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Benefit to Aid Clinic : Artists to Open Homes on Behalf of Homeless

May 21, 1987|BARBARA BAIRD | Times Staff Writer

Dozens of local artists will open their homes and studios to the public on Sunday to raise money for the Venice Family Clinic and its free medical programs for the Westside's poor and homeless.

The eighth Venice Art Walk is one of the main sources of funds for the nonprofit clinic, the only facility of its kind in the greater West Los Angeles area, according to Fern Seizer, executive director.

In 1986, the clinic reported more than 20,000 visits by 8,500 patients, 90% of whose incomes are below poverty level, she said.

"The clinic is their family doctor," she said in a fact sheet summarizing clinic services.

$353,000 Last Year

Last year's art walk, attended by more than 4,500 people, netted $353,000 for the clinic, according to coordinator Sheila Goldberg.

The art walk, which started in 1979, provides a glimpse inside private studios, homes and galleries where local painters, sculptors and multimedia artists live and work.

The art walk includes tours, refreshments and a silent auction, featuring more than 250 works, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Westminster School, 1010 Washington Blvd., Venice. A dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. in the Filmland Corporate Center in Culver City.

The basic art walk will offer walking and shuttle bus tours featuring more than 40 Venice artists. Cost will be $35.

Tours led by professionals are available for small groups. The docent tours will cost $75, including lunch.

Participating Restaurants

Lunch and brunch will be served by restaurants including 72 Market Street, West Beach Cafe, Rebecca's, Trump's, Les Anges, Camelions, Sabroso, Rockenwagner, Primi/Valentino, Darwin and the Breadwinner.

The 5:30 p.m. dinner will honor the HBO Comic Relief team of Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Bob Zmuda, who raised money for health care for the homeless through a television special. Dr Jimmy Hara will receive the clinic's annual Morton K. Rubenstein Award. Cost will be $200 including the Art Walk.

Ticket information is available by calling (213) 392-8630.

The Venice Family Clinic, 604 Rose Ave., provides medical care through volunteers, including 170 physicians who serve on a rotating basis.

It offers daily health services for homeless children and adults, daily adult and pediatric clinics, Saturday family medicine clinics, weekly clinics for special needs, health and nutrition education, referral appointments and bilingual assistance.

More than 80% of its $1-million annual operating budget is raised from non-governmental sources including individuals, foundations and corporations, officials said.

The clinic is licensed by the state and formally affiliated with the UCLA Center for Health Sciences. Additional free services are contributed by hospitals including St. John's, Santa Monica, Daniel Freeman, UCLA and the Washington Medical Center.

A new pilot program called Homeless Helping Homeless provides on-the-job training for the homeless. Recently, a formerly homeless Marine Corps veteran was able to save enough money from his earnings at Venice Family Clinic to rent an apartment.

Jerry Pierce, 26, said his experience of being homeless for about eight months has been helpful in working as a health care assistant and advocate at the clinic, where he helps homeless people find services.

"I learned that as long as you have life, you have hope," he said.

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