Southern California Program

Grant Abstracts 2019

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Arts and Culture
Los Angeles, CA
$150,000
December 2019

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (LA Plaza) is an admission-free, nonprofit institution that is exclusively dedicated to celebrating and preserving the history and many contributions of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and all Latinos in Southern California.  It features two permanent historical exhibits and a rotating schedule of temporary exhibits of Mexican-American and Latino popular culture, history, and art.  Of LA Plaza’s 90,000+ visitors annually, about half visit expressly to view La Plaza’s exhibits, including 8,500 K-12 students, many of whom return with their families.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support enhancements to LA Plaza’s core permanent exhibition, LA Starts Here! (LASH).  LASH tells the story of Los Angeles’ founding and evolution through the eyes and voices of early Mexican and Latino settlers and residents.  Presented in English and Spanish, LASH uses storyboards, photographs, videos, and artifacts to provide a snapshot of history that is rarely included in textbooks and often does not appear in the school curriculum.  Because LASH provides such unique stories and perspective, visitors often seek more information.  Over the next two years, LA Plaza will develop a set of bilingual print and digital resources that provide additional context, references for further readings, and lesson plans for teachers.  A self-guided audio tour will enhance the exhibits with additional content narrated by local Latino leaders, poets, and musicians.  Newly recruited and trained docents will lead guided tours and answer visitors’ questions.  These components will enrich visitors’ experiences, enhance the exhibition’s impact, and disseminate the stories LASH tells far beyond LA Plaza’s physical building.

Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County

Arts and Culture
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
December 2019

The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County.  The non-profit performing arts organization serves over 1.3 million people annually through its constellation of resident companies and theatres, the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center series and its community and education programs.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation is supporting the renovation of The Music Center’s 55-year-old central plaza.  Redesigned by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, the new plaza will be more functional and versatile and accommodate outdoor, multidisciplinary arts programming.  The renovation plan honors the plaza’s history, retaining the iconic fountain, shade trees, and sculpture, while offering easier and more universal access through a graduated Grand Avenue staircase and escalators; digital jumbo screens; a full-service restaurant, a wine bar and a coffee house; and more open flexible spaces.  Programming on the plaza will range from The Music Center’s traditional arts activities and children’s festivals to new opportunities developed in partnership with local arts groups.  The new plaza will serve as a true front door for The Music Center and will be a destination where people can gather for learning, relaxation or inspiration.

Children’s Institute, Inc.

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
December 2019

Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII) is a multi-service agency that annually helps 26,000 children and families living in poverty who have experienced multiple traumas and suffer from toxic stress as a result.  In the communities it serves, young children are at risk of developing early signs of serious emotional disturbances, child abuse/neglect allegations are high, and there is widespread gang violence.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting construction of a new 20,000 square-foot campus in Watts, one of the highest needs and most under-resourced communities in Los Angeles.  The Frank Gehry designed building will be the hub of CII’s community capacity-building initiatives and enable it to expand its early education, behavioral health, and family strengthening programs to more children and families experiencing trauma and toxic stress, and house 120-150 staff members.  The facility will also provide dedicated space for the Watts Gang Task Force and the Community Safety Partnership, thus establishing a place of neighborhood collaboration and convening, and ensuring safety and sanctuary for staff and visitors.  By 2022, CII will reach at least 17,000 children and family members in Watts and the surrounding neighborhoods of South LA through direct services.  An additional 100,000 South Los Angeles residents will benefit from community activities that include crisis intervention for children exposed to gun violence and raising awareness about trauma, and how to identify it and seek help.

Los Angeles Public Library

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$150,000
December 2019

The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) operates the city’s Central Library and 72 branches, the majority of which serve low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.  More than 100,000 K-12 students use the libraries and their online academic tutoring resources after school each week.  Piloted in Fall 2017, Teens Leading Change (TLC) is a civic engagement leadership program for youth ages 12 to 19.  Youth identify local social and environmental issues important to them and research, design, and implement civic action projects that professional Young Adult librarians facilitate.  At present, TLC is not a regular part of LAPL’s programming at each branch.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will enable LAPL to expand and enhance the program.  A new training curriculum for Young Adult librarians will be developed.  Civic education content will be embedded into all teen programming and funding will be provided for teens to implement their projects through their local branches.  At a time when government trust is low, programs like TLC hold the promise to serve as entry points to civic engagement and collective change making.  By the end of the two-year grant period, 3,000 young people will have engaged in a civic participation experience, including 200 who will have implemented a TLC project in the community.

The Salvation Army, California South Division

Civic and Community
Long Beach, CA
$250,000
December 2019

The Salvation Army California South Division provides services to those in need in nine counties from San Luis Obispo to San Diego through 50 Corps Community Centers.  The Long Beach Corps (the Corps) has provided housing, education, and employment services in the Long Beach area since 1906.  The Corps serves an area where one-third of families live below the poverty level and there is a dearth of afterschool and recreational opportunities for children and youth.  To increase its capacity to provide a variety of programming and services for more children, youth and families in the Greater Long Beach area, the Corps is undertaking a two-phase capital project to construct the Red Shield Youth and Community Center.  The first phase was completed in 2017, and resulted in the renovation of a Community Center, which features a 300-seat auditorium, a large dining room with a commercial kitchen, and multipurpose rooms.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support the second phase, which will break ground in January 2020 with construction scheduled to be completed in mid-2021.  A two-story gymnasium will be built with studios for dance, yoga, and fitness classes, and space for a youth game room.  Outdoors there will be an athletic field, walking/jogging path, and playground.  The Corps anticipates serving 500 families and 1,000 children annually within five years, promoting fitness and positive youth development through sports, recreation, and enrichment opportunities.

Linc Housing

Early Childhood
Long Beach, CA
$350,000
December 2019

Linc Housing Corporation builds and manages affordable housing and partners with nonprofits to provide onsite supportive services.  It is constructing 100 affordable apartments in Willowbrook, an unincorporated community of nearly 27,000 people in South Los Angeles.  Named Springhaven, the six-story residential complex will serve 100 low-income families, including 50 formerly homeless households who are frequent users of Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services resources.  Construction is on track to be completed in late 2020.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the build-out of the interior of the first floor to house a modern 5,400-square-foot child care center.  Drew Child Development Corporation (Drew CDC) will operate the center.  It will have the capacity to serve 44 children between the ages of 18 months and three years, which Drew CDC is unable to do at its current site, and 44 children between the ages of three and five.  The child care program will be open to both Springhaven residents and the community at large.  A collateral benefit for the community is that once the child care center opens in the new facility, Linc will build another affordable housing apartment complex on Drew’s current site.

Lynwood Unified School District

Education
Lynwood, CA
$225,000
December 2019

The Lynwood Unified School District (LUSD) serves nearly 15,000 students at twelve elementary, three middle, and two high schools in southeast Los Angeles.  Its student body is 94% low-income and 36% are English language learners.  College & Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathway Programs are a core strategy the District uses to enhance the academic and career success of students.  At Firebaugh High School the Biomedical Science and Nursing and the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering pathway programs are sharing a single classroom due to a lack of space on the campus.  As a result, both programs turn away students and have had to reduce lab activities and projects that are part of the curricula.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the construction of a new modular classroom/lab equipped for the Biomedical Science and Nursing Program, thereby freeing up space in the existing classroom, and enabling each program to serve an additional 90 students annually.  Students typically take a four-year sequence of classes that end with a capstone project and the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications prior to graduation.  Each program uses the Project Lead the Way design framework that includes: rigorous curricula aligned with national CTE standards; A-G courses required for admission to California state colleges and universities; work-based learning; and comprehensive professional development and support for teachers.

APLA Health

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2019

APLA Health provides comprehensive health care services, supplemental food, and housing support to 18,000 vulnerable individuals, including people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.  It is the county’s largest provider of HIV health education and prevention services.  For the past ten years, APLA Health operated a dental clinic and food pantry serving 400 patients annually on the County of Los Angeles’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital campus located in Watts/Willowbrook.  In April 2019, the county reclaimed the space for another program.  Staff and equipment were redeployed, and patients were referred to APLA Health’s other sites.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation is supporting the capital campaign to reestablish and expand the clinic across the street from the hospital on the campus of the Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine.  APLA Health will occupy 8,000 square feet of the new 10,000 square foot two-story, custom modular building.  The dental clinic will be reopened, and an integrated program of primary medical, sexual health services and behavioral health care will be added.  Each year, the new clinic will serve 2,400 adult patients in a culturally responsive and confidential manner through over 7,200 visits.  The remaining 2,000 square feet will house Charles R. Drew University’s student health center.

Harbor Community Clinic

Health Care
San Pedro, CA
$250,000
December 2019

Harbor Community Clinic (HCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary and behavioral health care to over 6,000 low-income men, women, and children living in San Pedro, Wilmington, and parts of Long Beach.  Most of HCC’s service area is designated as medically underserved and health indicator scores are among the worst in Los Angeles County.  For example, the prevalence of childhood asthma in the service area is 20% compared with California at 15.3%.  A disproportionate 47% of HCC’s pediatric patients have been diagnosed with asthma.  To address the community’s unmet need for holistic care, HCC has embarked on a capital campaign to renovate and equip a second site that will allow it to expand pediatric services and provide dental care to patients of all ages for the first time.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will partially underwrite equipment costs.  The new, 7,880-square-foot facility will replace HCC’s existing 1,700-square-foot pediatric clinic located in the basement of a county facility.  There will be nine exam rooms, four more than in the current site; six dental chairs; a behavioral health room; and a respiratory therapy room for asthma treatments that will likely help prevent trips to the emergency room.  The additional space will allow HCC to grow from serving 1,500 to over 4,000 pediatric patients and increase annual visits four-fold to over 20,000 by the end of the second year of operations.  HCC’s overall goal is to demonstrably improve the health status of low-income children, and it will track performance indicators such as asthma care, preventive dental care, immunizations, and screening of body mass index with a follow-up plan as appropriate.

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2019

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) provides reproductive health care and education programs to nearly 130,000 women, men, and teens annually.  It is expanding clinical services on high school campuses to reach underserved teens who experience the greatest barriers to health care. A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support the delivery of affordable reproductive and sexual health care in newly established Wellness Centers at five high-need high schools in Los Angeles that lack on-campus health care.  PPLA’s clinical care is just one element of an expansion in wrap-around services promoting sexual health, social/emotional well-being, and health affirming actions for students that will be offered at 50 high-need schools in LA County through a unique partnership between PPLA and the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health and Mental Health.  This comprehensive project will address inequities in rates of sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancies, substance use disorders, and mental health issues in order to significantly improve teen health outcomes in Los Angeles County.

Westside Family Health Center

Health Care
Culver City, CA
$250,000
December 2019

Founded in 1974, Westside Family Health Center (WFHC) became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2007.  It currently serves 12,695 adults and children annually through a small clinic in Santa Monica, a satellite clinic in West Los Angeles, four schools-based programs and a mobile medical unit.  To increase its capacity to meet its patient and community needs, WFHC signed a 20-year lease for a site in Culver City that is more centrally located to the communities it serves.  The new 24,000-square-foot facility will replace both the Santa Monica site and the satellite clinic.  It is three times larger than both combined with four times as much clinic space.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation is supporting renovation and equipment.  WFHC projects that it will double the number of patients it sees over the next five years, and triple the number of visits.  Current services will be expanded, and vision, dental, and mental/behavioral health services will be added.  Each patient will be treated by a designated care team, and each exam room will have its own medical assistant assigned to the room, who will take preliminary information and guide the patient through the visit.  WFHC’s goal is to provide state of the art, compassionate, and dignified care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, and to positively impact the overall health of the community by addressing not only medical, oral and mental/behavioral health issues, but the social determinants of health.

Zimmer Children's Museum

Arts and Culture
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2019

Founded in 1991, the Zimmer Children’s Museum is one of only three children’s museums in Los Angeles County.  Its location on the ground floor of a mid-Wilshire district office building presented many challenges for visitors, including limited weekend and holiday hours, parking restrictions, and inadequate physical space for children and families to interact with exhibits and one another.  After several years of planning, the organization is moving to the Santa Monica Place mall where it is opening a 21,000 square-foot museum named the Cayton Children’s Museum this summer.  While all ages will be served, exhibits will cater to children ages 0-10.  They will be organized by five thematic areas, invite discovery, and teach children about universal values such as respect, responsibility, and sharing.  The facility will also feature an art studio, theater, and multipurpose rooms, and accommodate as many as 250,000 visitors annually.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will help support exhibit design and fabrication as part of the capital campaign.

Center for Strategic Partnerships

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$225,000
June 2019

The Center for Strategic Partnerships (the Center) was established in 2015 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) and local foundations as a pilot project to facilitate public/private collaborations to support vulnerable children and families.  Based on the pilot’s success, the BOS approved the Center as a permanent entity within the County in 2018.  Southern California Grantmakers is serving as the fiscal sponsor.  A three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support the next phase of the Center’s work related to child protection.  Center staff and consultants will work with County departments and community based providers to fully implement a new county-wide home visiting system that will serve nearly half of the 32,000 families at highest risk for child abuse or neglect.  They will also focus on partnering with foster family agencies and faith communities to develop a comprehensive system to recruit and retain families in coordination with the County to meet the specific needs of foster children.  Because of a shortage of appropriate homes, too often children cycle through short-term shelters, languish in groups homes and experience multiple placements contributing to poor outcomes.  Pilot projects will be developed to test innovative ideas that can be scaled by the public sector.

Children's Defense Fund - California

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2019

Children’s Defense Fund – California (CDF-CA) has been at the forefront of efforts to improve the well-being of youth involved in Los Angeles County’s juvenile justice system.  Since 2016, it has been the lead agency in building a coalition and other partnerships with community-based advocacy and organizing groups that have combined efforts to pursue critically needed reforms.  Specific goals have been established that include:  reducing youth contact with law enforcement; shrinking the probation system and its budget while also ensuring better outcomes for youth who remain involved; reinvesting funds in an expanded youth diversion and development system; and, increasing participation in probation and other juvenile justice oversight bodies.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support CDF-CA’s work to advance these goals through coalition building and training, research, and policy recommendations.  As many as 11,000 Los Angeles youth each year could be diverted prior to arrest and instead be directed to a community-based system of supports that builds on their strengths and develops competencies and connections they need for life and work.

Executive Service Corps of Southern California

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$225,000
June 2019

Executive Service Corps of Southern California (ESC) deploys trained executive-level professionals as volunteers to provide affordable coaching and consulting to nonprofits in the greater Los Angeles area.  In 2018, ESC facilitated 180 projects for 136 organizations, helping them strengthen their staff leadership and boards, adopt strategic goals aligned to their missions, diversify their fundraising, and respond to other organizational challenges and opportunities.  Demand for its services is increasing and its clients’ needs have become more complex.  A three year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will allow ESC to hire additional staff and adopt new technology tools to increase its operational efficiency, expand the number of nonprofits served, and take on more complex projects that deal with multiple functional areas in those organizations.

Imagine LA

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$225,000
June 2019

Imagine LA (ILA) is dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty and family homelessness.  Its Family Empowerment and Mentorship (FEM) program uniquely combines intensive case management, individualized mentorship, financial wellness/workforce development coaching, and linkages to public and private resources.  Master’s level social workers partner with newly housed families to help them stabilize, set goals, and access community resources to address the complex issues they face.  Simultaneously, ILA staff recruits volunteer mentors (one for each member of a family over age five, and a financial wellness mentor for the head-of-household) and guides them in building nurturing relationships with their mentees to help them achieve their goals.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting ILA’s recruiting 225 mentors for 75 families to further embed its FEM program in South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, and launch in West Los Angeles.  It is expected that these and other ILA families will remain housed and that of the heads of households, 65% will be on solid school or workforce pathways, and 50% will increase their earned income.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$150,000
June 2019

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles (JBBBSLA) provides mentoring, camp experiences, college guidance, and scholarships for vulnerable youth.  To address the social, emotional and academic stressors many teenagers face, the agency has developed a smartphone application for the iPhone called Teen Talk that is designed for teens to seek advice from other teens.  Volunteer teen advisors go through a rigorous application process, are trained to respond empathetically, and are supervised by mental health clinicians.  Nearly 13,000 iPhone users downloaded the Teen Talk app during the pilot year and the numbers posting a question or concern increased throughout the pilot.  A three-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will enable JBBBSLA to expand access to Teen Talk.  The agency will increase the number of teen advisors and the staff who train and supervise them and expand the hours of operation.  It will also develop the app for Android smartphones whose users tend to be from lower income families.  Based on usage during the pilot, JBBBSLA expects that the app will be downloaded 90,000 times during the grant period, providing teens with access to emotional support that can prevent an issue from becoming a crisis.  The advisors will also benefit from the experience by gaining compassion and empathy for their peers, learning about resources, and feeling more comfortable helping someone who is struggling.

Long Beach Public Library

Civic and Community
Long Beach, CA
$100,000
June 2019

The Long Beach Public Library is the second largest library system in Los Angeles County and serves more than one million patrons annually.  As part of rebuilding the Long Beach Civic Center, a new, 93,000-square-foot Main Library is being constructed to anchor a revitalized plaza that will also feature a new park and city hall facility.  The Long Beach Public Library Foundation is raising funds to help enhance specialized programmatic spaces.  These include an expanded Family Learning Center, an engaging children’s library, the Studio where visitors of all ages can participate in STEM workshops utilizing cutting-edge technologies, and a Center for Adaptive Technology to address the needs of individuals with disabilities.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support furnishings and equipment for the Children’s Library.  Over 3,000 students will receive one-on-one academic assistance through the Family Learning Center and more than 2,500 students will learn science and engineering skills through workshops offered through the Studio.

SLATE-Z

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2019

The South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z) is a collaborative initiative of civic, business, and community leaders whose mission is to revitalize South LA by moving residents to economic opportunity.  The zone is five miles wide from Crenshaw Boulevard to Central Avenue, roughly framed by the Crenshaw, Expo, and Blue Line light rail systems.  Community Partners serves as the fiscal agent for the initiative, which is led by Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) and governed by a 23-member Steering Committee.  SLATE Z’s 55 cross-sector partners came together to design a resident-informed plan that established five goals related to jobs, economic activity, education, safety, and transit.  In 2016, SLATE-Z was awarded a federal Promise Zone designation to implement the plan over ten years.  A three-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the hiring of a program manager to “turbocharge” SLATE-Z’s programmatic impact and manage the work groups, each of which focuses on a goal area.  Over the next three years, through collaboration and leveraging direct service funding, the expectation is that 2,400 youth will be hired for summer jobs, 3,900 youth will be on a career pathway leading to post-secondary certificates and degrees, and 3,500 residents will be connected to living wage jobs.

Southern California Public Radio

Civic and Community
Pasadena, CA
$350,000
June 2019

Southern California Public Radio station KPCC plans to increase the impact of its local public service by expanding its investigative unit from one journalist to a team of five full-time, dedicated investigative journalists.  Independent, fact-based investigative news at the local level is important to provide access to information that helps families make decisions and holds institutions and leaders accountable.  Studies indicate that across political divides a great majority of Americans still trust local news sources and demonstrate a direct link between local news consumption and civic engagement.  Yet today there are fewer than a dozen local full-time investigative reporters in metropolitan Los Angeles, which has countless institutions including more than 88 city governments and the nation’s second-largest school district.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will help KPCC build out its investigative team by supporting a senior editor and a second investigative reporter.

Orthopaedic Institute for Children

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$400,000
June 2019

Founded in 1911, the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) provides care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders regardless of ability to pay and advances treatment through education, training, and research.  In 2018, OIC provided care in 21 subspecialties to 22,000 children and youth.  The Urgent Care Center (UCC), located at OIC’s main campus just south of downtown Los Angeles, has reached capacity.  To meet the growing demand for urgent care and deliver improved trauma care services to a greater number of children, OIC is building a new state of the-art UCC as part of reconstructing an aging medical facility on the campus.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will help support construction of the UCC, which will be co located with related clinical services and designed to accommodate an increased demand and provide more comfort and privacy for families.  The new UCC will provide services to 26,000 low-income, underinsured and uninsured children annually providing them with timely, expert and specialized orthopaedic attention.

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