A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Five Black and Latinx Grassroots Leaders Addressing Housing Affordability

Funders Together pushes philanthropy to both fund grassroots organizations that are working on housing justice and to make sure that their voices are being included in policy conversations. On March 30, Funders Together and California YIMBY hosted a briefing to introduce funders to five Black and Latinx led/serving grassroots organizations that want to work deeper in housing affordability issues and center racial equity in the process. Here are the profiles of the five organizations who shared how increased capacity can transform housing policy.


During this briefing hosted by Funders Together and California YIMBY on March 30, we introduced funders to five Black and Latinx led/serving grassroots organizations that want to work deeper in housing affordability issues and center racial equity in the process. These are organizations with political influence, but they are not (yet) engaged in policy-making in Sacramento, CA.

California YIMBY proposed this funder briefing to not only bring more BIPOC groups to the table but to expand their capacity to bring in new ideas and participate in setting the housing reform agenda. These groups are members of a new Housing Working Group convened by California YIMBY and have agreed to prioritize these housing reforms:

  • Ending the housing shortage
  • Ending discriminatory housing policies
  • Increasing homeownership opportunities
  • Prioritizing communities vulnerable to displacement
  • Bringing down skyrocketing housing costs

This briefing was an opportunity to hear directly from Black and Latinx emerging voices for housing reform. These leaders are embedded in their communities, working to resolve housing challenges for their constituents. For these organizations, $50K-100K could be transformative for their housing programs and elevate their advocacy to the regional and state level. 

We hope you will take some time to hear them share about their work and reach out if you have follow up questions and want to support their advocacy work, and we also hope you support grassroots organizations like these that are working locally in your own communities.


Greenlining Institute

Contact: Adam Briones, Senior Director, Economic Equity - [email protected]

Greenlining Institute's focus is on equity and connecting community leaders with policymakers, researchers and private sector leaders. They design and support policies meant to open doors to opportunity, recognizing that America’s racial wealth gap was created by deliberate policy choices and it will take deliberate, race-conscious choices to end it.

Adam Briones can tell you all about zoning laws and how they can create more equitable and just housing opportunities. He also authored the following two op-eds:


Pacoima Beautiful

Contact: Veronica Padilla, Executive Director - [email protected]

Pacoima Beautiful is a grassroots environmental justice organization that provides education, impacts local policy, and supports local arts and culture in order to promote a healthy and sustainable San Fernando Valley. Founded in 1996, their focus has been to create a safer and cleaner community for their children and neighbors.


Salvadoran and American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF)

Contact: Jocelyn Duarte, Executive Director - [email protected] and Julio Ramos-Beltran - [email protected]

SALEF’s mission is to promote the civic participation and representation of the Salvadoran and other Latino communities in the U.S., promote the economic development and democracy in El Salvador, as well as to advocate for its economic, educational, and political advancement and growth.

Together, Jocelyn and Julio authored an op-ed about housing opportunities for immigrants: Nuevo proyecto de ley dará a los inmigrantes más oportunidades de vivienda


Fathers and Families of San Joaquin

Contact: Tina Curiel-Allen, Healing and Harmony Administrative Lead - [email protected] and Lea Volk, Case Manager/ Resource Specialist - [email protected]

Their mission is to promote the social, cultural, spiritual, economic and environmental renewal of the most vulnerable families in Stockton and the greater San Joaquin Valley. With racial inequality, economic instability, and most recently, the disproportionate health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities in the San Joaquin Valley are currently facing tremendous challenges, all of which are exacerbated by California’s failure to address the housing crisis.

You can read more in this op-ed from Fathers and Families: Guest view on housing and treatment of lower income people in SJ County


Central Valley Urban Institute

Contact: Eric Payne, Executive Director - [email protected]

The Central Valley Urban Institute serves as the conscience of California's San Joaquin Valley speaking up and out to protect our most vulnerable residents.


About our co-host, California YIMBY: California YIMBY is a community of neighbors who welcome more neighbors. We believe that an equitable California begins with abundant, secure, affordable housing. Founded in 2017, California YIMBY writes and campaigns to pass legislation that removes exclusionary barriers to responsible home building. In our first three years, we've helped pass eight pieces of pro-housing legislation, enabling the construction of an estimated 1.5M+ new homes.

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  • Stephanie Chan
    published this page in Blog 2021-04-06 15:25:04 -0400

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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