Welcome to Casa Libre, a majestic, 35 room gothic mansion in the heart of Westlake, only a stones throw from MacArthur Park. Commissioned in 1901 and built in 1902, this exemplary architectural feat was erected by celebrated architect John B. Parkinson, decades before he would help shape Los Angeles with masterpieces such as Union Station, City Hall and the L.A Coliseum. The property was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, but would have its biggest honor in 2003 when it was converted into Casa Libre; an emergency and long-term youth shelter for boys under the age of 18, with specialized services for undocumented/unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children, by The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.
The program provides all of the basic necessities of other shelters (i.e food, clothing, access to medical assistance), with one very significant exception. Additionally, Casa Libre specializes in securing pro bono immigration attorneys, many of whom are able to open SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status) cases for the youth, placing these DREAMERS on their way to legal residency and a better life. In the past decade, hundreds of youth have come through our doors and many still return to share not only their progress, but also their gratitude.
Ten years of dedicated service (not to mention a century in the city) however, does not come without its share of wear and tear. The most urgent of which are the leaks in the roof and the lack of gutters around the house, which every rainy season (although brief) eat its way further down the sandstone walls, leading to other complications. We have had several professional contractors out to quote us on these repairs and the figure usually falls right around $12,500 for the roof work, wood work, and new gutter installation required, in addition to the building permits from The Office of Historic Resources.
As with most non-profits, our budget is razor thin, and could never include a repair of this magnitude. However, with dedicated and concerned samaritans like you, we can spread the word and hopefully reach 12,500 people that would be willing to chip in a buck. What do you think? Let's save this landmark and give our DREAMERS a place to call home. CHEERS!!!
P.S Please feeel free to direct any further comments/inquiries to me here. Thank you.
Some additional links: