Southern California Program

Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center

Civic and Community
Culver City, CA
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  The outdated institutional-style buildings intended for addiction treatment will be converted into a contemporary dual-diagnosis recovery environment.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.

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