In 2009, Greg and Jodi Perlman established ALL WAYS UP with a simple, yet compelling mission: To help hardworking, low-income individuals improve their lives. Since then, All Ways Up has expanded its reach to provide support to individuals and community-based organizations throughout the United States.
The Perlmans have a long history of supporting individuals and organizations that are working to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. As owners of thousands of Section 8 housing units across the country, Greg and Jodi were struck by the rampant generational poverty they saw, and the difficulty many individuals, couples and families had in breaking free of it. They realized that at these properties, they had the resources to identify — and lend a helping hand to — those working hard to better their lives. With this idea, ALL WAYS UP was born.
ALL WAYS UP started by offering a scholarship to any high school graduate who lived in Section 8 housing and enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university. These students were given scholarships of up to $2,500 a year to ease the financial burden of college. After seeing the impact of this initial effort, ALL WAYS UP soon began to offer Section 8 residents other services, including summer camp scholarships for children and home ownership down payment grants for couples and families saving every spare penny to buy their first home.
As ALL WAYS UP began to evolve, it discovered another way to create positive change: To partner with community-based, non-profit organizations that were running programs for low-income, hard-working, motivated participants.
The first such partnership was created with the Social Justice Learning Institute’s Black Male Youth Academy, whose success rates were astounding. This partnership allowed ALL WAYS UP to expand services beyond Section 8 housing to other low-income residents in the community.
In 2012, ALL WAYS UP broadened its charity partner outreach by launching the Bridging the Gap Awards (BGA), a grant program that assists smaller-sized non-profits working hard to help low-income residents all around the country. Through partnerships with these grass-roots charities, ALL WAYS UP has expanded its giving programs to include college scholarships and an annual UP Through Education Summit for students entering their first year of college. To date, through the BGAs and other initiatives, ALL WAYS UP has funded more than 50 community partners and over 400 education scholarships.
In 2014, what began as the Perlman Foundation, officially became ALL WAYS UP. This change reflects the organization’s expanding base of partnerships, widening reach and continuing devotion to create unique and powerful ways to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement. ALL WAYS UP is proud of the many “ways up” being taken by those we serve — low-income youth and families with a demonstrated commitment to elevating their lives, with a primary focus on post-secondary education.
In addition to ALL WAYS UP and its focus on education, Greg and Jodi engage in a number of philanthropic activities through the Perlman Family Foundation. The Perlman Family Foundation has partnered with several Los Angeles based organizations to help individuals struggling to overcome life's obstacles. Food on Foot is dedicated to assisting the poor and homeless of Los Angeles through programs that provide nutritious meals, clothing, work opportunities and ultimately the transition to full-time employment and life off the streets. The Perlman Family Foundation provides rent subsidies to graduates of the program who have moved off of the streets into their own apartments.
Through a partnership with the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, the Perlman Family Foundation provides all of the furnishings and household necessities to families that move out of the shelter and begin new lives in their own residences. The newest partnership was forged earlier this year with UCLA Health. The Angel Fund supports the needs of inpatient families identified by the case managers, social workers, nurses and doctors, who, through their interactions with patients and families, often learn of struggles, hardships, and concerns that a patient and their family may experience due to the disruption of their lives that can occur around illness.