Meet Local Hero Nominee: Don Larson

In July 2018, as President and CEO of the non-profit Northridge Beautification Foundation (NBF), Don Larson received LA County Board of Supervisor Commendations “In recognition of dedicated service in the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of all citizens of Los Angeles County.”

Title: President and CEO, Northridge Beautification Foundation

Organization: Clean Streets, Clean Starts

Website: https://cleanstreetscleanstarts.org/resources

“Don has contributed countless months and years to help the homeless regain their confidence and value. This leads to their regaining employment, and in turn, shelter. Through his program, Don has reduced homelessness while improving the cleanliness of our streets and overall community. Other communities are working to duplicate his efforts. He is a role model and his work deserves to be recognized.” – Steven Muro, Nominator

Highlights

  • In July 2018, as President and CEO of the non-profit Northridge Beautification Foundation (NBF), Don Larson received LA County Board of Supervisor Commendations “In recognition of dedicated service in the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of all citizens of Los Angeles County.”
  • Alarmed by the rapid outbreak of tent, makeshifts, RV, vehicle and open-air dwellers overwhelming communities, Larson organized the Clean Streets Clean Starts Program (CSCS) to offer homeless people a hand-up. CSCS is a boots-on-the-ground working model offering stipend incentives, peer-to-peer on-the-curb Outreach, and participation in cleaning, trimming and painting-up a community as a road to rehabilitation and cleaner, safer pedestrian environments resulting in a win-win situation.
  • Larson works eight days a week. He is a proud CSUN Matador, husband, Father and fourth-generation resident of Northridge with very deep community service roots. Owner of the Das Bauhaus apartment building that acts as the backbone of the successfully ongoing turn-around of the Reseda Boulevard corridor and as host to small Art exhibits and stage performances.
  • Seen as an “action figure” riding his trusty three-wheel bike truck in commission of community service. Many times, for recreation he has pedaled bicycles cross-country USA alone. He hopes to do that again.
  • Over decades, his trademark work parties featuring gardening tools-supplied-in-golf bags have included thousands of happy volunteers and always his bike truck.  Recently concluded his signature and his favorite Community Clean-Up Effort, the very successful 4th Annual CSUN Day of Service. With robust local support, and growing national interest, Don and his team of volunteers are on the move.
  • Soon to be among the first three recipients of a Fernando Impact Award for Community Service, which is slated to become “An annual presentation to recognize outstanding individuals, teams of individuals or local businesses who engender positive change through locally driven community initiatives.”

More on Don Larson: 

CSUN Today: CSUN Community Cleans Up at Fourth Annual Matadors Day of Service

Los Angeles Daily News: CSUN students sweep streets, pull weeds and go dirty for the sake of a cleaner campus community

CSUN Today: CSUN Freshmen Make Difference in the Community

Daily Project Diary by Don Larson

Los Angeles Daily News: Homeless could join crews that help clean up San Fernando Valley streets

Facebook: Northridge Beautification Foundation

YouTube: Andrea Alvarado: Changing the Perception of Homeless

YouTube: The Sundial: The Northridge Sparkle Campaign