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Focusing on LA’s homeless LGBT youth crisis

150 seek help from LGBT Youth Center daily

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Tuesday the Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center got a few comfy gifts from the Leesa Sleep mattress company. The Center, which provides a place to stay for homeless youth in transition, received the generous donation of 50 mattresses hand-delivered– with a celebrity on the side.

“Shark Tank” star Daymond John was on-hand to be a part of the event and to sit down with the kids and talk about his hardships as a child, struggling with dyslexia, feeling out of place, and how he’s overcome them.

Celebrating with cupcakes in the Hollywood facility, the kids were free to chat with John before snuggling in on their brand new, custom memory-foam mattresses.

As boxes of mattresses were opened, Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the LA LGBT Center, kicked-off the event by talking about the need for donations and why the population is so at-risk.

“We have a horrible problem of youth homelessness in Los Angeles. On any given night, thousands of kids are living on our streets and 40 percent are LGBTQ. And usually they are the last group anybody is taking care of, and that’s because of their gender identity and because there’s such a high number youth of color. The center is here for them 365 days a year,” Jean said.

Each month the LGBT Center welcomes more than 42,000 visits — totaling more than 500,000 each year — from youth and adults in the LGBT community. In addition to offering community health services, counseling and conducting HIV-related research, the center lends support to homeless youth by giving them a bed to sleep on, food, clothing, support groups, education programs and employee training.

To support the work of the LA LGBT Center, Leesa donated 25 mattresses to the youth center and 25 to the emergency center.

Kathy Kloves has been a supporter of the Center for 12 years. She’s a professional screenwriter and GLAAD board member.

“I came with a friend who was working here, and when I walked in and saw what was before me, I knew I had to get involved. And in the 12 years I’ve been here, I’ve raised over $5 million for homeless youth.

“When they show up on the doorstep here, they have nothing; they’ve been kicked out of their homes by the people who are supposed to support them and love them the most and thrown on the streets of Los Angeles. They have nothing but the clothes on their back. To put them in the population of homeless, when some of these youth are very young and vulnerable can be very dangerous. I heard about a year ago that Leesa mattress had this program and would donate, and I said, ‘we need new mattresses.’ For a year, I went back and forth with Leesa begging them. We have such a need both here and in our emergency facility as well. We’re thrilled,” Kloves said.

The youth Center offers an 18-month transitional program, where kids can get their GED, find job placement, counseling and sometimes unify with families.

Kloves says at the drop-in center a few blocks away, 150 kids arrive daily, hoping they can get into the transitional program.

John says when he learned about the work the LA LGBT Center was doing he had no hesitation in being a part of the Leesa donation.

As an active philanthropist, John is partnering with Leesa to give back to communities through Leesa’s “One-Ten” program, where the company donates one mattress for every ten they sell. This is one of five events John and Leesa will work on together this year, which in total will account for 1,000 donated mattresses

“There’s several kinds of philanthropy — there’s checkbook philanthropy, and that’s great, obviously funds are needed. But, I have a hard time with that, because I don’t always know where the money is going,” he says.

“In a business where you’re fortunate to be able to give back, and your employees are hands-on seeing that, I think it speaks volumes. It changes the culture of the company for good. I see companies coming around today to this way of thinking, because the consumer is changing. It’s statistically been shown, that a consumer is three times more likely to support a company that supports some cause that they can see.”

Kloves says simply, “It’s wrong to put a child on the street who’s done nothing to deserve it, and to make them feel afraid and vulnerable and to consider their sexuality to be something their ashamed of.”

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Los Angeles

LAT: Arrests made in gun theft burglary at Karen Bass’s home

The case has yet to be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for the filing of charges

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Karen Bass speaking at an event in San Pedro, Calif. Sept. 2022 (Photo Credit: Bass mayoral campaign/Facebook)

LOS ANGELES – Two men have been arrested in the burglary and theft of guns from the home of U.S. Rep. Karen Bass according to the Los Angeles Times. Bass told the Times that she met with the Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday and officials confirmed the arrests.

Bass, a mayoral candidate running against local businessman and real estate developer Rick Caruso, returned home last Friday after an event to find that her home in LA’s Baldwin Vista neighborhood had been burglarized.

“Last night, I came home and discovered that my house had been broken into and burglarized. LAPD was called, and I appreciate their assistance. At this time, it appears that only two firearms, despite being safely and securely stored, were stolen. Cash, electronics and other valuables were not. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” the Congresswoman wrote in a statement issued Saturday morning.

Later Wednesday, in a release whose details align with the burglary at Bass’s home, the LAPD said the two men were arrested Tuesday evening after officers matched their vehicle to one that was at the scene of the theft Friday the Times reported.

Police identified the burglars as 42-year-old Patricio Munoz, who is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail, and 24-year-old Juan Espinoza, who is being held without bail. Both face a residential burglary charge.

The Times also reported that Munoz provided police an alias of Matias Milito, and Espinoza identified himself as Baltazar Rodriguez, police said.

They were booked into jail under those names, and they are being held at the LAPD’s Valley Jail in Van Nuys.

No information was released as to whether the guns were returned to Bass or if they remain outstanding.

The case has yet to be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for the filing of charges.

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Los Angeles

Home of mayoral candidate Karen Bass burglarized; firearms stolen

“It appears that only two firearms were stolen. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced”

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Rep. Karen Bass speaking to LGBTQ+ supporters during a campaign event earlier this year (Photo Credit: Bass mayoral campaign)

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. a candidate running in the race to become the next mayor of Los Angeles released a statement Saturday indicating that her home had been burglarized and that two firearms were taken.

“Last night, I came home and discovered that my house had been broken into and burglarized. LAPD was called, and I appreciate their assistance. At this time, it appears that only two firearms, despite being safely and securely stored, were stolen. Cash, electronics and other valuables were not. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” the Congresswoman wrote.

Bass said she has been in contact with the Los Angeles Police Department. A LAPD spokesperson said that the police were unable to release any specific details about the investigation.

Bass, a Democratic congresswoman who represents an area west and southwest of downtown Los Angeles, is facing developer Rick Caruso in the upcoming November General Election for the city’s mayoral seat.

UPDATED Sunday Sept. 11, 2022:

The LAPD released this photo of the suspect in a Sept. 9, 2022, burglary of two guns in Baldwin Vista.

Police described the suspect as a man who is about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs about 200 pounds, and was wearing dark clothing, a surgical mask, a blue baseball cap with a white logo, and black Asics sneakers.

Anyone with information about the LAPD press release is asked to call Detective Colleen Stout-Ryder at 213-485-7522.

During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).

To report information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or go directly to lacrimestoppers.org

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Los Angeles

Two shot during follow home robbery, LAPD needs public’s help

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Robbery-Homicide Division or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477)

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Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles LAPD

NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division are looking into a robbery and shooting that injured two males in what investigators termed a follow home robbery.

Patrol officers from the LAPD’s North Hollywood Division responded to a shooting call in the 11100 block of Califa Street at approximately 11:55pm Thursday, September 1.

As the two male victims arrived at the home and exited their vehicle in the driveway, they were approached by at least one suspect and multiple shots were fired.  Both victims were struck numerous times by gunfire.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and transported both victims to a local hospital in critical condition.

Based on initial reports, it is believed that the victims were followed home from a recording studio and robbed.  During the robbery attempt, shots were fired.  Numerous casings were observed at scene and one firearm.  Bullets also struck the victim’s vehicle and residence.

One suspect is described as a male Black wearing a ski mask.  The suspect vehicle is described as a white sport utility vehicle.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Robbery-Homicide Division Detective, Freddy Arroyo at (213) 486-6840.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). 

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org

Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. 

Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

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