Who We Are:

A Step to Freedom (ASF) was founded in the Summer of 1991 by Kenneth Croom when he found himself struggling to find resources and support after being released from prison. Despite having no formal training, Kenneth had passion, commitment and an entrepreneurial spirit, and leveraged every ounce to form an organization dedicated to providing justice involved men with a safe place to lay their head and resources to “Take the first step to building a new future.”


What We Do:

Since its inception 30 years ago, ASF’s primary focus has always been to provide justice impacted and homeless individuals with a safe and sober living environment and the support and resources to help them reach self-sufficiency. When Kenya Kirkland, daughter of founder Kenneth Croom, took on the reins of the organization in 2003, ASF began implementing programming aimed at achieving Mr. Croom’s goals to further support clients in transitioning to permanent housing with a trade, business venture or job in place. 


Today ASF provides transitional housing, wrap around programs and supportive services that enable participants to free themselves by circumventing the barriers that typically prevent justice impacted and homeless individuals from securing self-sufficiency. 


ASF’s programs and services empower clients to achieve their goals after experiencing hardships, broken relationships, and various forms of trauma. ASF offers the following to help clients achieve self-sufficiency: (1) Re-entry/Vital Documents, (2) Mental Health, (3) Education, (4) Life Skills Management, (5) Self-Efficacy/Mindset, (6) Substance Use/Abuse, and (7) Vocational/Career Exploration and Preparation. Community partners provide residents with additional programs, resources and support.


Why We Do it:

ASF has stayed true to the vision of its founder - a future consisting of hope, second chances, and new opportunities. 

The need for ASF’s programs and services could not be greater. 

The number of individuals experiencing homelessness continues to increase:.

  • Homelessness increased in Los Angeles County for the third time in four years.
  • According to the 2020 Greater LA Homeless Count 66,433 people now live on the streets, in shelters and in vehicles within the county. An increase of 12.7% from 2019.
  • Within LA city limits, the number of people experiencing homelessness is 41,290, a 14.2% increase over last year.

    ASF is dedicated to serving those that need us most. Our clients are High-risk, Justice involved men and women in South Los Angeles who are recovering from substance abuse, have a mental health diagnosis, have experienced domestic violence and/or chronic homelessness. 

    The most vulnerable and disenfranchised are most impacted by homelessness:

  • Homeless families increased 45.7% since 2019.
  • The number of senior citizens experiencing homelessness increased by 20%.
  • Homelessness disproportionately impacts the African American community. While African Americans make up only 8% of the total population, they represent 34% of people experiencing homelessness in LA County.
  • 35% of the homeless population reported a history of domestic or other sexual violence.

    ASF’s facilities are strategically located in the Southeast area of Los Angeles, in communities that experience disproportionately higher rates of arrests, incarceration, incidents with law enforcement, drug use and addiction, domestic violence, and unaddressed mental health issues. 

    ASF has over 30 years of experience working with the homeless and justice-involved  community, ASF staff are dedicated, trained and certified professionals and paraprofessionals uniquely qualified to support our clients in achieving their goals of independence, self-sufficiency, and self-efficacy.


    ASF’s Core Values guide what we do and how we do it.

    Core Values

    • Advocacy
    • Compassion
    • Love
    • Empowerment
    • Respect
    • Community
    • Integrity

    Meet our Team!