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Frank Elmore hasn’t stopped rising to support Lift to Rise’s mission since initially connecting with the work as a financially stressed renter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lift to Rise’s United Lift Rent & Utility Assistance Program provided him with crucial aid that helped him stay housed.

“I lost income during COVID. A Lift to Rise representative took my application and I got approved,” said Frank, 79, who lives in a Desert Hot Springs affordable housing community operated by the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, a Lift to Rise partner. “It was such a relief to not have to worry about that.”

The experience strengthened Frank’s belief in the power of organizations like Lift to Rise and the essential resources and support they provide. Frank has gone on to be an active member of the Lift to Rise Resident Leadership Table, participate in the strategic Action Planning process, presented at the inaugural Community Investment Awards in 2023, and been among the residents featured on Lift to Rise billboards across the Coachella Valley

Hailing from Indianapolis, he moved to Los Angeles in 1973 before finding himself in the Coachella Valley in 2015.

“It was hard to gain home ownership in LA. I sold my home to avoid foreclosure,” he said, “It was in 2014 and 2015 when rents climbed a lot. I had a friend in the desert that I visited, and she convinced me to stay with her until I settled on what I really wanted housing-wise.”

Frank’s move brought new opportunities and a chance to focus on what truly mattered to him: making a positive impact in his community.

Frank’s career in the Coachella Valley now spans over a decade, primarily as an academic mentor. After realizing so many children struggle with literacy, he got involved in education, focusing on innovative strategies to help children learn, stay focused, and develop essential skills.

“Because of my concern to make a difference, I’ve built a relationship with Lift to Rise,” he said “I have a lot of integrity. When someone has helped me, I feel the need to give back, especially since it’s the right thing to do.”