Our Community LA

Technology. Empowerment. Connections. Hope.

Pacific Palisades, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Our Community LA

EIN: 27-3782128


Founded on principles of social equity, OCLA believes no one should be homeless, hungry or lacking in essential resources simply because they do not know how to find help. Our mission is to leverage technology to eliminate information barriers that have historically restricted those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness from easily connecting to available supportive services. We directly serve two primary populations: (1) homeless and resource-insecure persons seeking help and (2) service providers and others who use WIN or our directory as referral tools.

Ruling year info



Dr. Denise McCain-Tharnstrom

Main address

PO Box 676

Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Health care access

Web applications

Mobile communications

Basic and emergency aid

Homeless services

Show more subject areas

Population served info

Children and youth



Adolescent parents

Single parents

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The WIN App

The What I Need (WIN) App Program is a trusted resource that confidentially empowers LA County’s homeless and housing insecure populations to find the supportive services they need to make positive changes in their lives. Leveraging the Federal Lifeline Phone program, largely responsible for the widespread availability of smartphones among homeless and impoverished populations, OCLA’s promotion of and education about the WIN app through its staff, interns, and dedicated community partners empowers homeless and housing insecure populations to directly connect live to 12 categories of services 24/7 - including healthcare, jobs, food, shelter, legal aid, crisis support/hotlines, education, and drop-in centers. WIN searches have increased 72% since 2019. The top categories include Shelter (20%), Food (16%), and Money (14%). In 2022, WIN was downloaded by nearly 8,000 new users, used to phone an agency for help 3,000+ times, and was accessed 24 hours/day by users in every LA County city.

Population(s) Served

Team WIN is a part-time paid internship program for youth with the lived experience of homelessness. Launched in 2018, a small cohort of youth have been trained to use social media, video, and direct outreach to promote awareness of the What I Need (WIN) app, which enables homeless or struggling populations to easily locate free supportive services by downloading the app on their cell phones. In 2023, the Team is writing, filming, and producing a monthly video showcasing how to cook healthy and delicious meals with food readily obtained from a food pantry as well as publishing a new blog devoted to observations of how homelessness and resource insecurity impact students and other youth in the LA community.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


Our Community LA
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.55 over 6 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 21.9 over 6 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 15% over 6 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Our Community LA

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Our Community LA

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Our Community LA

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Our Community LA’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $16,630 $34,595 $46,925 $3,489 -$6,439
As % of expenses 27.3% 113.7% 112.1% 4.0% -4.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $16,630 $34,595 $46,925 $3,489 -$6,439
As % of expenses 27.3% 113.7% 112.1% 4.0% -4.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $77,652 $65,022 $88,783 $90,891 $132,187
Total revenue, % change over prior year 17.8% -16.3% 36.5% 2.4% 45.4%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 7.5% 5.1%
All other grants and contributions 100.0% 101.4% 72.0% 77.0% 84.2%
Other revenue 0.0% -1.5% 28.0% 15.5% 10.7%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $61,022 $30,427 $41,858 $87,402 $138,626
Total expenses, % change over prior year 37.5% -50.1% 37.6% 108.8% 58.6%
Personnel 6.7% 13.3% 43.9% 26.4% 19.5%
Professional fees 1.5% 66.5% 32.2% 10.5% 5.3%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 91.8% 20.2% 23.9% 63.1% 75.1%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $61,022 $30,427 $41,858 $87,402 $138,626
One month of savings $5,085 $2,536 $3,488 $7,284 $11,552
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $66,107 $32,963 $45,346 $94,686 $150,178

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 5.7 39.0 43.1 18.6 11.9
Months of cash and investments 12.6 39.0 43.1 18.6 11.9
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 12.6 39.0 41.8 20.5 12.4
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $28,891 $98,892 $150,329 $135,113 $137,868
Investments $35,406 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $14,193 $2,550
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0% 0.0% 3.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $64,297 $98,892 $145,817 $149,306 $142,867

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Dr. Denise McCain-Tharnstrom

Dr. Denise McCain-Tharnstrom is a committed philanthropist and nonprofit leader with strong interests in leveraging philanthropy ‘beyond the grant’, supporting the engagement of foundations and nonprofits in public policy and designing practical approaches for workable interventions that improve the lives of vulnerable children, families, and adults. Since 2012 she uniquely focused on the needs of homeless and resource-insecure youth, families, and adults. As the Founder/President of Our Community LA (formerly known as Our Children LA), she was responsible for the development of the 2012 and 2015 Directory of Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Los Angeles and the 2019 Directory of Services for Homeless Youth and Adults in Los Angeles. Under her leadership, OCLA has developed the What I Need (WIN) app, a mobile app that empowers homeless and resource-insecure students, families, and adults in LA County to use any smart device to search for helpful supportive services.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Our Community LA

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Our Community LA

Board of directors
as of 07/20/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Dr. Denise McCain-Tharnstrom

Our Community LA

Leslie Gibbs

Managing Partner, Strategic Branding Matters LLC

Melissa Schoonmaker

Los Angeles County Office of Education

Denise McCain-Tharnstrom

Our Community LA

Tuan Le

Southwestern Medical Services

William Finkelstein

Intellectual Property Attorney (retired)

Laura DiMaggio


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/19/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/19/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.