Southern California Program

Grant Abstracts 2018

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
December 2018

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (Metro) was founded in 2015 to take over management of three struggling inner-city clubs (Watts/Willowbrook, Challengers, and the Nickerson Gardens public housing site), reopen the Bell Gardens club, and establish a new club at the Jordan Downs housing project.  During the start-up phase, facilities upgrades were made, senior staff members were hired to build out the management team, and community leaders were recruited to serve on the board.  Over the next two years, Metro plans to augment its 38-member program staff by phasing in the hiring of 23 additional full- and part-time employees.  A Keck grant will support the new director of programs and one site director.  This investment in staffing will allow consistency in program delivery and enable the creation of new programs at every Club.  At certain Club locations, recruiting talent to increase capacity will ensure higher success rates, while at other Clubs, a start-up investment in new program staff will be key to reaching more kids in need.  The goal is to reach 25% more kids at existing Clubs and for participants to consistently score in the top quartile on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth Outcomes Initiative survey.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor

Civic and Community
San Pedro, CA
$250,000
December 2018

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor (BGCLAH) serves 9,000 vulnerable youth at 18 sites in the communities of San Pedro, Wilmington, and Harbor City.  Sixteen years ago, the BGCLAH established the College Bound program when it found that only half of its teenage members were graduating from high school.  The program has proved highly successful and has been replicated throughout the Boys & Girls Club system.  Recognizing that not all high school students plan to attend college, BGCLAH piloted the Career Bound program two years ago to provide an alternative pathway to careers.  The program offers a combination of academic support, employment readiness workshops, internship opportunities, and assistance with job placement upon high school graduation.  A Keck Foundation grant will support the additional staff needed to expand the program and double the number of youth served to 200 over the next two years.

California State University, Northridge

Civic and Community
Northridge, CA
$300,000
December 2018
 

The SIMPACT Mental Health Project will create a partnership between California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and 30 community-based mental health agencies to develop and assess a virtual simulation curriculum for the training of new mental health clinicians.  CSUN is licensed to provide this type of mixed-reality simulation, which uses a combination of artificial intelligence and highly trained professional actors to animate avatars designed to represent a diverse array of mental health clients.  Subject matter experts in marriage and family therapy, social work, and multiculturalism will work with community partners to create 50 therapeutic scenarios to build the skills of new mental health clinicians, making the clinicians’ first months in the field more productive for the agencies and their clients.  These new scenarios will be piloted and revised in CSUN courses before being implemented at the partnering agencies.  While simulation training has been deployed for decades in medical and nursing education, this approach has not been widely adopted or assessed in the mental health field.  Findings on the efficacy of the model will be disseminated through conference presentations and journal articles.  A Keck grant will support the one-time costs for project coordination, content expertise, and additional actors to perform the new scenarios.

Goodwill Industries of Southern California

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
December 2018

The manufacturing sector in Los Angeles County provides over 360,000 jobs with an annual average wage of approximately $65,000, which is $5,500 higher than the County average.  However, the employers in the sector indicate that they do not have adequate qualified workers to fill their open positions.  Not surprisingly, the skills gap widens for unique populations, who include those re-entering society after incarceration, the disabled, homeless, unemployed veterans, disconnected youth, and the working poor.  A grant from the Keck Foundation will support Goodwill’s role as a sector ‘convener’ to mitigate the misalignment between employers and training providers and achieve greater accessibility and employment opportunities for unique populations in the County.  Goodwill will recruit and convene stakeholders to identify skill gaps and workforce needs in the manufacturing sector and establish customized training programs that are in demand and create meaningful career pathways for jobseekers. Through Goodwill’s Work Source and Career Resource Centers and its affiliate partners, job seekers will receive career counseling, referrals to customized training programs, placement with manufacturing businesses, and follow-up support.  Over a two-year period, Goodwill will place 2,000 individuals into jobs paying above the minimum wage and offering career mobility.

Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2018

The Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic provides comprehensive, trauma-informed mental health services to more than 4,000 children, youth, young adults, and their families in Central and South Los Angles annually.  A Keck Foundation capital grant will support construction of the Avis and Mark Ridley-Thomas Life Learning Center where about 500 transition age youth ages 16-25 will have access to clinical services, education and employment-related programs, and housing resources.  Designed as a warm, welcoming, stand-alone drop-in center, the 10,000 square-foot building will feature spaces for homework, a computer/media center, and a demonstration kitchen.  It will also have showers, lockers and laundry facilities.  Programming will balance the need for formal clinical support with opportunities for creative exploration, life skills training, and participation in recreational and social activities with peers.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$400,000
December 2018

United Way’s leadership of the Home for Good initiative to try to end homelessness has resulted in the participation of over 300 public/private sector partners and a decrease in the County’s overall homeless population.  With the recent infusion of public funds, United Way is leveraging the trust it has earned from business leaders, elected officials, public sector employees, and community partners to promote the efficient and effective deployment of these new resources to make a visible difference in LA’s fight against homelessness.  The project will address two issues of greatest concern – the growing number of street encampments and the rising cost of constructing new housing.  The goals of the project are to shorten the time it takes to move people off the streets, increase the number of chronically homeless individuals placed in permanent housing by 25% to 6,000 over two years, and accelerate the number of approved housing developments by 20% over the 5,300 units in the pipeline.  A Keck Foundation grant will support United Way’s Home for Good team and the nonprofits involved in testing new ways to better connect people living on the streets to shelters and housing about to open nearby and promote non-traditional, lower cost forms of housing.  If successful, these pilots can be brought to scale to maximize the investment of public funds.  To monitor progress, United Way will build project management and locally-based data collection tools and use policy roundtables that it hosts or participates in to address obstacles.

Wayfinder Family Services

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2018

Wayfinder Family Services, formerly Junior Blind of America, provides a continuum of early intervention, educational, and workforce services for children and adults with vision loss, as well as a foster and adoption program, residential program for foster youth with medical or mental health conditions, and an emergency shelter for children awaiting a suitable placement.  The emergency shelter is the only one in Los Angeles County that accepts very young foster children.  In 2017, Wayfinder Family Services acquired foster family agency programs to expand its child welfare services.  Data show that very high percentages of foster children have physical, mental, emotional, developmental or learning disabilities.  Leveraging its decades of experience assisting children with disabilities, Wayfinder will recruit, train and support foster families so they are well-equipped to care for children with health or mental health challenges.  A Keck Foundation grant will fund the hiring of a dedicated recruiter and the development of a medical curriculum to train foster families.  Over the two-year project, Wayfinder will increase the number of foster families its supports from 90 to 150 and of these, 25 families will take in children with health challenges.  By demonstrating how to best recruit, train, and support foster families for this vulnerable population, the project can inform the field.

Child Development Institute

Early Childhood
Woodland Hills, CA
$500,000
December 2018

Child Development Institute’s (CDI) mission is to help all children reach their full potential by supporting the relationships and environments that shape early development.  In recent years, CDI has adopted an integrated program model that incorporates three levels of care:  promotion, prevention, and early intervention.  These three levels come together at the Early Learning Center (ELC) in Canoga Park, which opened in 2012 as a free, drop-in community play and learning space.  Now, CDI and its partners are replicating the ELC in Reseda, another high need community in the San Fernando Valley.  A Keck Foundation grant will support renovation of a mid-century church that will become the ELC and open in early 2020.  The rotating play and activity spaces will be designed to promote learning and self-discovery.  Young children and their families will have access to a science and art center, an indoor climbing tree, and a lending library.  There will also be a community dining room, full-service kitchen, and outdoor gardens and playgrounds.  Throughout, parents will interact with early child development experts, paraprofessionals, and volunteers who can answer questions about child development and make linkages to other community providers.  This project holds the promise to intervene early and often on behalf of the most vulnerable children in the area.  The project also supports better alignment and coordination among the different organizations working on behalf of these families.

Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center

Health Care
Culver City, CA
$500,000
December 2018

Didi Hirsch operates the Suicide Prevention Center (SPC), which is a founding member of the Lifeline network of 160 suicide crisis lines.  Suicide is a public health crisis in the U.S.  Between 1999 and 2016, the suicide rate increased almost 30%, rising most steeply among the middle aged (45-64) who have the highest suicide rate in the nation.  Forty-one percent of those who die by suicide have made previous attempts, often beginning early in life.  Among 15- to 24-year-olds the attempt rate is about double that of all other age groups.  In 2017, the SPC answered over 100,000 calls/chats, a third from Los Angeles County, and trained over 10,000 residents to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide.  Unable to squeeze more staff and volunteers into its leased space in Culver City, Didi Hirsch purchased a larger building in West Los Angeles.  With double the square footage, the SPC will be able to expand current services and add new ones, such as a support group for teens who have lost a friend or family member to suicide.  The Keck Foundation’s capital grant will support acquisition to help keep the carrying costs affordable.

Valley Community Healthcare

Health Care
North Hollywood, CA
$300,000
December 2018

Valley Community Healthcare (VCH) is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving nearly 25,000 patients annually in the San Fernando Valley.  It is facing two major challenges: 1) a lack of primary care physicians and 2) ensuring efficient, cost-effective, high-quality patient care while demand is increasing.  To address these challenges, VCH is implementing the Alternate Touch program that will expand the role of nurses to maximize the utilization of their clinical skills within the scope of their licenses.  A Keck Foundation grant will support the hiring of two bilingual, registered nurse (RN) care managers who will address many patients’ needs independently, including triaging, medication refills, and care coordination, thereby freeing up physicians to see many more patients who require a higher level of care.  By the end of the two year grant, 770 referrals will be made annually from call center operators to the RN care manager on triage duty and 900 “alternate touches” will be provided to patients as part of the care team.  The project will also position VCH for anticipated changes in insurance reimbursement that will be based on improvements in health outcomes instead of the number of visits and tests ordered.

Advancement Project

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$350,000
June 2018

To date, there is no centralized, public data source that fully details the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) budget and the impact of budgetary decisions for each school site and larger regions or segments of the district.  Advancement Project California (APCA) proposes a solution in the form of the web-based WeBudget platform.  WeBudget will dispense often obscured LAUSD budgetary figures, trends, and projections via a user-friendly and interactive visual presentation so that LAUSD personnel, parents, and advocates can engage in more informed conversations on budget issues to advance student equity.  With a two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation, APCA will gather disparate LAUSD budget data and related student information from LAUSD sources, along with relevant indicators to present a comprehensive framework of the budget that also demonstrates how student needs are or are not being met across varied demographics and regions.  WeBudget will provide a user-driven Budget 101 Toolkit, Data Visualization Mapping, and Budget Scenario Exploration features to provide a clear snapshot of how the LAUSD budget impacts each public, charter, and magnet school site.  The illustrative nature of this updatable information clearing house will simplify the LAUSD budget’s intricate complexity without sacrificing relevant information for the viewer.

Bet Tzedek

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2018

Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for commercial sex and/or forced labor.  Homeless, runaway, and foster youth are frequent targets, vulnerable due to their young ages, traumatic histories, and financial need.  Traffickers capture and control victims through false promises, threats, and violence.  Enslaved, victims are often forced to commit crimes such as prostitution, drug offenses, and financial crimes.  They are routinely arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated without ever being identified as victims.  For those who manage to escape enslavement, a criminal record can block every path to a new life — impeding access to employment, housing, education, and perpetuating their sense of shame and stigma.  California’s Senate Bill 823, enacted in 2017, aims to correct this injustice by permitting survivors to petition the courts to clear their records of non-violent arrests and convictions that were the direct result of being trafficked.  This law can change thousands of survivors’ lives, but only if survivors have attorneys with specific legal training and cultural competency.  Currently, Los Angeles’ legal aid community does not have the capacity to meet this need.  With W. M. Keck Foundation’s support, Bet Tzedek will leverage its “pro bono” service model to solve this problem by launching the Clean Slate Project.  As an expansion of its Employment Rights Project, the two year project will recruit, train, and coordinate a network of volunteer pro bono advocates to provide free legal representation to 200 survivors seeking relief under SB 823.

Center for the Pacific Asian Family

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$200,000
June 2018

The Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) was established in 1978 to provide multicultural and multilingual services to Asian and Pacific Islander (API) survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families.  In addition to its emergency shelter and a community center, CPAF operates two of only three transitional living programs serving the API population in Southern California.  Seventy-five percent of survivors at CPAF’s shelters speak little or no English and have been economically isolated by their abusers, who restricted access to employment, resources, and other means for economic independence.  A two-year grant from W. M. Keck Foundation will support renovation of CPAF’s second transitional living apartment complex, nearly doubling its capacity to support homeless, low-income survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children.  Over the estimated 20-year life of the renovations, the transitional housing program will serve a total of 500 people.  For API immigrant domestic violence survivors, abusers often withhold adjusting their spouse’s immigration status as a way to control and abuse them.  CPAF works to adjust their status immediately, connecting survivors to resources in up to 30 API languages and dialects to establish independent, violence-free homes.  For survivors fleeing abusers, living in a secure and undisclosed location with their children while they establish economic independence empowers them and aids the recovery process.  By the end of the project period, 80% of the program’s graduates are expected to exit to safe and permanent housing.

Richstone Family Center

Civic and Community
Hawthorne, CA
$300,000
June 2018

Richstone Family Center provides a range of child abuse prevention, family strengthening, and wellness programs for children ages 5-17 and their families at multiple sites in the South Bay and South Los Angeles.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support a capital project to construct a new 5,000-square-foot building and remodel an existing 4,000-square-foot building on its campus in Hawthorne, which serves as its headquarters and is at capacity.  The project will also enable Richstone to expand its trauma-focused clinical treatment, wellness, and violence prevention programs and serve an additional 500 children and families.  Richstone currently has a growing list of families waiting to receive trauma-focused treatment services stemming from child abuse.  The communities it serves are among those with the highest number of children referred to the Department of Children and Family Services for abuse and neglect allegations, and have some of the highest concentrations of gang violence, drug-related crime, and poverty of any L.A. metro area.

Uplift Family Services

Early Childhood
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2018

Uplift Family Services serves over 1,200 high-risk children with emotional and behavioral issues and their families annually at its Hollywood and Lynwood locations.  A two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support the Family Resilience and Early Education initiative, a two-pronged approach to prepare young children socially and emotionally for school by promoting positive parenting practices and improving preschool teachers’ ability to minimize disruptive behaviors in the classroom.  Through its Hollywood location, Uplift will partner with a local elementary school and a provider of preschool programs to replicate Teacher-Child Interaction Training, which is a classroom adaptation of the evidence-based Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.  Uplift will also provide weekly, peer-led resource workshops, and support groups for parents and caregivers at its Hollywood and Lynwood locations to build family resiliency.  Children and families in need of more intensive interventions will be able to access Uplift’s therapeutic services.  The project will serve up to 750 children attending local preschool programs and up to 50 families participating in parent engagement activities.

College Track

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2018

College Track’s mission is to empower students from underserved communities to graduate from college.  From ninth grade through college graduation, the ten-year program removes the barriers that prevent students from earning college degrees by providing comprehensive academic support, leadership training and financial/college advising.  The multi-faceted, high-touch approach allows College Track to serve a wide range of students, not just the top performers.  Over the next three years, College Track will grow its Boyle Heights and Watts centers from 520 to 900 students spanning high school and college.  During the 2016-17 academic year, 97% of participating high school seniors from Boyle Heights matriculated to a four-year college and 93% of its college freshman persisted to their sophomore year.  The first group of seniors at the Wats location will matriculate to college in fall 2019.  To grow its capacity without diminishing its individualized, student-centered programming, College Tack will hire additional college completion staff to advise students as they prepare for, apply to, and persist on the path to college graduation.  College Track students from sites in Northern California, Louisiana, and Colorado have graduated from college at a rate more than two times that of their low-income, first-generation peers.  Creating a pipeline of college graduates in underserved communities is critical to closing the opportunity gap in this country and unlocking the full potential of the nation’s next generation.  A three-year grant will fund additional staff to support students through their entire college experience.

Pomona Unified School District

Education
Pomona, CA
$450,000
June 2018

The Pomona Unified School District (PUSD), in collaboration with the University of Utah’s Sorenson Impact Center, and the University of Virginia’s Currey School of Education is commencing the “Reinvest In Success” pilot to increase preschool access and improve outcomes for its most vulnerable young learners.  The pilot follows a feasibility study that identified the lack of access to full-day preschool for low-income children within PUSD as a significant gap in services and pointed to increased revenues from higher attendance as a potential funding source to sustain the expansion.  A three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support a randomized control trial to compare academic and socioemotional outcomes for children attending full-day versus half-day high quality preschool.  This will be the first rigorous evaluation of the effects and investable outcomes of full-day preschool in a high-need California school district.  The data will allow PUSD to decide whether to reallocate resources to offer a full-day program to more preschoolers in the district.  The research will also shed light on which components of preschool programs are needed to ensure lasting benefits beyond kindergarten readiness.  Other districts facing a demand for increased investment in early childhood education will be able to use the findings from the study to inform their decisions.

UNITE-LA

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2018

Facilitated by UNITE-LA, the L.A. Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) is a collaborative effort among institutions of higher education (IHEs) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to improve the preparation and retention of K-12 teachers through a data-sharing effort.  UNITE-LA builds trust among partners, facilitates consensus on a common research agenda, coordinates data analyses, and promotes understanding of the findings for continuous improvement in teacher preparation.  LAEPP has completed initial data exchanges providing LAUSD and IHEs with matched data on teacher candidates and for the first time connecting data on teacher training programs with teacher performance.  As part of this overall effort, a two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support a focus on STEM teacher training, recruitment, support, and retention to improve STEM teaching in the district.  LAEPP’s institutional participants will gain a data-driven understanding of how student teaching placements currently work and what makes for a successful placement.  Results will inform STEM teacher pathways, identify best practices, and facilitate collaborative strategies for co designing clinical experiences so new teachers are well-prepared to provide quality instruction.  LAEPP’s STEM effort will inform continuous improvement in both IHE teacher preparation programs and LAUSD placement and support to improve the performance and retention of effective STEM teachers.

Partners in Care Foundation

Health Care
San Fernando, CA
$250,000
June 2018

Partners in Care (Partners) will pilot new, collaborative chronic care management models to demonstrate the feasibility of sharing revenue between health care and social service providers in ways that benefit patients, healthcare providers and payers, and community-based organizations (CBOs).  The funding mechanism for new partnerships between CBOs and physicians is a set of recently revised Medicare physician billing codes, especially Transitional Care Management (TCM) and Chronic Care Management (CCM).  A two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will enable Partners to work through the numerous challenges involved—such as sharing reimbursement and changing workflows—and create a toolkit for physicians and CBOs across the country.  Partners has one health system contract to pilot use of Medicare reimbursement for TCM.  This project will extend this innovation to other new Medicare benefits for CCM and Dementia Care, and build on existing partnerships with healthcare entities to provide much-needed inter-sector care coordination to a high-risk group of Medicare and Medi-Cal beneficiaries.  Physicians will be better informed about their patients’ needs and can provide care in the context of what happens at home.  Patients will be screened for eligibility for additional benefits and will be provided with new supports to improve their own health through better nutrition, medication management, caregiver support, transportation, and other services provided by CBOs.

Vision to Learn

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$225,000
June 2018

Vision to Learn (VTL) provides free eye exams and glasses to low income children via mobile clinics.  In Los Angeles County it is estimated that 100,000 low-income children need glasses but go without them.  Recently, VTL received funding to expand its program to serve every needy student in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), but its five existing mobile clinics are at capacity.  With a grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation, VTL will purchase and equip two more vans, each of which will serve 4,000 students annually.  Four days a week the vans will travel to LAUSD schools and on the fifth day they will be deployed to other low income school districts in the County.  VTL works with district and school staff to coordinate vision screenings and schedule the mobile clinics.  Onboard, trained opticians and optometrists administer eye exams to students identified by the school nurses as needing follow up.  Those requiring glasses get to select their frames from a large selection and within two to three weeks, a VTL van returns to deliver their glasses.  Providing services on school campuses eliminates barriers to access.  An external study conducted in 2015 found that children receiving glasses improved their focus and participation in classes, grades, and psychosocial well-being.

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