How we started
Jacaranda Housing was founded by Ali Bodager in 2020. For as long as she can remember, Ali has been drawn to helping those who feel alone or forgotten. For three years, she helped run an after-school program in Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. Her relationships with these amazing young people fueled the fire in her heart to want to do life with youth who were struggling to thrive.
Throughout the years, that fire to help others has developed into the dream of starting a program that helps Transition Age Youth (TAY - ages 18-22) feel like they do not have to do life alone. They are loved, cared about, and are not forgotten. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20, "...surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." So, with that promise in mind, in March of 2020, Ali started the work of founding Jacaranda Housing.
Why are we called Jacaranda Housing? Here is the story from Ali, "A number of years ago, I was really struggling with finding beauty in myself...feeling like I was not 'good enough', so I decided to go on a walk to talk to God. While on this walk, I saw a twisted Jacaranda tree in full bloom, so I stopped to take in just how beautiful that tree was. It was in that moment that God said to me, 'See. There's beauty in imperfection. You are beautiful just as you are.' The Jacaranda tree has always been my favorite tree, but it was on this day that it took on a whole new meaning for me. That is why I chose to call our organization Jacaranda Housing. It is a constant reminder that we are beautiful just as we are...imperfections and all."