Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports individuals and nonprofits in San Diego County, California in the areas of homelessness, neighborhoods, brain and spinal injuries, and youth.

FUNDING AREAS: Homelessness, San Diego neighborhoods, brain and spinal injuries, youth

IP TAKE:  This a nontraditional foundation that often gets more involved with events and awards than standard grants. Regardless, this is a potential partner to know if you work with San Diego’s youth or homelessness.

PROFILE: The Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation (LHNF) is based in San Diego, California and was formed as a legacy foundation after Himmel, a San Diego television reporter, passed away from cancer at the age of 68. Himmel was a storyteller and humorist who was deeply connected to the San Diego community. Larry’s purpose and also the purpose of the foundation is “to make people feel better about the place they call home,” and this is often done by supporting local community groups in San Diego. The foundation seeks "to provide support and resources to deserving organizations and individuals in the spirit of Larry’s connection with the communities and people of San Diego.”

The foundation prioritizes homelessness as there are over 8,000 homeless people living on the San Diego streets to serve. LHNF makes grants to fight local homelessness along with other local leaders to bring more awareness to this issue. A project called Tales of the Street, for example, has received LHNF’s support to tell the stories of people who don’t have a permanent residence and to put a name and a face to San Diego’s homeless problem.

This funder also works with local schools, such as the Riley Alternative School, to unite students and improve morale. LHNF gave school shirts to special needs students at Riley, for example. The foundation gives out a good neighbor award to recognize San Diego residents who dedicate their lives to the greater good of the city and region. The foundation’s San Diego’s Hope grant provides up to $1,000 to San Diego County residents who have suffered brain or spinal injuries and who have household incomes under $68,000.

LHNF does not provide any guidelines or deadlines for potential grantseekers to which to adhere. However, this funder is open to unsolicited requests for funding that will help strengthen San Diego neighborhoods. Grants are often a few hundred or a few thousand dollars each, and all funding stays within the county.

Dave Smith serves as the foundation president, and he worked with Himmel at KFMB for over 30 years. Himmel’s son, Miles, is the foundation treasurer and also a spokesman and good point of contact for the foundation. You can direct general questions to the him at or 858-444-6932. Upcoming foundation events are posted on the LHNF website as well.


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