The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
New coordinator hired to battle homelessness across the community
June 13, 2018
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – The head of an award-winning homeless services agency has been chosen to coordinate homelessness programs operated by the county and an affiliated network of community partners. Natalie Komuro has served for 11 years as executive director of Ascencia, managing programs in the cities of Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood and northeast Los Angeles that provide street outreach, emergency housing and other services to help move people from homelessness into housing.
“This is a new era for the county and our communities,” said Chuck Washington, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “This level of coordination will help us use resources even more effectively and offer help to people whose lives and families suffer because of homelessness.”
In the newly created position, Deputy County Executive Officer – Homelessness Solutions, Komuro will work out of the county Executive Office. She will begin her new job in late July. Komuro’s 31 years of experience in housing policy and homeless services include national advocacy, regional planning and directly managing services for homeless families and single adults. She will coordinate a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach toward addressing homelessness in Riverside County.
"Homelessness exacts a terrible toll on families and on their communities – and growing regions risk marginalizing even more of their most vulnerable residents,” Komuro said. “I am grateful for this chance to help combat homelessness and I look forward to working with our government, nonprofit and business-sector partners who have helped lead the countywide response to homelessness.”
Ascencia was named 2018 Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 43. It is a small-scale agency integrating services and shelter for homeless families and individuals and their companion animals. The agency serves 1,000 people a year including 220 in shelters and 100 households in permanent supportive housing. Each year, over 900 volunteers provide services that include nightly hot dinners.
Komuro holds a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in Claremont. She managed the 2007 Greater Los Angeles homeless count, coordinated efforts in Los Angeles related to the 2000 Census homeless count, and was the author of narratives for Continuum of Care proposals that received over $100 million in funding for homeless programs in Los Angeles County.
Komuro is a past president of Glendale Rotary Club and a member for nine years and was the Glendale Chamber of Commerce 2017 Woman of the Year. She and her husband have two children.
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