Santa Paula Times

‘Inocente’: Summer at the Oscars to benefit VC Housing Trust Fund

June 26, 2013
Santa Paula City Council

You can enjoy an Academy Award winning documentary, art show, appetizers and an auction as well as help local housing projects when you attend the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund’s July 18 event.

“Summer at the Oscars” will be held at the Camarillo Ranch House Barn from 5:30 to 8 p.m., said Ventura County Housing Trust Fund Chairwoman Mary Ann Krause.

The Ventura County Housing Trust Fund is a unique nonprofit organization that awards loans at below market interest rates for the creation of affordable housing. Krause, a former Santa Paula Mayor, reminded the City Council at the June 17 meeting that VCHTF “recently awarded a $300,000 loan to the Santa Paula Housing Authority” for its new small complex of senior low-income apartments to be built on West Santa Barbara Street.

The July 18 “Summer at the Oscars” is “a wonderful opportunity to have fun,” while also benefiting the housing fund. Krause noted the “centerpiece of the event is we’ll be screening the short documentary ‘Inocente’” that this year won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

“It’s about a homeless girl, an artist” whose life was transformed when she found a place to live. “It transformed her life,” and Krause said the subject of the film, Inocente, had been homeless since she was 9 years old.

“She has become a celebrity because of this film and I’m excited to announce that she is coming to our event.... The film was completed when Inocente was 15; she is now 17, quite young but very wise for her age.”

Now an acclaimed artist, Inocente is having a show in Seattle the week prior to the VCHTF event. She has been in Pennsylvania for the “Americans for the Arts” conference, and designed a recent cover for the National Endowments magazine. 

Tickets to the VCHTF event - which will be Inocente’s only planned Ventura County appearance - are only $45 each. In addition to the film, there will be appetizers, wines from local wineries, and Auctioneer Supervisor Kathy Long at the helm of a live auction that organizers hope will include an artwork by Inocente. 

Sponsorships are still available for the event.

Elisabeth Amador, assistant to the city manager, sits on the board on behalf of Santa Paula. She said, “Ventura County and five of the 10 cities are contributors to the VCHTF, as are many banks and individuals... and we have been a matching state grant of up to $2 million.” 

Amador said the purpose of the of the fund is to “increase the availability and types of affordable housing throughout Ventura County. We give priority to projects that serve veterans, homeless families and individuals, farmworkers, and emancipated foster youth, but if we have sufficient funds, will make loans to any well-planned affordable project that meets income qualifications.”

And as a loan is repaid, the money is loaned out again. Amador said in addition to the Santa Paula Housing Authority loan, “We recently awarded funds to two projects planned by the Housing Authority of San Buenaventura.”

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