Southern California Program

Grant Abstracts 2015

Alliance for Children's Rights

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$450,000
December 2015

Transition age foster youth (TAY) face the realities of adulthood without much support and struggle to cobble together the disparate services provided by numerous organizations across Los Angeles County.  Their education and employment outcomes are dismal.  But the tide is shifting for TAY.  In 2012, new state legislation (Assembly Bill 12) extended foster care to age 21; K-12 schools are now prioritizing educational improvement for foster youth through California’s Local Control Funding Formula; the state has approved funding for community colleges to pilot on-campus programs for TAY; and, the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides for increased resources to reengage disconnected youth in school and work.  As the backbone agency of the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), the Alliance for Children’s Rights is facilitating a cross-agency effort to leverage these reforms and improve high school completion, postsecondary enrollment and credential attainment, and workforce readiness and gainful employment for foster youth ages 16-24.  Approximately 50 public and private agencies and organizations across L.A. are coordinating their efforts through information sharing, co-case management and systems changes.  Over the next two years, the Alliance will continue to lead and manage the OYC, work with partners to reinforce existing and develop new education and employment pathways for TAY, track and monitor a supported cohort of TAY within a targeted geographic area, resolve systemic barriers through local, state and federal policy and practice changes, and collect and use data to measure OYC outcomes.  The W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support an OYC associate director and three OYC partners piloting the new education and employment pathways for TAY.

Children's Bureau of Southern California

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2015

The Magnolia Community Initiative (MCI), facilitated by Children’s Bureau of Southern California, is a network of 75 partner agencies and organizations working collaboratively to improve the developmental outcomes of the 35,000 children living within five miles of the Magnolia Place multi-service center.  A key strategy of the MCI calls for the development of a shared, web-based system for exchanging participant information, tracking referrals made and permitting MCI network partners to follow up with participants to ensure their needs are met and make additional referrals if necessary.  The Participant Referral and Tracking System (PRTS) will break down silos to ensure that children and families receive the integrated care necessary to improve their overall well-being.  Keck support will allow Children’s Bureau to recruit and train up to 50 MCI partners to adopt and implement PRTS within their organizations.

Community Partners/College Match

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$200,000
December 2015

College Match provides comprehensive college access and retention services to low-income, first generation students from East and South Los Angeles.  A two-year Keck grant will allow the program to expand to additional schools to serve a total of 530 juniors and seniors and keep in touch with an additional 330 alumni.  Services include 100 hours of SAT Prep classes, college site visits to outstanding schools all over the country, continuous counseling and mentoring over a two-year period, advocacy with college admissions officials, and considerable emphasis on retention activities.  The goals are to get a vast majority of College Match participants into top ranked colleges and all of its students into four-year colleges with substantial financial assistance packages.  In 2015, 76% of College Match seniors were admitted into a Top 25 college or university, 98% were admitted into at least one Top 50 college or university, and all were admitted into a four-year institution of higher learning.  Once students are in college, the focus is on ensuring that they graduate and have successful and fulfilling lives.

Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center

Civic and Community
Culver City, CA
$300,000
December 2015

Amid general concerns about Los Angeles’ rising homeless rate, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has developed a program that aims to reduce family homelessness by addressing two root causes: mothers’ untreated, serious mental illness and substance use disorder.  Launched in January 2014, Project 60 Women & Children combines onsite residential treatment for women with dual diagnoses and intensive mother-child bonding therapy to prepare the women for rapid community reintegration and reunification with their children in the foster care system.  The two phase capital project will renovate Via Avanta, a residential campus in Pacoima, which Didi Hirsch owns and has operated for over thirty years.  The outdated institutional-style buildings intended for addiction treatment will be converted into a contemporary dual-diagnosis recovery environment.  The first phase, which built out distinct treatment areas for mental health and remodeled dormitory-style rooms to give seriously ill women more privacy, has been completed. The W. M. Keck Foundation is supporting the second phase of the capital project, which will provide a better layout for children’s learning and play, more private bedrooms, rooms that support employment-oriented skill-building and physical health, and program administration areas.  When the project is completed, Via Avanta will have the space to serve a minimum of 60 women and about 100 children annually.

EnCorps, Inc.

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2015

EnCorps will address the growing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teacher shortage in Los Angeles by cultivating a non-traditional and untapped source of teacher candidates—career -changing professionals, retiring professionals and military veterans in the STEM fields.  With the support of this three-year Keck grant, EnCorps will recruit a cohort of STEM professionals for a two-year training program that utilizes strategies relevant to second career professionals.  The first year includes pre-service volunteer tutoring and guest teaching under the mentorship of a host teacher.  For the candidates who decide to pursue full-time teaching versus continuing as tutors in the second year, EnCorps provides guidance with applying to one of several teacher credential programs.  Throughout the program, participants participate in workshops to build their teaching and classroom management skills, learn about adolescent psychology and become familiar with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.  They receive one-on-one mentoring and opportunities to network within their cohort and with program alumni who have successfully transitioned to teaching careers.  As they complete the program, EnCorps assists them with placements in traditional district and charter public schools.  A minimum of 138 STEM professionals will participate, impacting nearly 5,000 Los Angeles low-income middle and high school students.

Inner-City Arts

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2015

Inner-City Arts (ICA) is the largest community arts partner of the Los Angeles Unified School District and its programs are designed to meet the challenge of the arts opportunity gap in Los Angeles.  A Keck award will expand the Learning and Achieving through the Arts program to additional schools where arts programs have been reduced or eliminated.  Learning and Achieving through the Arts brings students and their classroom teachers to the ICA campus during the school day.  The program’s three key components include: standards-aligned instruction in the arts for K-8 students, extended professional development and supportive coaching for classroom teachers to grow their potential as art educators; and activities that engage students’ parents and other family members in arts experiences.  Across all art forms, students learn to persevere, solve problems and think critically.  They are encouraged to take risks, use their imaginations and describe their work to build language skills.  Over the next two years, the program will work with a total of 64 schools and grow from serving 5,000 to 6,600 students and from 180 to 240 teachers.  An additional 1,000 school community and family members will be engaged in arts activities during the course of the project.

LA Family Housing Corporation

Civic and Community
North Hollywood, CA
$500,000
December 2015

LA Family Housing Corporation (LAFH) is redeveloping its main site in North Hollywood in direct response to a historically disjointed safety-net system in Los Angeles County and the growing demand for services from the chronically homeless, homeless and low-income families and individuals.  This Keck award will support construction.  The new Campus will be an 80,000-square-foot service home for Los Angeles County’s Service Planning Area 2 (SPA 2).  LAFH is the lead agency for SPA 2’s recently implemented Coordinated Entry System and the Homeless Families Solutions System.  In one inviting location, individuals and families will access comprehensive housing and supportive services, including primary and dental care, mental health services, employment resources and benefits assistance, case management, legal aid, tutoring and educational resources, recovery support and more.  The Campus will also provide temporary housing for more than 450 homeless households each year, new permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless adults with co-occurring disorders and adequate space for the expanded LAFH staff.  Once the new campus opens in 2018, LAFH anticipates increasing service capacity by 30% to 6,000 individuals annually.

Little Tokyo Service Center/Community Development Corporation

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
December 2015

Budokan of Los Angeles (BoLA) is a new multipurpose sports and activities center that Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) is building to serve as a “Home Court” that will connect the community with the rich history and culture of Little Tokyo and enhance the quality of life for residents.  The W. M. Keck Foundation will support construction.  While the name “Budokan” is a Japanese term that literally translates to “martial arts hall,” BoLA will provide much more.  For local residents of Little Tokyo and surrounding multiethnic neighborhoods where there is a critical lack of green space and recreational facilities, BoLA will fill a critical need.  Individuals and families will participate in sports activities, afterschool programs, health and wellness activities, and arts and cultural programs, contributing to their physical health and well-being.  Tournaments and a wide array of special events will draw visitors from throughout Southern California, introducing them to elements of the Japanese culture.  When the facility is completed in 2018, LTSC estimates serving over 25,000 individuals annually.

Ocean Park Community Center

Civic and Community
Santa Monica, CA
$250,000
December 2015

Finding affordable housing has become increasingly difficult in Los Angeles County due to an increase in homelessness (up 12% in the last two years to 45,000), the reduction in public funding for rental subsidies and the high cost of construction.  In fall 2014, Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) began piloting a shared housing strategy for its population of chronically homeless and vulnerable clients that does not rely on public subsidies.  OPCC master-leases apartment units and rents them to housing-ready clients.  With a monthly flat fee of $500, individuals get a furnished, well-maintained apartment, a bedroom to share with one other person and basic utilities.  Many of the clients are able to retain approximately 40% of their monthly income to spend on food, extras and savings.  A multidisciplinary team conducts regular home visits to provide supportive services during the client’s tenancy in the shared unit.  With the support of this two-year grant from the Keck Foundation, OPCC will expand the project to 80 additional individuals while maintaining the 32 individuals placed to date in shared living arrangements.  OPCC believes that this is a viable, scalable solution to the issues of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles County.

Pacific Charter School Development/Equitas Academy #3 Charter Elementary School

Education - Great Public School Now Initiative
Los Angeles, CA
$2,000,000
December 2015

Pacific Charter School Development (PCSD) is a non-profit developer of charter school facilities whose mission is to deliver affordable facilities for high performing charter schools who educate underserved populations.  PCSD is working in concert with Great Public Schools Now to grow the number of high quality charter school seats in Los Angeles significantly over the next several years.  One such charter school is Equitas Academy #3 Elementary School, which will serve 500 students in grades K through 4 in the Pico-Union neighborhood just west of downtown Los Angeles.  Equitas currently operates two elementary schools and one middle school for 1000 students.  Overall, the student body is 96% Hispanic, 92% socio-economically disadvantaged and 85% enter as English language learners.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting the development of a permanent campus for Equitas’ third elementary school, which opened in 2015 in leased space.  The new facility is currently a vacant single-story commercial building.  PCSD plans to demolish the existing building and construct a two-story facility with over 28,000 square feet. The building will house the school’s administration, classrooms, and a multi-purpose room/lunch area.  An outdoor playground area will be built in place of an existing parking lot.  Equitas’ existing elementary schools have outperformed neighboring district-run schools.

Villa Esperanza Services

Civic and Community
Pasadena, CA
$250,000
December 2015

Villa Esperanza Services has embarked on a capital campaign to transform its 54-year-old Pasadena campus into settings that are spacious, efficient, and more suitable for the special needs children and adults it serves.  New buildings for the Villa Esperanza School and the Dimensions Adult Day Program will help Villa continue to provide comprehensive care and education and respond to the rapidly growing population of children and adults with autism.  Renovations have been completed on the facility that will house the adult program.  Funds from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support construction of seven accessible classrooms, two large play yards, a retreat garden and a new kitchen and cafeteria for the nonpublic school.  School enrollment will increase from 86 to 100 students and participation in the adult program will grow from 65 to 75 clients.

Armory Center for the Arts

Arts and Culture
Pasadena, CA
$225,000
June 2015

The Armory Center for the Arts will expand its Community Pathways Program, which provides free arts education year round to underserved youth, families and juvenile offenders in low income neighborhoods.  The goal is to use art to promote skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and respectful interaction with peers and teachers.  Art forms will include aerosol art, screen printing, graphic design, digital photography, collaborative mural-making and drama.  The W. M. Keck Foundation’s three-year grant will extend the program to an additional 900 youth in Boyle Heights, many of whom are dealing with homelessness, violence and involvement in the juvenile justice or foster care systems.  Arts courses, taught by professionally trained Armory Teaching Artists, will be offered at six sites:  Learning Works @ Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall, Second Street Elementary School, Proyecto Pastoral, Ben Franklin Library and Legacy LA @ Hazard Park Armory.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2015

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership are combining their respective strengths to create, pilot and evaluate a coordinated entry system (CES) designed to help homeless youth ages 16-24 quickly and efficiently connect to appropriate and safe housing and supportive services.  This pilot project will build on lessons learned through the coordinated systems developed for single adults and families in Los Angeles and on the models of Youth CES established in other communities across the nation.  This work, supported by a W. M. Keck Foundation two-year grant, will include the development of a shared youth-specific screening and assessment instrument and a coordinated case management process to link youth to needed services.  Data collected through this pilot will also help to inform local service and funding priorities and lead to an expansion of Youth CES to other parts of Los Angeles County.

CollegeSpring

Precollegiate Education
San Francisco, CA
$200,000
June 2015

CollegeSpring aims to eliminate the college opportunity gap by offering a SAT and college preparation program designed specifically for students from low-income backgrounds.  The program, which includes classroom instruction led by professional teachers and small-group mentoring led by undergraduate near-peer mentors, addresses the math and reading skills remediation needed to score well on standardized college entrance exams, prepares students for the college admissions and financial aid processes, and assesses student improvement through four full-length, previously-administered SAT exams.  CollegeSpring has been serving students in Los Angeles since 2010.  In the summer of 2014 it launched a pilot to deepen its impact by building and strengthening a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support CollegeSpring’s expansion within LAUSD to demonstrate that the program can be effective in public school environments and lay the foundation for partnerships with other districts.  Over a two year period more than 500 students will be served.

Educators for Excellence

Precollegiate Education
New York, NY (for Los Angeles, CA chapter)
$250,000
June 2015

Founded and led by educators, E4E is a national teacher-led movement that seeks to elevate the quality and prestige of the teaching profession to improve outcomes for students.  Research shows that teachers are the most influential school-based factor determining student achievement, which is why teachers must be informed and empowered as leaders to help shape and lead major educational changes in policy and practice.  E4E provides opportunities for teachers to learn about education issues, network with peers and education leaders, and train to be leaders on behalf of their students and profession.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant in support of the Los Angeles Chapter of E4E will expand membership from 3,700 to 6,000 members; provide leadership development training to 160 teachers who can serve as peer influencers and leaders on their school campuses; and focus programming on 21st century leadership skills needed to help LAUSD schools transition to the new Common Core State Standards and comply with LAUSD's School Climate Bill of Rights.

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2015

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is the frontline law firm for the indigent and working poor, homeless, unemployed, elderly, disabled, veterans, and domestic abuse survivors in Los Angeles County.  It provides comprehensive civil legal services to more than 79,000 Los Angeles County residents each year.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation toward the “Building Justice” Campaign, launched in 2012, will support construction of a new facility that will consolidate two existing service sites into a modern, efficient and client-friendly headquarters and service center in the Pico-Union neighborhood west of downtown.  The four story, 45,000-square-foot building will feature private client intake rooms with secure child play areas, a conference room and large patio space for community meetings and professional trainings, and a self-help resource center.  Construction will be completed by the end of 2016.  Services are expected to increase by 20% in the new facility.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$150,000
June 2015

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT) has initiated a program to improve conditions in low-income communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by the prevalence of blighted vacant lots and a chronic lack of safe green space.  Transforming Inner City Lost Lots (TILL) will empower communities to activate publicly-owned vacant land and transform it into small parks and community gardens, which will contribute to social cohesion and improved health and environmental outcomes.  Since 2013, TILL has inventoried 3,000 publicly-owned vacant lots, prioritized 200 in the city’s most underserved, park-poor areas, and developed partnerships with residents, government agencies, and local community organizations that are integral to the process of facilitating community-led projects.  During the two-year grant period, LANLT will create a master lease template in collaboration with the city of Los Angeles and a toolkit to simplify and clearly document the series of tasks necessary for the lease or purchase of vacant public lots.  The material will be printed and made available online through an open source platform and disseminated through workshops and via webinars reaching at least 15 community-based organizations.  At the end of two years, six new parks and/or gardens will be in development and the capacity of groups interested in undertaking similar work will have been strengthened.

Los Angeles Public Library

Precollegiate Education
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2015

Full STEAM Ahead is an integrated science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) program at the Los Angeles Public Library.  The programmatic goals are to encourage young people’s curiosity and creativity, develop their knowledge of STEAM concepts, and inspire them to pursue careers in these fields.  The program was successfully piloted at 13 branch libraries, attracting 1,400 participants.  With the support of a two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant, Full STEAM Ahead will expand to 40 branches of the Los Angeles Public Library that primarily serve low-income communities, provide 300 librarians with professional training on STEAM topics, and conduct 650 public STEAM programs reaching 9,100 children, teens, and adults.

Los Angeles Trust for Children's Health

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2015

The W. M. Keck Foundation’s three-year grant will support the efforts of the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health (The L.A. Trust) to advance school-based healthcare within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  The project aims to improve student health and academic achievement and promote the health of the entire community.  It will bring together leaders from schools, public agencies, and community partners to expand access to care, integrate school and health delivery systems, and align public and private resources to meet student and community needs.  Guided by a new strategic plan, the L.A. Trust seeks to achieve three overarching goals:  To establish robust and sustainable Wellness Centers that are full service community clinics open to students and families; to develop a district-wide oral healthcare program; and to advance health policies that support comprehensive school health and wellness, service integration and sustainable school-based healthcare systems.  Key project objectives include increasing the number of students and community members served by LAUSD Wellness Centers by 100% to 100,000; expanding the oral healthcare program to 24 schools; and finalizing the district’s Wellness Center’s Phase II strategic plan to guide an additional $50 million investment in school-based healthcare in Los Angeles.

Mental Health America of Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Long Beach, CA
$300,000
June 2015

The W. M. Keck Foundation’s grant to Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHA) will support the renovation of a property in Long Beach to create a comprehensive service center for homeless individuals with disabilities and a community health clinic operated by The Children’s Clinic (TCC).  The goals of the project are to increase access to care for vulnerable homeless people, veterans and low-income families; integrate mental health, physical health, substance abuse recovery and healthy living strategies to improve well-being; and invest in education and employment services to increase their ability to live independently in the community.  The center will house three of MHA’s homeless service programs and TCC will provide primary care to MHA’s clients and low-income neighborhood residents.  The site will also include a restaurant and retail mart to provide job training, a room for wellness activities and a community center for local groups.  Over 1,000 individuals will be served annually at the new center.

Pasadena Conservancy of Music

Arts and Culture
Pasadena, CA
$100,000
June 2015

The Conservatory launched a capital campaign in 2011, Milestones, Building on Success, to expand and improve its campus as a means for deepening and broadening the impact of its mission and programs.  The goals of the campaign are to expand the campus through property acquisition, create a long-range campus development plan, and implement priority projects identified in the plan.  The first two goals of the campaign have been met.  The Conservatory acquired the adjacent property at 130 North Hill in May 2011 and the campus expansion was completed in October of that year.  A number of other priority projects have been completed, including refurbishment of a formal chapel to create a recital hall, the addition of a second performance space, and creation of a music library and resource center.  The W. M. Keck Foundation’s capstone grant will help complete the Milestones campaign.

St. Anne's Maternity Home

Early Childhood
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2015

St. Anne’s is collaborating with the nonprofit developer A Community of Friends to build Beverly Terrace, a permanent affordable supportive housing complex with 39 apartments and an on-site early learning center.  The complex will provide permanent housing to 29 mothers who have aged out of foster care and ten homeless, low-income families in Los Angeles’ Westlake area.  The W. M. Keck Foundation’s grant will support the build-out of the early learning center that will have the capacity to serve 48 infants, toddlers and preschoolers at any one time.  Construction of the complex at the corner of Beverly and Commonwealth is scheduled to begin in fall 2015, with the opening planned for spring 2017.  On-site services will include child development and care, mental health counseling and workforce development.  The goals are to promote children’s healthy development and school readiness and help mothers expand their job prospects, improve their family’s circumstances and increase their independence.

St. John's Well Child & Family Center

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2015

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (St. John’s), in partnership with the Special Needs Network, is working to create the South Los Angeles Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (the CADD).  The new 10,000-square-foot facility will expand access to health and development services for 13,800 low-income children with special health care needs and their families.  This project responds to the intense need for services among the rising numbers of children with developmental, behavioral, emotional, and learning disabilities in South Los Angeles, the barriers families face in addressing their children’s needs, and the dearth of services available for this population.  The CADD will offer a combination of primary and specialty medical, dental, and mental health services, comprehensive developmental assessments, treatment, interventions, parent training and community integration services.  The W. M. Keck Foundation’s grant will support renovation of vacant clinical space within the former Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in Watts.  The CADD’s location adjacent to the new MLK Outpatient Center and new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital will provide easy access for specialty and emergency services for patients.

Rape Foundation

Civic and Community
Santa Monica, CA
$450,000
June 2015

Established in 1988 to remedy serious problems in the traditional child protection system and improve the treatment of sexually abused children, the Stuart House program at UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica is internationally recognized as an innovative and effective model for the treatment of child victims.  A co-located, multi-agency team that includes the Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Children and Family Services, and Rape Treatment Center advocates, therapists and child forensic interviewers, responds immediately to children who report sexual abuse and provides specialized medical, legal and therapeutic services.  Criminal investigations are expedited and the potentially deleterious long-term effects of victimization are reduced.  Currently, Stuart House serves 600 children at its location.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support construction of a new, larger facility for the program that will double the capacity to provide state-of-the-art treatment for these children and establish a training center for first responders in child abuse cases.

Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War

Arts and Culture
Culver City, CA
$225,000
June 2015

The Wende Museum of the Cold War will renovate the former National Guard Armory in Culver City to create a permanent museum for its unique collection of Eastern European and Soviet era artifacts.  The facility will anchor the western end of Culver City’s cultural corridor and become a center for culture, art and post-war history.  The Wende’s collections, which contain everything from fine art and sculpture to political propaganda posters and films from the Soviet Union and Eastern-bloc countries, will become more accessible to K-12 students, scholars, journalists, artists, authors, filmmakers, and the general public.  The W. M. Keck Foundation’s grant will support collections-specific storage and offices and outdoor improvements, including a community gathering space and drought tolerant landscaping.  The Wende anticipates 8,000 visitors during its opening year, 2016-17, gradually increasing to 10,000 by 2018.

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