“When I see organizations that are doing incredible work, yet the communities they serve are not understanding the value or impact of the work being done, we spring into action.”

-Stacy Miller, President & CEO

Case Study: San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission

On May 3, 2014, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission (SFVRM) was engulfed in flames. Fortunately, none of the guests were injured; however, the families who had come to the mission after experiencing homelessness were once again facing a dire future.

In less than four hours, SMPA organized a press conference where the seven neighboring city councilmembers came together to pledge their support of the affected families and of fast-tracking the rebuilding of the shelter. The event garnered national attention and set in motion a multi-year and multi-tiered strategy that led to the organization winning the hearts of their community and build a 90-bed family homelessness shelter in the heart of Northridge, California.

The main challenge with the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles is NIMBYism and SMPA worked closely with councilmembers and media to educate the community about the true faces of homelessness. A digital strategy including a new website, e-newsletters and a full social media presence deepened the community’s connection to the families San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission was serving.


Events such as style-blogger Emily Henderson’s designing and furnishing of the shelter further propelled the social media engine, while helping to further educate the community as to the physical, mental and emotional healing the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission provides. More importantly, SFVRM has become the gold standard for what a shelter can look like, what it means to the families it serves and how to move a community from resistance to acceptance of housing families facing homelessness.