Since the year 2000, the Everychild Foundation has awarded more than $14 million in grants to very deserving organizations, whose hard work eases the suffering of children in the Greater Los Angeles area. To celebrate our decade and a half of giving, we asked each of our grant recipients to tell us what the Everychild grant has meant to them.
This Los Angeles-based non-profit provides services for preventing and treating child abuse and eliminating violence. The grant will fund the construction of the Everychild Foundation Healing Center and launch an integrated program of child abuse crisis and long-term treatment, as well as prevention services for victims and families. The new 4,000 square foot Everychild Foundation Healing Center will provide programs and services in a single location serving communities in L.A. County’s South Bay and neighboring South L.A. areas. It will allow the center to serve 500 additional at-risk and abused children, ages 5-17 years old, and their families each year.
The Whole Child Everychild Foundation Family Housing Program helps hard-to-place families with children, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with adequate, safe and affordable housing. The Everychild Family Housing Program anticipates serving 672 children ages zero to 18 (approximately 168 families) over a two-year period. The program is aimed at achieving stability and emotional well-being for these children and their families. Through its new Family Housing Program, TWC will assist families in securing housing and provide help with move-in expenses. At the same time, TWC case managers will assess each family’s situation and develop an individualized service plan designed to achieve long-term stability.
This organization rescues, protects, and supports homeless and vulnerable youth across Greater Los Angeles. Everychild funding will go toward the renovation of the Center’s property in Mar Vista, the Everychild Foundation Emergency Shelter and Youth Program. The project will give temporary shelter, 24-hour protection, and a broad array of mental health and other critical services to unaccompanied homeless and abused girls and boys (ages 10-17), and create a new Youth Empowerment Center providing crisis intervention, counseling, self-esteem building, suicide prevention and intervention, anti-bullying, broad-based survival/educational, job training, life skills, outreach and leadership services. Overall, the project will reach approximately 3,500 children annually through counseling, prevention, outreach, 24-hour emergency and suicide hotline, and licensed shelter services. This critically-needed program will save lives, prevent youth from hitting the streets, and get them off the streets.
The Children’s Clinic, “Serving Children and Their Families” (TCC) implemented the Everychild Bright Beginnings Initiative (EBBI). The program identifies and addresses the effects of toxic stress and chronic exposure to violence on infants, toddlers and pregnant mothers and ultimately changes the trajectory of families’ lives and the community as a whole. Internally, all 350 TCC employees have undergone stratified training to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma, toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences, as well as the principles and processes of trauma-informed care. New clinical systems have been developed, along with protocols that classify and assign children, new mothers, and pregnant women to appropriate services and supports. Collaborative partnerships have been established with a diverse group of community based organizations, mental health experts, public health departments, medical personnel, elected officials, law enforcement, child advocates, and others.
TCC is collaborating with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health to collect data and present results at conferences nationwide.
The Everychild Foundation Families Forever Project was created to wrap a full range of supports around those who open their homes and hearts to foster children. These services aim to ensure the long-term success of these placements. Our grant enabled the Alliance, in partnership with Public Counsel, to complete nearly 3,000 adoptions and guardianships for abused and neglected children, who need support to address special needs and behavioral issues. Thousands of children now enter kindergarten, ready to achieve alongside their peers with sufficient medical and mental healthcare, and financial assistance.
As a result of systematically and comprehensively assessing each child’s and family’s needs, the partnership developed a new “holistic services” model, which is attracting national attention. This new wrap-around program has helped to ensure stability and success, and opened doors to permanency for thousands of families, who change their lives to provide a better one for children in and at-risk of entering foster care.
Centinela Youth Services opened the Everychild Restorative Justice Center in Inglewood, across the street from Juvenile Court. It was established to to address the dearth of services available to youth being sent to criminal court. Serving close to 1,200 youth since its inception, the center diverts youth from the punitive court system, into individualized services that have been proven more effective in reducing re-arrest rates and improving behavior. 72% of youth enrolled, complete the program successfully. Of those, 90% have not been rearrested within one year of completing services. Youth who have dropped out are provided comprehensive educational services, and the center gets them re-enrolled and back on track. Youth with serious mental health conditions or trauma are identified and given appropriate treatment rather than incarceration.
Since it began, the program has expanded to serve a second court jurisdiction and is working with the Los Angeles Police Department as well as school police to reduce campus arrests. Originally established as court diversion, the Everychild Restorative Justice Center is at the forefront in juvenile justice reform in Los Angeles.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor’s College Bound Program has offered critical resources, workshops, and other support services to underserved and marginalized youth in the communities of the Los Angeles Harbor. The College Bound Program has worked to ensure that financial, educational, and cultural barriers do not keep at-risk and first-generation youth from pursuing higher education. Using an intensive case management model, youth are supported from middle school through high school with regard to A-G classes, SAT and ACT test preparation, college applications, financial aid and other tools to support their successful graduation from high school and entry to college.
Supported by the Everychild grant, the College Bound Program has expanded exponentially over the past four years to include fifty-nine other Boys and Girls Clubs around the nation (and even some located at U.S. military bases abroad). This was made possible by the College Bound web portal that was developed by a portion of our grant funds.
This agency received the Everychild grant for the purpose of helping at-risk, disconnected youth through a set of comprehensive set of skill-building, academic, and character-development initiatives; all of which focus on re-engaging young adults in career-focused, peer-supported learning. Participants first enter in pre-pathway coaching and training programs that are then linked to the organization’s highly successful career pathways. They complete the programs prepared for high-wage employment in the energy sector, classroom teaching, and design and media arts.
Students are able to succeed due to the unparalleled access to career and academic resources as well as supportive adult mentoring and the opportunity to develop solid peer relationships. To date, SBCC’s Everychild-supported youth career-development initiatives have enrolled more than 1,000 youth, with the majority of whom are of these participants now enrolled in full career pathways or gainfully employed, following their graduation.
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center created Everychild Foundation’s Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids (HHHK), an environmental health project integrating comprehensive pediatric medical care with education, case management services and tenant assistance to reduce children’s exposure to health hazards present in their own homes, including lead-based paint, rodents, cockroaches and dust mites.
Together with partners Esperanza Community Housing Corporation and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, HHHK served 5,682 children living in South Los Angeles over 18 months. By the end of that period, 82% of asthmatic children receiving case management had a reduction in asthma attacks and symptoms and were diagnosed by their physician as finally having their asthma under control. All children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had those levels reduced.
HHHK’s impressive results enabled St. John’s and its partners to receive their first grant from a national foundation: the Kresge Foundation’s Advancing Safe and Healthy Housing Initiative. Although the Everychild Foundation’s grant period ended in 2010, the impact of their gift continues to grow exponentially.
With the construction of the Everychild Foundation Youth Center, Mar Vista Family Center (MVFC) increased enrollment in its highly regarded community programs to over 900 children and youth. The new space allows more children and youth to participate in existing programs and the provision of new community services.
Today, over 1,200 children and youth participate year-round in after-school tutoring, mentoring, college preparation, leadership, civic engagement, various dance classes, martial arts, arts and crafts, creative arts, cooking, health and wellness, sports, reading club, chess club, financial literacy, peer counseling, a STEM certificate program, as well as annual events such as the Literacy Fair, Community Festivals, College Fair, Youth Conference, and Art & Music Festival.
With the Everychild Foundation Youth Center, MVFC has decreased the numbers of youth joining gangs, and increased the number graduating from college, many of whom come back to volunteer in their community. The grant has provided MVFC the appropriate space needed to continue its mission, transforming lives and providing a safe home for children and youth in the community.
Everychild funding supported the renovation and expansion of the Lafayette Park Recreation Center (LCC), a building operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Through this precedent-setting partnership, HOLA expanded its high-quality academic, athletic, arts and enrichment programming to annually serve an additional 1,000 at-risk youth for at least the next 25 years.
Since the opening of the new LCC in 2011, HOLA has doubled the number of classes at the center. The partnership has also brought unprecedented financial and programmatic resources to thousands of families, who now utilize the park on a regular basis. HOLA has been able to leverage the support of the Everychild Foundation for this innovative public/private partnership and plans are currently underway to expand the partnership with the construction of a 23,000 square foot Arts, Enrichment and Recreation Center in Lafayette Park. This new building will enable HOLA to consolidate more of its programs into a single, secure and integrated environment.
The Everychild Foundation Universally Accessible Playground at Orthopaedic Institute for Children is a popular site for young patients, along with children who reside in its inner-city neighborhood. With numerous community partners, including the Amor Y Fortaleza Down Syndrome family support group, and structured activities such as monthly play dates, the Playground serves a multitude of constituencies. Most importantly, the facility allows children who otherwise would not be able to access a typical playground the chance to be like other kids and for able-bodied children to learn to accept others coming from diverse circumstances.
A priority has always been placed on modeling the playground for others to replicate, and that has happened. The hospital now has created a new an exciting spin-off partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers, involving their ‘Dodgers Dreamfields.’ The new program brings baseball fields to low-income neighborhoods, where youngsters can learn the game of baseball in a safe environment. As a result of their experience building and managing the Everychild Foundation Universally Accessible Playground, OIC is currently advising the Dodgers on building a universally accessible baseball field for children with physical challenges.
Everychild funding established Youth Moving On, to support the growth and independence of youth aging-out of foster care. The grant was used as a down-payment to purchase a multi-family building housing the program, which serves twenty youth annually (ages 18—24). The participants reside in furnished apartments and receive mental health and case management services. This initial support from Everychild was quickly leveraged to acquire other grants. These monies were used to build a continuum of programs that include a workforce development program, community outreach, a peer-led resource center, college scholarships, and tutoring, permanent supportive housing, and life skills training to more than 500 youth a year.
Ten years later, over 90% of the residential housing youth have reached permanency, and Hillsides now provides 41 different paid internships for youth to gain work experience. Their peer-led resource center has become the central location for youth to access support and resources in the San Gabriel Valley. The Everychild Foundation’s and Hillsides’ shared vision for helping youth, who were formerly in foster care, has not only enhanced their lives, but also their community.
Our grant was used to build the new state-of-the-art Everychild Foundation Youth Learning Center, serving troubled teens, at its campus near downtown Los Angeles. The project included a larger school building space, allowing the integration of education and therapy and enabling Optimist to increase its renowned services. The gift also allowed Optimist to attract over $3,500,000 in additional funding from other major foundations for services and was a prime factor leading to Optimist’s successful petition to open a charter school serving probation and foster youth. The facility is the first in California to contain both a non-public school and a charter school on a single campus, serving vulnerable youth.
With the initial investment from both the S. Mark Taper Foundation and The Everychild Foundation, VIP established the Everychild Center for the Vulnerable Child located within the S. Mark Taper Family Advocacy Center.
VIP provides wrap-around services for physically and sexually abused children in Los Angeles County. The creation of a welcoming and vibrant Center allowed VIP to expand the number of abused children they are able to counsel, but also resulted in an innovative collaboration between VIP-CMHC, the Los Angeles Country Department of Health Services, and the Department of Children and Family Services, which created the unique HUB system.
This program provides expert medical and mental health assessments to all children entering foster care, offering them a medical home that also provides legal aid. Over 9,000 children have passed through the doors since opening, and children evaluated by VIP have an easier time being placed and remaining in their initial placements. The County of Los Angeles has now deemed ‘HUB’ the ideal program for improving the safety of children in the dependency system.
The Wonder of Reading (WoR) was a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that operated from 1994-2012 to inspire in children a lifelong love of reading. The Everychild Foundation grant renovated fifteen public elementary school libraries throughout Los Angeles County, as part of their program, the ‘three R’s: renovate, restock, and read.’ The vibrant new libraries, all still maintained and in operation, include expanded spaces (story steps) for group reading and workstations for tutoring.
Our grant also provided funds to restock each school’s library book collection and train volunteers to read one-on-one with students. Additionally, Everychild funded a ‘how-to’ manual, enabling The Wonder of Reading to share its process and results with charitable entities interested in replicating the program in other cities.
Everychild’s inaugural grant was to QueensCare, to operate its Mobile Dental Program in Los Angeles Unified schools, where 75% or more of the students qualify for the federal free lunch program. The program designers initially planned to station the 48-foot trailer with three dental “operatories” at each school for two months. However, due to the extensive oral disease of so many students and the high demand for services, the program remained at the first school for six months, and the annual schedule was then rearranged to take needed extensions into account.
Over the past 15 years, the program, staffed by USC School of Dentistry Fellows, has grown and dramatically improved the health of the children it serves. There are now four mobile dental units, each with three chairs, providing free preventive and restorative dental services to nearly 2,000 K-6th graders each year. The demand is consistently high, with LAUSD regularly requesting that the Mobile Dental Program visit new schools in need of oral health services.