Jess Echeverry is no stranger to a life of transience. Now a mother of five, living with her family in Westchester, she spent much of her youth on the streets in and out of motels and homeless shelters in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She endured her parents’ divorces at a young age, sexual abuse as a child, and at 16, she was pregnant and homeless, and eventually forced to give up her baby.
But by 25, her life had changed dramatically for the better: She was married and ready for a new adventure in California. In her new city, Echeverry and her husband began taking notice of the large homeless population in West Los Angeles, particularly on the streets of Santa Monica. The hardships and tribulations Echeverry had endured growing up made her very empathetic towards the homeless she witnessed there, so she began volunteering her time to give back to a community she felt a connection with. Continue reading
This November, the Westchester Mental Health Guild will hold its 36th Annual Holiday Home Tour featuring five distinct houses beautifully decorated for the holidays. The featured Westchester homes include a Kentwood bluff residence with amazing views that will feature Thanksgiving decorations; two totally redone two-story homes both decked out for Christmas and a renovated bungalow ready for New Year’s Eve. A modern Playa del Rey home with an open floor plan will be decorated for the Chinese New Year. Continue reading
It’s the holiday season and that means plenty of free and low cost events to help celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Westchester/Playa must be on the “nice” list this year, because Santa is stopping all over town to collect Christmas lists, pose for free pictures and spread holiday cheer. Whether you’re interested in fanciful lights, arts & crafts, breakfast with Old St. Nick, or even a chance to have your picture taken in a giant snow globe, local businesses and community groups are making sure there’s no shortage of activities and events to help create a little holiday magic this December. Continue reading
For the members of the Westchester Mental Health Guild, November is an exciting time as they gear up for the Holiday Home Tour. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the annual event gives people the OK to be looky-loos for the day and tour some of the area’s most fabulous homes all for a good cause. Continue reading
If you’re looking for a fun, festive event to help usher in the holiday season, you’ve come to the right place. This month there is no shortage of Santa sightings, tree lightings, sing-a-longs, snow days and fireworks to help celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Here is our list of some of the best holiday and Christmas events the whole family can enjoy in the HomeTown News area: Continue reading
With the holidays now in full swing, local restaurants are enhancing their menus with specialty dishes, drinks and desserts that are designed to highlight the flavors of the season and showcase the talents of their chefs.