What about the building?

The 4 story brown building on the corner of 5th and Elm in Long Beach was built in 1922 and was originally the AT&T Overseas Operator Building. After the Long Beach Earthquake in 1933 the building was rebuilt and continued to be used as a telephone operator’s building.

The building stood vacant for a while and was purchased in the 1980s for conversion to an office building; the developer improved the building seismically but did not complete the project.

MHA bought the vacant property on January 2, 1990 to use as the site for the Village.






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What is a Core Gift?

Everyone has a core gift.  It’s the primary contribution we give to the world and is more specific than our talents and skills.  In ancient cultures, young people were guided through initiation to find their core gift.  Once discovered, the community supports that person’s gift and expects that person to contribute it to the community, learn how to use it wisely and nurture it with support from others who have a similar gift.

It is believed that once someone discovers their core gift, they are able to see the power of what’s inside of them and use it to change the world around them.  It is a powerful tool indeed for those of us in social services to help those who have been marginalized by society, identifies only with their disability or condition and have lost hope to discover their core gift. 

When someone discovers their core gift, he or she is often empowered to change their lives and realize they’re worthy of respect, love and acceptance of themselves and by others. It also motivates people to realize their purpose and place in society. To learn more and discover your core gift, visit Community Activators.

Many of our staff and members go through the process to discover their core gift. It's affirming, heartwarming and connects us to one another.  Here are some examples:


“My Core Gift is being someone to rely on.  I do this by not giving up, seeing and accepting reality, finding the best in the worst, and making people laugh so life is easier to swallow.”

- Momma Nikkie, MHA Village Member


"My Core Gift is helping others come out of their shell.  I do this by helping people feel comfortable and then provoking them, believing every person has a dream and a purpose, and being uninhibited myself."

- Dawn, MHA Staff Member


“My Core Gift is to help people grow and change for the better.  I do this by seeking out knowledge and spiritual understanding for myself and others, showing the sweetness brings out the finer feelings and emotions, and teaching them that once they understand, they can go forth and do what they need.”

 -Rainbow, MHA Village Member