Organizational History

In 1990 the City of Santa Monica found itself with a growing shortage of low-income housing. It was concerned about the high number of homeless families with children and the many very low-income elderly needing such housing as well as social services. Seeking a more permanent solution to this problem, the First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica stepped forward and incorporated the nondenominational, nonprofit, community-service agency Upward Bound House.

Beginning in 1991, Upward Bound House began a small pilot transitional housing project for homeless families in a small 4-unit apartment building. This was the precursor to Family Place and was highly successful. All but two of the eighteen families involved in the pilot project remained intact and moved from homelessness to permanent housing. Several years of community organizational work was done to ensure that the planned housing projects fit into the neighborhood with the approval of area residents. Extensive cooperative relationships were developed with social service providers in the area in order to meet the service needs of the target populations, while avoiding duplication and maximizing benefits.

Family Place began in August 1996 and welcomed its first clients in July 1997. The program has been refined so that it is now serving approximately 50 families a year. Upward Bound House is very proud that 95% of the families that graduate from the program are still in their homes a year after placement, with many remaining in their own apartments and doing well for long after. This success rate is due mainly to the excellent supportive services we provide.

Construction of the Senior Villa complex, including the Intergenerational Program Service Center began in January 1999, and was opened for residency in May 2000. The 70-unit facility serves approximately 90 residents. 

In 2005, in response to the surge of homeless families with children, Upward Bound House commenced planning and fund raising for Family Shelter, which opened in Spring 2010.  The 18 unit facility provides short-term stabilization and rapid housing services for families with children.