Pasadena Star News
From Staff Reports
With rents for a modest Pasadena apartment exceeding $1,000 per month, Pasadena’s Union Station Foundation has hired a housing specialist, Sieglinde von Definer, to focus on finding permanent housing for homeless and low-income clients. Von Definer, senior project service coordinator with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, was born and raised in Pasadena, is a graduate of UCLA, and has devoted her career in social services to working with the homeless.
Union Station’s Executive Director Rabbi Marvin Gross, said that the mission of the community-based, non-denominational nonprofit social service agency, which serves Pasadena and the West San Gabriel Valley, is to provide homeless and low-income men, women and families with the means to transform their lives so they can become productive, stable and self-supporting.
“For many of our clients, permanent housing and a job are the key to starting over,” Gross said, “and it has become necessary to ‘think outside of the box’ in order to make this a reality amidst the high cost of living in the San Gabriel Valley.”
Von Definer, who worked on a pilot project for the Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services, said that the hardest clients to place are single men and women.
“It may be necessary,” she says, “to open their minds to the possibility of relocating outside of their comfort zone and re-establishing themselves in a new community outside of Pasadena and even the San Gabriel Valley.”