Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

A Miracle for Alexandria House

Alexandria House Founding Director Judy Vaughn announced the successful purchase of the Kenmore Residence, creating 39 affordable housing units for Alexandria House clients.


“I have just two words,” Judy Vaughn, Founding Director of Alexandria House, the transitional shelter for women and children, told friends and donors at a gathering in December in at the Hancock Park home of Marla and Jim Ryan: “Miracles and relationships.”

Vaughn was describing to donors and supporters how her dream of purchasing the building behind the non-profit’s two bungalows on Alexandria street in Koreatown, to provide 39 units of affordable housing, would dramatically transform her nearly three-decade-old organization, allowing it to provide supportive services, a community center and so much more.

And this month, that dream has become a reality. Alexandria House gleefully announced last week that escrow has closed on its purchase of the Kenmore Residence. Working with volunteers and donors, its small team assembled $9 million for the purchase of the building. And the organization is currently on track to raise another $3 million for the renovation, plus additional commitments to support the increased operating expenses. Raising all those funds in less than a year is nothing short of miraculous, but it was made possible thanks to the extensive network of relationships Vaughn and her team have built over the years of serving women and their families.

As wrote Vaughn in a message to the community of support she has built over the past three decades:


“It is with great joy and gratitude that Alexandria House announces the purchase of the Kenmore Residence from the Immaculate Heart Community. The Kenmore Residence, that is immediately adjacent to the current location, will provide 39 permanent, affordable , supportive units for families in need. Thank you to the Immaculate Heart Community for their vote of confidence and willingness to sell to Alexandria House. We are committed to carrying on our shared mission to work for social justice and equity in this society and world. We will take good care of the Kenmore Residence.

“We are extremely grateful to our major donors including the California Community Foundation, the Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation, the Marisa Antonini Foundation, the RAR Foundation, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the WSM Foundation, the John and Marilyn Wells Foundation, with special recognition of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavy Foundation. Thank you to everyone who expressed their support and encouragement in so many ways, including financial contributions.

“We are extremely grateful to Brian Flavell, Ryan Fateh and Natasha Gunasekara of Sidley Austin, Shane Hartz and Matthew Sullivan of Lee and Associates, and Miguel Soltero and Juan Platero of RE3 Construction for sharing knowledge, resources and guidance as we moved through the purchase process. Special thank you to our Board of Directors and to the staff of Alexandria House, especially Pamela Hope and Michele Richards who worked tirelessly to makes this purchase possible. Thank you to the Acquisition Committee, including Tom LaBonge who shared the vision, kept us nourished with pumpkin bread, and is now celebrating with us from the other side of time. Thank you to the Chair of the Acquisition Committee, Nancy Berlin, who gave hours of time, experience, and skill to bring us to this day. Purchasing Kenmore has been a long-time dream and now it is a reality.

We express our respect and gratitude to Michael Enright, a long time friend, who reminded us at each and every meeting and conversation how valuable relationships are, and that everyone needs and deserves a place to call home and a community that remembers and cares. We look forward to keeping you informed as we move through renovations towards our lease-up and opening.”


For many donors, it was an easy decision to support Alexandria House in this effort.

“Since three people from different parts of my life reached out in the same week to say, “Hey, you guys should know about this incredible opportunity for Alexandria House,” I made it my business to find out about it! Now I want to say the same to everyone I know!” wrote donor Monica Rosenthal in a message to the Buzz. “The power of this small group of women determined to bring stability and hope to families is staggering–proving that it is possible to come together as a community and as a neighborhood to find solutions to homelessness. My family is proud to play a small role in the vision of this extraordinary organization and to provide ongoing support of their work, and invite all our neighbors to do the same in any way they can!”

We first heard about the project almost a year ago, when Marilyn Wells and her husband John made an initial pledge of $1 million. Since then, their foundation, the John and Marilyn Wells Family Foundation, has given Alexandria House $2 million toward purchasing the Kenmore Apartments and operating Alexandria House on an ongoing basis.

“It’s astonishing to witness the number of women and children you have cared for in two houses of hope and healing. We are looking forward to watching Alexandria House grow with an abundance of room!” wrote Wells in an email.

Vaughn and her staff also expressed appreciation to the Immaculate Heart Community for its vote of confidence and willingness to sell to Alexandria House.

“We are committed to carrying on our shared mission to work for social justice and equity in our world,” wrote Vaughn.

Finally, said Vaughn, “Last, but certainly not least, we are extremely grateful to all of our supporters and hope you know that we couldn’t do this impactful and life-changing work without YOUR help. Thank you for believing that everyone needs and deserves a place to call home and a community that remembers and cares.”

Alexandria House has developed a deep well of support in the community over the last three decades. While it feels like a miracle to Vaughn and her team,  it’s really the result of years and years of relationship building that enables everyone to celebrate this wonderful achievement. Of course, the fundraising is never done. The needs are greater now than ever before. Click here to learn how you can help Alexandria House help more families find safe and supportive housing.


The Kenmore Residence building in the backyard of Alexandria House’s two current shelters.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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