Hollywood Supports the Homeless at L.A. Family Housing Awards

Jenny Smith and Co.
Niecy Nash and husband Jay Tucker

The annual fundraiser honored Karen Brodkin, president of business affairs at WME | IMG

At the L.A. Family Housing Awards (LAFH), Hollywood learned that there’s more to homelessness than what you see on the side of the street. Industry agents, actors and executives gathered at The Lot on Thursday evening for a reception to honor WME | IMG president of business affairs Karen Brodkin while raising money to put roofs over the heads of those in need. 

Guests including About a Boy’s David Walton and Corbin Bleu sampled spicy tuna cones, grilled lamb chops and burrata with caviar from some of LA’s hottest restaurants including Angelini Osteria, Kali Dining and Alma Restaurant. A silent and live auction took place to raise funds towards LAFH services in providing temporary/permanent housing and the necessary services for families.

One of the most shocking facts that attendees learned during the evening was that being homeless doesn’t always mean living on the side of the freeway. Niecy Nash, who will star in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming Scream Queens, admitted her former assistant was homeless.

“She was referred to me through someone and I didn’t know she was homeless at the time,” Nash told reporters. “She was living out of her car at the time and I didn’t know it.”

Nash said that it was her maternal instinct that made her sense that something was going on with her assistant.  

“I was like in order to help me become stable we need to get you stable so let’s focus on that and then we can get to what I need,” added Nash. “We were able to get her on her feet and out of the car and into a nice place to live.“

Host Jeremy Sisto (The Returned) was on the hunt for an organization to commit to when he discovered L.A. Family Housing.

“I help kids with their homework, I cook, I’m doing training for outreach,” Sisto told reporters. “It’s been a fascinating experience and I’ve really been very inspired by the people.”

Residents of the LAFH initiative were also present to share how the organization has helped them start a new life. Couple Maya and Justin were working as a caterer and in Pepsi merchandising, respectively, when a tragic car accident left them with $250,000 in medical bills. The couple and their two young boys found themselves out of their home living day to day in hotels and cars until they received their own space with a locked door from L.A. Family Housing.

The family took to the stage to present Brodkin with her honor for her dedication to the organization through WME | IMG. Brodkin recounted how visiting the LAFH establishment has opened her eyes to realize that family homelessness is a more serious issue than it’s perceived, since it puts a significant amount of youth at a disadvantage.

“The homeless population that we see on the news or exiting a freeway is not telling the complete story of homelessness,” said Brodkin. “There are multiple stories like the ones we’re hearing tonight. Stories we don’t hear enough because family homelessness is often hidden.”

The event raised more than $900,000 for support services to help the homeless get back on their feet. 

Honoree Karen Brodkin, LAFH President Stephanie Klasky-Gamer with LAFH residents Maya, Justin and their two sons at the LAFH Awards.

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