard to believe considering the organization is in its 35th year and boasts 14 affordable housing projects across the county. But the nonprofit is starting a new chapter and it needs the attention of one group in particular — the private sector.

The demise of redevelopment agencies in California has left a rather large hole in an organization that builds and renovates housing for the poor. About a quarter of Many Mansions’ housing development revenue came from the local redevelopment agency.

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Many Mansions New Office Premiere!

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On Thursday, March 5th, 2015 Many Mansions celebrated the Grand Opening of a new donated office building. Ventura County City officials, State officials, Conejo Chamber of Commerce, staff members and community supports joined Many Mansions in a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception at the new location. The new office building was generously donated by Extra Space Storage and TO Storage. The new 3,170 square foot building is located at 1259 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.

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Special thanks to the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful ribbon cutting ceremony. Special thanks to Senator Fran Pavley and Congresswoman Julia Brownley offices for certificate presentations!

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Keep an eye out for Many Mansions’ Open House event this spring! The entire community will be invited to come take a look at our new home.

Volunteer of the Year: Glenn Kassel

“We must not bury our heads in the sand instead of confronting the problems of homelessness. Difficult issues require brave, determined, intelligent confrontations.”

~ Glenn Kassel, Many Mansions Volunteer

Glenn discovered Many Mansions while researching local housing nonprofits for a friend who wanted to volunteer. Intrigued, Glenn immediately called and began her wonderful relationship with Many Mansions. Glenn is supportive, passionate, and outspoken about Many Mansions’ mission, and truly shares in our desire to provide families with “hope and homes.”

Glenn’s heart for service stems from two central beliefs she holds about the human experience. First, children are the reason and inspiration for many of our cultural practices, and yet the least represented members of society. She has always been deeply passionate about helping children in whatever way she can, and is committed to helping give them a voice. Glenn’s second core belief that provides a foundation for her volunteering service both at Many Mansions and elsewhere is the belief that if we call ourselves a civilized society, then we must house our citizens. To quote her, “We must not bury our heads in the sand instead of confronting the problems of homelessness. Difficult issues require brave, determined, intelligent confrontations.” Many Mansions is unique in our approach to combatting homelessness, providing a combination of safe housing and enriching services not seen elsewhere. This unique blend of service provision has drawn invaluable volunteers like Glenn to us, and leads them to truly become invested in our inspiring mission and service programs and to become advocates for us in the community.

Glenn volunteers for Many Mansions in several areas, and is thoroughly engaged in every aspect of our mission. Glenn volunteers as a tutor in the Children’s Program, as a receptionist in our front office, and assists with our semi-annual fundraising event, the Bowls of Hope.

With a deeply held belief that children are our future, and Glenn’s personal light, she first began working with our children’s program in 2009 and has never stopped. As a volunteer in our Homework Tutoring Club, Glenn has been a wonderful mentor, tutor, and friend to the children and an incredible support to the staff. Glenn is a wonderful, patient and compassionate woman. She is so very supportive of each and every one of the kids who attend the Homework Tutoring Club at Shadow Hills. The kids and staff adore her and look forward to seeing her every Thursday.  Over the past six years, she has devoted her precious time, remarkable effort and her whole heart to assisting children with their education, forming deep and trusting relationships, and helping open their eyes to a better and brighter future full of potential and opportunities.

In addition to her commitment to the Children’s Program Glenn has been a very significant volunteer at the Many Mansions front office.  She is not only flexible, committed and willing to work on any task; but she also has a very special way of taking care of everyone who walks through our door.  Her genuine care for people is demonstrated in the way she greets the mail carrier to taking a personal interest in all of the staff’s lives.  Affectionately known as the chocolate lady, Glenn provides so much more than the rejuvenating weekly chocolate fix for staff. She provides support and assistance by running our front office reception desk each week, and is a shining light to staff with her bright eyes and encouraging words.

Glenn’s commitment to Many Mansions goes beyond the weekly hours she is present at our organization. She carries her care and concern for Many Mansions with her wherever she goes, and is constantly sending opportunities and resources our way – from new funding sources to new volunteers – she is always looking out for us.