A letter from the President
Reflecting back on 2010, it was a unique year. It had a number of significant successes along with a challenge or too.
Step Up took big steps in 2010. In Hollywood, we completed purchase of our second property, a 32 unit motel on Sunset Blvd. near La Brea and we secured funding for a new outreach team to provide services to individuals who are the most chronically homeless and affected by mental illness on the streets of Hollywood. We owe great thanks to Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and the Hilton Foundation for their support of this effort. The outreach team will start in February and the motel project, which we now call Michael’s Village, will open this Spring. None of this would be possible without the great support of our wonderful friend and supporter, Aileen Getty.
September had my highlight of the year (or rather decade) with participation in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York. Our CGI commitment was presented on stage by President Clinton himself in recognition of our work to create some 200 units of permanent supportive housing in Hollywood in the next four years. Standing on stage next to him while he talked about the need to solve homelessness gave me goosebumps. So these days, we are really beginning to think of ourselves as based in Santa Monica and Hollywood.
Step Up was not immune the effects of the economic downturn, but it showed itself more in the slow payments by government entities. So like many, we felt the tight cash situation. I am grateful for the support of the many foundation and corporate and individual donors, old and new, who understood the challenge the recession posed for us. Many donors redirected their support from new programs to existing core programs, the basic needs of those we serve everyday. This was of immense help. We are particularly grateful to The Weingart Foundation for their support and commitment to what we do. Things improved considerably before the year was out and we weathered the storm - which was a big accomplishment.
Thanks to support from the City of Santa Monica, we acquired our fourth property there. In late December, we purchased 520 Colorado Blvd., within eyesight from Step Up on Fifth. in a couple of years, we plan to turn this property into 36 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals who are most chronically homeless and affected by mental illness on the streets of Santa Monica.
We are so grateful for the support of many.
— Tod Lipka
Step Up on Second Executive Team
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tod Lipka holds a M.P.A. degree and a M.S. from USC. With over 25 years in managing nonprofits, Mr. Lipka is a seasoned executive. He has led Step Up since 2001 and he was the initiator and impetus behind Step Up on Fifth and Daniel’s Village. He has seven years experience in development leadership and management and is the author of “Creating Affordable Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness, A Step by Step Guide”, funded by a grant from the Corporation for Supportive Housing.
contact Tod Lipka
Chief Operations Officer
Barbara Bloom, LCSW
As a seasoned mental health clinician, Ms. Barbara Bloom has over 15 years experience working in mental health settings. Ms. Bloom, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is the Chief Operating Officer of Step Up on Second and oversees clinical programs and operations of Step Up including Daniel’s Place. A member of the Executive Management Team, her responsibilities range from program development and planning, the hiring and supervision of Program Managers and Directors who oversee staff related to these programs (including staff psychiatrists) as well as related reporting procedures required for all programs. Ms. Bloom earned her B.A. at UCLA and her Master of Social Work at USC; she is also an Accredited Licensed Clinical Supervisor – for both students and interns earning hours for M.S.W. and M.F.T. and was an adjunct professor at USC School of Social Welfare. contact Barbara Bloom
Chief Financial Officer
Sunny’s education includes an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration. As a certified public accountant with over 20 years of progressively responsible work experience in the accounting field including within both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, she has held positions such as CFO, VP and Director of Finance, Controller, Accounting Manager and Auditor. Her most recent position, before SUOS, was as VP of Finance for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation for the past eight years and responsible for annual operating budgets from $28 to $24 million. AS CFO, Sunny is responsible for all aspects of SUOS’s accounting activities, IT and Property Managements, as well as all financial aspects of housing development, including tax credit, HUD and local housing authority reporting and fiscal management.
Vice President of Development
Carolyn Baker, M.Ed.
Carolyn L. Baker, is Vice President of Community Development at Step Up on Second and holds a M. Ed. in Organizational Development. As a Commitment-Maker within the Clinton Global Initiative for Step Up, Baker is part of the Executive team that acquires, develops, and operates permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals affected by mental illness on the streets of Los Angeles. In her 25+ year nonprofit career, Baker has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for important safety net agencies. Baker’s mantra is: “it’s the role of a community to heal and sustain ALL of its members.” contact Carolyn Baker
Vice President of Vocational Services
Amy Stone has been with Step Up on Second since 2004. She has 20 of years experience working in social services setting combined with an extensive background in food services, corporate restaurant training, and management. Amy attended Western Washington University and has a degree in Sociology/Criminology. At Step Up on Second Amy oversees all Vocational services including Fresh Start Market & Catering, the Served Meals Program, Job Training and Community Employment Development. contact Amy Stone
Step Up on Second Program Director
Aaron Criswell, M.A.
Mr. Criswell has been the Program Director at Step Up on Second for one year and the Team Leader of the Case Management Team at Step Up on Second for 7 years. As such, he is responsible for overseeing the Case Management and Member Services staff. Mr. Criswell also manages three City of Santa Monica contracts, including those for Dual Diagnosis and Shelter Plus Care Housing Assistance. Mr. Criswell received his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky, and he is a Registered Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner. Aaron comes to Step Up on Second after having been an integral team member of Portals Mental Health Rehabilitation Services, Boulder County Behavioral Health Program, Portals Partners, Canyon Acres Residential Center, and Mental Health Corporation of Denver, Colorado. contact Aaron Criswell