Local community members gathered in the Gilbert Arena at California Lutheran University for the fifth annual “Bowls of Hope” event Nov. 4.
Ventura County residents were invited to enjoy hot soup in hand-painted ceramic bowls. The bowls were made by local community members.
The event was hosted in partnership with Many Mansions, a real estate developer in Ventura County that provides affordable housing to low-income residents, according to the organization website. Many Mansions Resource Developer Kristina Medeiros said there were 17 different types of soups that were all donated by local restaurants.
“I think the most difficult part is you always want to do more. Even with the Bowls of Hope, we want to raise as much as we can to go back to them,” Medeiros said. “But there’s always more that can be done. The most difficult part ends up being the part that drives us the most, to keep going. It doesn’t just stop today.”
The fundraiser has been around for 17 years and has taken place at Cal Lutheran for the last five years. The event is intended to help raise money for the Children and Adult Service programs offered through Many Mansions.
The nonprofit was established in 1979 and targets individuals or families who have previously been previously homeless, have low income, are senior citizens, have a disability or are veterans.
“Everyone pays rent, but their rent level is adjusted to their income so it’s a much lower rent. It’s something they can afford. Every one of our one-bedroom units are rented at different levels,” Many Mansions President Rick Schroeder said.
The main source of funding to build and renovate apartment buildings comes from low-interest government loans. Additionally, the money that is donated at the Bowls of Hope fundraiser also applies.
Tyler Freeman volunteered with Bowls of Hope Nov. 4.
“Establishing a relationship with these kids who look up to me [when] I never thought they would is the most rewarding part,” Freeman said.
To volunteer with Many Mansions at events like Bowls of Hope, people can sign up on the organization website or reach out to Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Lawson at 805-601-5407.