Nonprofit organizations that work with the most vulnerable residents throughout Los Angeles, including in Venice and Del Rey, will receive additional grant and stimulus funding to help improve services such as economic and academic assistance.
Under the city’s Human Services Delivery System, touted as an anti-poverty system, 21 FamilySource Program providers — 16 of which are managed by community-based organizations and five operated by the city — have been selected to provide $18 million in funding to nonprofit organizations in impoverished areas of the city. Each of the FamilySource centers, or lead agencies, will receive about $1 million in federal Community Development Block Grants and stimulus funds to allocate to its “subpartners.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with City Council members including Bill Rosendahl, unveiled the new system to address poverty at a news conference October 19th.
“Now more than ever, we need to act strategically to lay the foundation for our recovery from this economic crisis,” Villaraigosa said.
“We have created 21 FamilySource Centers for our most vulnerable residents, strategically located in the areas where poverty looms largest. These centers are a one-stop shop for individuals and families to explore options and services they otherwise wouldn’t know about.”
The 16 lead community-based agencies and their 80 subpartners are scheduled to begin operating the program January 4th. The lead agency for the West Los Angeles area is Community Care at Home, which has eight designated subpartners that will receive the funding, including the Mar Vista Family Center in Del Rey, St. Joseph Center in Venice, the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and the Venice Family Clinic.
Ruth Cislowski, Community Care at Home program manager, said the agency chose the eight subcontractors to better represent the different needs of the communities.
“There are so many agencies that work together on the Westside that have different needs so we wanted to be as representative as possible,” she said. “We have a very strong, cohesive group of social service providers on the Westside.”
The FamilySource Program is intended to establish a system for delivering coordinated, outcome-driven services to the most vulnerable city residents, allowing the city to pursue other resources to increase existing funding, a spokeswoman for the mayor said.
Through the system, the city will be able to nearly double its service population, as about 50,000 low-income residents are targeted for annual services under the initiative.
Cislowski explained that the system is significant because social service agencies are generally having a greater need with less funding and it will enhance essential services for low-income residents.
“The opportunity to have continued and increased funding is a welcome one,” Cislowski said. “I think the ability to coordinate and collaborate with other social service providers is gratifying.”
City officials note that the anti-poverty initiative focuses primarily on increasing family income and academic success, providing a variety of personalized social, educational, recreational and community services. Such services include parenting classes, at-risk youth programs, financial management and adult education courses.
Rosendahl echoed the mayor’s statement, saying the program will create a “one stop shop” at the designated agencies where people can receive economic and academic assistance.
“Essentially, this new program gives us the opportunity to capitalize and enhance most of the social services already available in L.A.,” the councilman said.
The Mar Vista Family Center, which works with youths and families in the Del Rey area, hopes to use some of its additional funding for at-risk youth programs like case management, said Lucia Diaz, the organization’s chief executive officer.
“I think this is really going to help us be able to serve some of those kids on the street,” she said.