Private foundations are formed in a variety of ways, including after the death of a family member or beloved member of the community. This is how the Larry Himmel Neighborhood Foundation (LHNF) was established, following the San Diego television reporter’s death from cancer at the age of 68. The mission of this legacy foundation is to support the communities and people of San Diego County with Larry Himmel’s spirit of giving back.
But what this foundation really specializes in is homelessness. There are over 8,000 homeless people living in San Diego, a number that has been growing over the years. LHNF has made a practice of awarding grants to fight local homelessness and alongside 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.
Another way that this foundation has been involved in the local community lately is by teaming up with Riley Alternative School to help improve morale and unite students. The funder gave school shirts to the special needs students to encourage them to work together and come up with their own motto: "Our future is bright because we think, we try, we triumph."
Dave Smith, who worked alongside Larry Himmel for over 30 years at KFMB, is the foundation president. Meanwhile, longtime broadcaster and advertiser Roy Robertson is the foundation secretary, and Larry’s son, Miles, serves as the treasurer. Miles Himmel was involved in the school shirt program and also a mural project to beautify Riley Special Day School last fall.
"Every time it brings me such joy, because he would be here doing these stories and every time I feel like he is here," said Miles while remembering how his dad’s stories made people smile when they watched local TV in San Diego.
LHNF also gives a good neighbor award to recognize people in San Diego who have dedicated their lives to the greater good of the city and county. Foundation support has also gone to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego to help enhance the quality of life for kids with brain and spinal injuries. To be eligible for a San Diego’s Hope grant of up to $1,000 through LHNF, the recipient must live in San Diego County, have an average household income of less than $68,000, and have suffered a debilitating brain or spinal injury.
Himmel’s foundation does not share a formal grant application procedure on its website or any guidelines or deadlines to adhere to. However, the foundation is accessible and open to unsolicited requests for assistance to help San Diego residents and neighborhoods. You can get in touch with the foundation to learn more here. Foundation events, such as back-to-school drives for kids, are listed on the funder’s website, and foundation news can be viewed here.