A Fond Farewell to and from Founding Hollywood 4WRD Board Member, Nathan Sheets

A Fond Farewell to and from Founding Hollywood 4WRD Board Member, Nathan Sheets

H4WRD Blog
DATELINE: Hollywood, CA (February 22nd, 2024)

With deep gratitude, we share the news of Hollywood 4WRD Founding Member Nathan Sheets' resignation from H4WRD’s Board of Directors last week.

As Nathan wrote in this recent Op-Ed piece in the LA Times, he and his family have moved back to Nathan’s hometown in Indiana, driven largely by their desire to raise their children in a more affordable area of the country. To the H4WRD family he leaves behind, Nathan’s decision shines a brighter light on the housing affordability crisis in LA.

As we bid farewell to Nathan, we wanted to give him an opportunity to share some parting thoughts with the community he has served for so long. Nathan’s reflections below offer a brief history of his time with our organization, and leave the door WIDE open for continued connection with the H4WRD members and friends who have meant so much to him during his time in Los Angeles.

When did you first become affiliated with Hollywood 4WRD? 

As you know, Hollywood 4WRD was a grassroots coalition whose early meetings often took place at The Center in Hollywood, where I also had the honor to serve for more than 10 years. As our attention turned to the Top 14 most vulnerable unhoused people in Hollywood, I was in the room for these early H4WRD discussions. I learned a ton from more-seasoned Hollywood representatives, including partners from My Friend's Place, Step Up, PATH, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and others. Knowing many of the unhoused community members, I found my voice in reflecting on my observations and conversations from groups and daily Coffee Hour chats at The Center. It was an honor to play a pivotal role in reflecting back the individual qualities of the unhoused community members, and barriers they faced to a group of people who had resources and expertise to provide solutions.

How long did you serve on the H4WRD Board Of Directors?

Our dear Kerry Morrison asked me if I'd join the steering committee for strategic planning in an effort to formalize Hollywood 4WRD right after the pandemic started in 2020. I excitedly joined, and was part of the group that navigated the strategic planning in the fall of 2020 with our wonderful consultant, Casey Gilbert. As we formalized our organization, I joined H4WRD as a founding member and have been honored to be a part of such a powerful set of human beings working to find sustainable solutions to address homelessness in Hollywood.

Any parting words you’d like to share with your H4WRD community?

I feel honored to have been part of the origins of such an innovative and powerful effort as the Hollywood 4WRD coalition. I've reflected often on the instrumental necessity of relationship to this work, in finding solutions for very isolated and vulnerable people. It's also important that we (providers, advocates, funders) truly know and care for each other. Our relationships and collaborative spirit will feed our souls and help our work of addressing homelessness be even more effective and sustainable for the people whose lives we are working to save. It has been a gift to be in Hollywood -- one I could have never imagined when I came to L.A. -- and I hope my experiences will continue to serve as I now focus on my hometown of Richmond, Indiana.

For now, my plans have been getting to know Richmond in order to find ways for my lived experience in Hollywood to provide a better platform for service. Richmond has a rich history (ex. birthplace of recorded jazz, childhood home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, and C. Francis Jenkins -- inventor of one of the early movie cameras!), and yet faces very challenging times with rampant poverty, a lack of city/county infrastructure to address such needs, and a shortage of safe, adequate and affordable housing for vulnerable people. My hopes are my contributions can help serve the city of my birth and the people who call this city home. 

You can reach out to me any time at nathan.sheets@gmail.com.


It’s only fitting that Nathan has the final words here, and that one of his favorite bands have the parting tune:

Fare thee well, fare thee well, we love you more than words can tell… Gonna listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.” -- Brokedown Palace, The Grateful Dead