“Secret Millionaire” Featuring Ali Brown of Venice, California

Ali Brown is a very wealthy entrepreneur, one of the richest in the U.S, but she leaves her Marina Del Ray home to see what it is like to live on welfare wages in a poor area that is not too far from her own neighborhood. Venice, CA may be close to Ali’s fabulous home, but they are worlds apart from the kind of life she is used to living.

As Ali sets out to meet some people as a Secret Millionaire, the first place she visits is called “Common Ground” where less fortunate young adults can obtain food, medical treatment, and counseling.  Ali takes off on her bike to hand out snacks and invite some of the homeless people to visit the Common Ground where they can get food, medical attention and limited dental care. Ali has the pleasure of meeting Dre, a recovered meth addict and his friend and staff member, Courtney.

Ali returns to Common Ground and tells Courtney and Dre that she is a secret millionaire.  She also gives the center a check for $30,000 and reduces Dre to tears. The moment brings Ali and Dre closer together as they share a sincere moment of joy.

Next up is Tiana, a volunteer coordinator at “Bead and Roses”.  It is a place where homeless people can make table reservations and dine as if they were coming to a restaurant. Serving around 150 people each day, the bread signifies the nutrition the people get while the roses offer the patrons a sense of dignity.  Since Ali has never been a cook or waitress, she is more than challenged on her first day, but the rewards are great as she sees how the meals help the people she serves.

Bread and Roses really touches Ali’s heart. She soon reveals that she is a very successful business woman as she hands the center a $10k check. Tiana is teary and believes that Ali’s donation is special because she saw first hand what the money goes for and gives from the heart.

The next experience takes Ali on a “Beauty Bus” as a beauty buddy, started by two cousins who lost a close relative to a degenerative disease. They bring smiles and a much needed service to shut in people in the way of haircuts, manicures, facials, and other things. They offer the services to the ill and their caregivers. Ali meets Harry who suffers from ALS, and loves the service, but is especially happy that his niece gets to experience it too.

Ali loved the experience.  She reveals her identity to the ladies who own ‘Beauty Bus.” When Ali gives the girls a check for $10,000, they thank her with tears of joy.

The last stop for the “Secret Millionaire” is at Harvest Home, a Venice-based organization that provides s place to stay and guidance for homeless pregnant women. Jennifer Jensen, the Executive Director introduces Ali to Erica who showed up at Harvest Home when she was five months pregnant. Erica was able to keep her baby because of Harvest Home. She also meets Tiffany, a mother who had nowhere to go when she lost her job. Ali is touched by the girl’s stories.

Upon her return visit, they ask Ali to watch a newborn and she finds out that there is only one room per every eight pregnant girls. The girls have to enroll in their education program to be able to stay there, but the place is struggling as they don’t know where they are going to get funding. However, Ali reveals who she really is and hands Jennifer a $50k check.  They all cry as they know how useful the money will be, even Ali.

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