In response to the humanitarian homeless crisis in Los Angeles, and more specifically, the lack of Interim Housing beds in the northwest San Fernando Valley, Hope of the Valley recently purchased the 23,000 sq. ft. Northridge Roller Rink called Skateland. The site, for the past 60 years has been a family recreation center for Valley and Southern California residents. The recent pandemic made it impossible for the owners, Mike and Dave Fleming, to continue operations.
Hope of the Valley reached out to local City Councilmember John Lee for support on the project. After evaluating the opportunity, Councilman Lee said he would fully support the project and ask that the project become part of the Mayor’s “A Bridge Home” initiative, thus securing a major portion of funding for the renovation.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my office, my phone rang and I picked it up. “Hello is this Ken Craft, this is Alex Trebek. I hear you’re building a shelter in North Hollywood and I’d like to come see it.” Little did I know that that brief introduction and conversation would lead to a friendship with Alex Trebek, the Host of Jeopardy!… a friendship that unfortunately ended way too soon.
In the days and months that followed our initial conversation, Alex visited two of our homeless shelters and our Navigation Center. He invited me to his house and invited me and my wife, Laurie, to be special guests at a Jeopardy! taping. Alex and his lovely wife, Jean, gave generous gifts to the Mission which enabled us to purchase Skateland; this iconic building is now being converted into the NEW 107-Bedroom Trebek Center. Alex was the keynote speaker at the dedication of our 85-bed Raymer Shelter (July 2020) . Alex even mentioned Hope of the Valley in his autobiography, The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life. A very special bond was created between Alex and the Mission. His legacy lives on in the life of each person that finds hope and refuge in our doors!
–Ken Craft (Founder/CEO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission)
Skateland to Hopeland, skate floor preservation: To honor and celebrate the 60 year legacy of Skateland and its owners, the Fleming Family, Hope of the Valley will construct a special wall at the center out of roller rink wood planks. For $500.00, each sponsored plank will have the donors name etched into the wood! If you have fond memories skating at Skateland, be sure to sponsor one of the wood planks!
If you are in a financial position to give more than a $5,000 gift, please considering giving a major gift of $10k, $25k, $50K, $100k or $250k and become part of the Trebek Tribute Wall, a replica inspired by the original Jeopardy! Wall! One of the squares will have your name in it, memorializing your generosity to the Mission and support of Alex Trebek.
Bed-in-a-Bag–Any time we open a new shelter, we need to purchase two sets of bedding for each bed. The cost of a bed-in-a-bag is $50.00.