Real change, not spare change


To provide leadership and to manage and eliminate the destructive consequences of homelessness so that the community is protected, remains safe and our homeless people receive compassionate, effective services with access to shelter.



  • Connect homeless people to compassionate, professional services and available shelter.

  • Maximize community-wide involvement, education and support.

  • Ensure community protection and safety through effective law enforcement.



MBSAFE was founded in March, 2019 and  is an  apolitical, nonprofit, tax exempt corporation. 

Debbie, Rita,  Lew, Lee and Lucia  began discussing and wanted to bring the community together to find solutions to the growing homeless crisis in our neighboring cities.  Together with they incorporated MBSAFE in March, 2019 and  is an  a-political, nonprofit, tax exempt corporation.  


Meet The Team


Lucia La Rosa Ames

Lucia is a Harvard Law School educated finance and securities attorney. After retirement, she served on the board of a women’s crisis health clinic, volunteered with the MBUSD PTA, and with Catholic social justice causes serving marginalized communities. She has served on the City of Manhattan Beach’s Homeless Task Force. She is a wife and a mother of two boys currently enrolled in the public school system.


Lee Phillips

Lee is a physician and and Public Health/Epidemiology expert educated at John Hopkins School of Public Health. She has worked on Global Public Health issues through WHO/Brighton Collaboration and Regulatory Authorities. She has served on the City of Manhattan Beach’s Homeless Task Force. Lee  believes homelessness in Manhattan Beach is a solvable problem. She serves a Vice-chair for MBSAFE and chair of the Education Committee


Rita Crabtree-Kampe

Rita trained as a Speech/Language Pathologist and advocate for persons with special needs. She is a Certified Peer Specialist and does homeless outreach and education with several groups in the South Bay and DTLA. 
She is Secretary of the MBSAFE Board and serves as the Homeless Connect Chair. 

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Debbie Van Ness

Debbie Van Ness has a 30+ career as a communications professional.  Born and raised in Chicago, her career started as a broadcast journalist for an ABC affiliate station.  After moving to the west coast she had a decade long career in corporate media relations with SCE, representing the utility's interest in the press, where she honed her skills in crisis communications management. After a short break to start a family she returned to the work force and got involved in children's advertising where she now works.


Lewis Thomashow

Lewis Thomashow is the treasurer of MBSAFE. He is a retired CPA and former managing partner of the accounting firm  Squar Milner LLP   Los Angeles office.



We believe in and stand for the principles of "real change, not spare change", "a hand up, not a hand out".  By connecting people with the resources needed to rebuild their lives, and focusing on services directed at precise individuals, we maximize the probability of success, one person at a time.  

  • ​We Coordinate with the City Of Manhattan Beach Homeless Liaison, law enforcement and first responders.

  • We organize community forums for information, dialogue and engagement.

  • We raise funds to finance services, and transition to temporary and permanent housing, and family reunification for the resident homeless. 

  • We offer opportunities for community service directed to the most vulnerable population. 

  • We collaborate with other Homeless Organizations, the LA County offices and mental health department, and neighboring communities.



Whether visible or not, homelessness is a part of every community in Los Angeles County. This is not a problem that we can delegate. Homelessness can be successfully addressed and prevented ONLY when the whole community cares and engages in solutions.

MBSAFE was created to promote such a community response through the following BEST PRACTICES:

  • Educate and inform the community.

  • Establish a community response team to engage with our homeless residents.

  • Establish a process for community to report issues related to homelessness.

  • Explore & implement solutions to our local issues with homelessness.

A hand up, not a hand out