It started with a spreadsheet of income and expenses showing a modest profit could be made by housing homeless people.

The profit hasn’t materialized yet. But Heidi Roberts and John Betz, a Venice couple who decided to make their mom-and-pop rental business part of the solution to homelessness, have shown that they can get people off the streets while operating outside the government-run system.

In just a year, the couple have provided homes to 98 people, many of whom were placed by homeless services agencies across Los Angeles County.

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