Southern California Program

Grant Abstracts 2017

Coalition for Responsible Community Development

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2017

Serving the high need community of South Los Angeles’ Vernon-Central neighborhood, the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) provides education, workforce development and supportive services to change the life trajectories of vulnerable youth ages 16-24 who are homeless, parenting and/or disconnected from work and school.  To meet the multiple needs of these youth more holistically, CRCD’s service locations and referral partnerships have grown in recent years.  A two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will strengthen CRCD’s capacity to use data organization-wide to more effectively connect and engage youth in services that will reduce barriers to their success.  CRCD will hire a new director of data and analytics and an intake manager to develop a universal intake system and build an integrated data system to track referrals, services received and youth outcomes across multiple departments, programs and partners.  CRCD will provide direct services to 1,000 highly vulnerable youth, including those who are or were involved in the foster care and/or juvenile justice systems.

FosterAll

Civic and Community
Glendale, CA
$250,000
December 2017

Too many Hispanic children in Los Angeles County’s foster care system are placed in homes where the language and culture are foreign to them.  Trauma upon trauma results.  Dedicated to the recruitment and retention of resource (foster) families, FosterAll (formerly Child S.H.A.R.E.) has launched the Hispanic Resource Project to address this issue.  FosterAll will target the recruitment of Hispanic families from its more than 100 volunteer-based Foster Care Programs in partnership with diverse faith groups.  To prepare interested families for the approval/certification and child placement process, FosterAll educates people about the foster care system and conducts in-home interviews and assessments, while volunteers from its faith partners provide important social supports to the families who decide to foster.  With more than 40 foster family agencies (FFA) throughout the county, each with its own training requirements, Spanish language capabilities and services, selecting an agency to work with can be confusing and time consuming for families.  Serving as a matchmaker, FosterAll streamlines the process by connecting prospective resource (foster) parents with the FFA that best suits their family’s needs.  As part of the Hispanic Resource Project, data will be collected to determine the most effective recruitment and support services required to secure and retain loving and caring families for this growing population of foster children.  A bilingual team of recruitment and support personnel will be expanded with a two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation with the goal of recruiting 450 Hispanic families, 20% of whom will become approved/certified.

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2017

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) is a non-denominational, multi-service agency that for over 164 years has provided a safety net for those in need.  It helps more than 100,000 people of all ages and ethnicities each year meet the trials of hunger, domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse and aging with dignity.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will go toward the construction of a new and larger center, located in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District, to serve as a permanent headquarters and a hub for the provision of integrated services to the most vulnerable community members.  The project will more than double the size of the Fairfax campus with the construction of a new 28,340 square-foot building, which will replace three separate, smaller facilities.  In the new building, JFS will be able to consolidate health, mental health, social and recreational services for older adults, provide space for its counseling and case management services for individuals of all ages and develop new intergenerational programming.  At least 2,360 older clients, an increase of 20%, will have access to services that will enable them to live independently for as long as possible.  Many of these seniors are food insecure and their health care and social service needs will become more complex as they age.  JFS will also expand programs for new mothers suffering from postpartum depression, social-recreational activities for adults with developmental disabilities and support groups for older LGBT adults.

People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2017

PATH has been at the forefront of the movement to end homelessness since 1984, prioritizing housing first, while providing customized supportive services for the most vulnerable individuals and families.  Through a two phase project, PATH will construct PATH Metro Villas Town Square, consisting of five, multi-story buildings (three of them new), which will provide 187 new units of permanent housing, 88 beds of interim housing and four connections centers for housing, employment, health and veterans services.  The new Metro Villas will have a maximum occupancy of 280 people since some units will be shared.  Public funding is paying for the three new housing facilities.  PATH is raising philanthropic funding for program start-up and reserves and to remodel two existing buildings for the interim housing and the PATH Mall.  A Keck grant will support the renovation of the PATH Mall to better accommodate administrative and program staff and access to housing placement and employment services.  Once the campus is completed, PATH expects to serve 3,000 vulnerable community members and residents at Town Square annually.

Constitutional Rights Foundation

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$125,000
December 2017

Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society.  One of the greatest challenges teachers face in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is making the necessary shifts in their instructional practice to facilitate effective academic discussions about complex texts and issues that will build students’ critical thinking skills.  Facilitating these discussions is proving difficult due in part to a lack of quality materials that are tightly aligned to the Common Core.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will provide the support needed for CRF to update and digitize The Challenge Series, a social studies curriculum originally developed with funding from the Keck Foundation, that covers the challenges of diversity, governance, violence and information.  These topics remain highly relevant today.  CRF staff and its teacher leaders will update and align the readings, student discussion questions and teacher guides to the CCSS and test and refine them through a network of 300 teachers trained by the teacher leaders.  The new Challenge Series will be prominently displayed on dedicated pages on CRF’s website and disseminated through topical e-blasts, posts on other education-related websites and conference presentations.  CRF will track the number of Challenge Series downloads and webinar attendees and will survey teachers about the quality and their usage of the lessons.  By the end of the grant period, CRF expects that at least 5,000 teachers beyond those trained directly by its teacher leaders will be exposed to the Challenge Series through these dissemination methods.

National Center for Youth Law

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
December 2017

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) is a nonprofit law firm that works to transform public systems serving vulnerable children so they can thrive.  A three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support FosterEd, an initiative to improve the academic, social emotional, and behavioral outcomes of foster youth.  FosterEd will implement a multi-agency systems improvement framework in partnership with three school districts in the Antelope Valley region of Los Angeles County and several county-level partners – the Departments of Children and Family Services and Probation, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Juvenile Court, the County Office of Child Protection, and the Education Coordinating Council.  The project will test and implement high-quality, evidence-based interventions to meet the specialized needs of approximately 480 foster youth and provide targeted support to approximately 360 youth that address emergent needs to improve enrollment, attendance, graduation and school stability.  This project will also include the design and execution of systems-level practices to improve cross-agency collaboration using data to more proactively identify and respond to early warning signs of educational disengagement for all 5,000 foster youth in the region.  FosterEd will also develop and distribute model policies and other resources to support the effective implementation of federal, state and regional legislation passed over the last three years.  FosterED expects the public sector, including the school districts, to sustain the project once proof of principle is established.

Pasadena Educational Foundation

Education
Pasadena, CA
$300,000
December 2017

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) serves an ethnically diverse student population, nearly two-thirds of whom are from low-income families.  Its new Math Academy will offer all the district’s mathematically talented middle and high school students a highly accelerated and challenging math curriculum in which they will advance much more rapidly than they would in traditional honors classes.  The goal is for students to complete the entirety of the standard high school math curriculum, including calculus, by the end of middle school (8th grade) and spend their high school years learning undergraduate-level pure and applied mathematics.  During the 2016-17 pilot phase involving 75 students, the 6th graders had mastered Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry and the 7th graders had learned what is typically covered in a first-year Calculus course.  Students demonstrated their newly mastered skills and knowledge in front of a public audience and panel of judges primarily from the fields of math, physics and astronomy at the inaugural SOLVE math competition, which will be held each year in the spring on the CalTech campus.  To ensure equitable access to the Math Academy, all 5th graders are being assessed and specialized preparatory programs will be provided to students whose scores are borderline or to those that attend the district’s most disadvantaged schools in northwest Pasadena.  A three-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the independent evaluation of the Math Academy by WestEd and its expansion to five middle schools and one high school.  By the 2019-20 school year, PUSD anticipates serving 180 Math Academy students.

Saint Genevieve Parish Schools

Education
Panorama City, CA
$300,000
December 2017

Saint Genevieve Parish Schools operates a preschool, K-8 elementary school and a high school on its campus in Panorama City with a combined enrollment of 1,120 low income students.  Virtually all of the senior class is accepted to college, with 80% of its most recent graduates attending a four-year institution.  Saint Genevieve has completed a multi-phase master plan to meet the needs of its growing school and parish community.  Phase I involves the demolition of several outdated structures and construction of a 60,000 square-foot Performing Arts and Parish Education Center.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support construction of the new building, which will house the schools’ music and performing arts programs, a 300-seat theater, and parish activities.  Currently, three choirs, 13 bands, three dance teams and the drama program are competing for limited space in dilapidated buildings.  The goal is that with the larger, state-or-the-art facility, every student will have an opportunity to participate in a performing arts program.

Los Angeles Christian Health Centers

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
December 2017

Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides accessible, comprehensive health services to vulnerable patients living in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support a capital project to replace the agency’s Joshua House clinic facility located in a dilapidated, century old hotel with a new 25,000 square foot building two blocks away from the current location.  The clinic will be co-located with 55 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and disabled veterans separately owned and operated by the Skid Row Housing Trust.  In the new Joshua House Health Center, LACHC will be able to increase the number of patients receiving comprehensive health services from 4,800 per year to 6,000 by the end of the first year of operation.  In addition to receiving treatment for their immediate medical and dental needs, patients will be screened for housing status, substance abuse and mental illness and be provided with the appropriate wrap-around services.  The added space will also allow LACHC to expand its clinical training activities and to house staff from collaborating social service providers.

Venice Family Clinic

Health Care
Venice, CA
$300,000
December 2017

Ensemble Health is a partnership launched in 2015 that brought together four Los Angeles-based Federally Qualified Health Centers to explore opportunities for creating an integrated health care delivery system.  Members of the partnership are:  Eisner Health; Saban Community Clinic; South Bay Family Health Care; and Venice Family Clinic.  Collectively, these clinics serve 120,000 patients annually.  Ensemble’s goals are to collectively plan and implement complex internal projects to reduce costs, increase opportunities for successful implementation and improve the health status of each clinic’s patients and community.  Ensemble has executed a Joint Board Resolution and is working toward becoming a jointly governed nonprofit organization.  Over the next two years, Ensemble will finalize its corporate structure and governance, create an operations plan and budget and design and roll out projects in two priority areas:  telehealth and standardizing legal/contractual compliance.  Best practices will be shared and each center will implement changes to improve operations.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant to Venice Family Clinic, which is serving as the fiscal agent, will support Ensemble Health’s first two staff positions to manage these initial activities.  In the long run, by establishing Ensemble Health as a separate nonprofit, the centers are laying the foundation for standardizing practices, streamlining operations and positioning themselves for sustainability in the face of potential cuts to the safety net.

American Red Cross Los Angeles Region

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2017

PrepareLA 2.0 is a four-year campaign implemented by the Red Cross Los Angeles Region that began in 2015 to build greater community resilience.  The campaign is grounded in individual, household and community based preparedness.  It revolves around the development of community-led coalitions in some of the most vulnerable communities in the region.  Data on poverty, population density, age of the housing stock, earthquake hazards and the potential for loss of property and life were analyzed to identify 15 communities throughout Los Angeles County whose residents are the most vulnerable to disaster.  In the first two years of the initiative, the Red Cross supported the development of leadership coalitions in ten of these communities that have developed and are implementing customized resiliency plans.  Over the next two years, Red Cross staff will support new coalitions in five additional communities, working alongside residents, leaders and partner organizations to plan and build their capacity to respond to a disaster – from a house fire to an earthquake – and recover.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the Red Cross’ efforts in two of these communities, South Los Angeles and Wilmington.  In these communities, at least 8,000 residents and 500 youth will participate in preparedness education classes, 1,600 home smoke alarms will be installed and 6,000 individuals will be involved in creating a household evacuation and preparedness plan.

CASA of Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Monterey Park, CA
$300,000
June 2017

CASA of Los Angeles (CASA LA) serves abused and neglected children and youth in the dependency and foster care system with volunteer-based advocacy.  Court-appointed volunteers work one-on-one with these vulnerable children to support them not only through the judicial process, but in all areas of their lives.  Children assigned a CASA volunteer are more likely to do better in school, experience improved wellbeing and have a viable permanency plan, including adoption, than children who do not have an advocate.  In 2016, CASA LA served over 800 children.  Recognizing that there are many more system-involved children who would benefit from a CASA advocate, the agency has launched the Community Collaborations Project to recruit, train and support additional volunteers to serve 1,350 children by 2019.  With the support of a two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant, CASA LA will expand its presence in the county by co-locating staff at two community agencies – the Child Development Institute in the San Fernando Valley and the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Los Angeles.  Establishing these hubs will provide CASA LA with access to new pools of potential volunteers from these organization’s networks and facilitate involvement for those who may otherwise be put off by the lengthy commutes to CASA LA’s offices in Monterey Park and Lancaster.  By the end of the project period, CASA will have identified a third partner in the South Bay or Long Beach, which will give it a presence in all five of the county’s supervisorial districts.

InnerCity Struggle

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$200,000
June 2017

InnerCity Struggle (ICS) was established in 1994 to promote healthy, safe and non-violent communities.  It engages Latino youth and families in Boyle Heights, unincorporated East Los Angeles, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights to work together to improve public education, expand health services and enhance community safety.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support ICS’ capital project to establish the organization’s first permanent home in Boyle Heights.  The new, two-story, 5,600-square-foot-facility will allow ICS to continue making progress in advancing educational equity and opportunity for students in Los Angeles public schools.  ICS will increase its youth membership that currently numbers 750 high school students and provide up to 300 of them with individual academic guidance, tutoring and college access services.  Having appropriately designed space will also enable ICS to better serve and expand its base of 450 adults involved in educational and leadership activities as well as strengthen intergenerational connections.  Over the years, ICS’s trained youth and parent leaders have successfully engaged decision makers in improving public education on the Eastside.  Their work has resulted in the construction of three new high schools, reduction of student suspensions from school, approval of a Los Angeles Unified School District policy focused on preparing all students for college, and an increase in high school graduation rates of 41% over a ten-year period.

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2017

Founded in 1969, the Los Angeles LGBT Center (the Center) provides a wide range of programs, services and housing at six different locations for youth and adults, 94% of whom are low income and represent the full diversity of greater Los Angeles.  Over the past decade, the Center has experienced a dramatic increase in demand for its services, growing from 25,000 monthly client visits in 2010 to more than 42,000 today.  This has placed an enormous strain on its infrastructure and programs and limited its capacity to serve some of the most vulnerable youth and seniors.  In response, the Center has embarked on the creation of a new campus and headquarters that will enable it to dramatically increase its services and housing for these two populations, while also facilitating expansion of the medical and mental health services provided by its Federally Qualified Health Center at its current headquarters.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the capital campaign.  The new 1.67-acre campus located in the heart of Hollywood will provide a 40-bed emergency shelter and 60 beds in the transitional living program for homeless youth, as well as up to 100 affordable housing units for seniors and up to 35 units for youth.  It will also include a Senior Services Center that will serve as many as 5,500 senior clients and senior residents.  A Youth Academy on the campus will focus on empowerment through education, employment, and leadership programs and engage an additional 750 youth.  Meaningful intergenerational programming for seniors and youth living on campus will be developed to combat isolation, build community and offer mentorship opportunities.  Meaningful intergenerational programming for seniors and youth living on campus will be developed to combat isolation, build community and offer mentorship opportunities.  With the expanded space, the health center, which currently treats 4,700 primary care and mental health patients annually, will serve an additional 1,200 of the Center’s clients and the community at large.

Public Counsel Law Center

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$450,000
June 2017

In October 2015, the California Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) Act was passed, which makes a series of changes in the child welfare system to reduce the use of group homes and other institutions, increase the placement of abused and neglected children and youth in foster and kinship homes and expand supports for this vulnerable population to thrive.  However, pressure to “deinstitutionalize” special needs children and youth before building a stronger network of relative and foster homes and community-based supports could result in multiple placement disruptions and increases in runaway and homeless youth, criminal justice system involvement, and commercial sexual exploitation.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support a collaborative project among Public Counsel Law Center, Children’s Law Center of California and the Alliance for Children’s Rights to ensure that CCR is implemented as intended to improve the lives of Los Angeles County’s foster children.  The three agencies, each with distinct expertise, have developed a multipronged approach that involves policy input, training and direct legal representation to collectively identify and proactively address problems that arise during CCR implementation.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple
(Karsh Family Social Service Center)

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$150,000
June 2017

As part of its Koreatown campus expansion, Wilshire Boulevard Temple funded and constructed space for the Karsh Family Social Service Center to support the surrounding community and involve its congregation in improving the lives of fellow Angelenos.  The Karsh Center opened in April 2016 and is a separately incorporated nonprofit with its own board of directors.  Located in one of the Los Angeles’ densest neighborhoods, the Karsh Center offers multiple services under one roof, provided not only by the Center itself, but by sixteen collaborating organizations from across the city.  In this way, clients can access not just dental or legal help, but a full array of support that addresses their needs holistically.  For many of the service providers, the Karsh Center is their first location in Koreatown, which is more accessible to their clients who previously had to travel long distances.  In the first six months of operation, 600 individuals were served by the nonprofit agencies located at the Center and the Temple’s volunteer-operated food pantry.  Four paid professionals currently staff the Center.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support a full-time associate director of development to build the Center’s fundraising capacity.

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$275,000
June 2017

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the sole provider of 911 response for America’s second largest city, and has seen rapid growth in 911 use for non-urgent medical complaints, 911 frequent users, and patients with mental health complaints.  In 2016, LAFD launched an Advanced Practitioner Response Unit (APRU) with three missions: (1) Mobile Urgent Care response, including on-scene treatment, release and follow-up referral for low-acuity 911 callers; (2) Comprehensive assessment and social work referral for 911 frequent users; and, (3) On scene medical clearance for mental health patients with transport to psychiatric urgent care.  Initial results have been promising in safely diverting patients from overcrowded emergency departments by providing treatment on the scene and connections to additional community-based care.  The next step, which the W. M. Keck Foundation will support with a two-year grant, is to conduct a study of the mobile integrated health delivery model’s effectiveness.  The methodology will involve a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional mixed-methods approach to assess patient safety and experience, utilization of acute healthcare services and overall emergency care costs.  Working with polling professionals, LAFD will develop, test, and validate a phone survey to assess APRU clients' experience of care.  Working with other emergency service and hospital partners, investigators will prospectively collect health care utilization data on APRU and matched-control patients transported to nearby emergency departments in 2018.  Health services researchers and health economists will analyze cost data.  The findings are expected to provide useful information about the quality and safety of pre-hospital care to encourage new reimbursement mechanisms and replication of the model.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Education
Long Beach, CA
$200,000
June 2017

Founded in 1998, the Aquarium of the Pacific is embarking on its first major expansion.  The new Pacific Visions wing will provide visitors with up-close virtual encounters with animals never displayed in aquariums and the opportunity to explore alternative pathways to sustainability.  Integral programmatic pieces will complement the new galleries and exhibits to engender an interest in science and learning while visitors are at the Aquarium, in a school classroom and/or at home.  Building on past and current programs and in concert with key consultants, the Aquarium will develop an interactive film experience for all visitors that will be shown in the centerpiece of the expansion (a 300-seat theater); produce curriculum modules for middle and high school students that will bring content themes of Pacific Visions into their classrooms; and, create a mobile app for visitors of all ages that will provide a vehicle for further exploration through games and social interactivity.  The W. M. Keck Foundation’s grant will support the development of these educational components.  An external evaluator will assess the content as part of an overall study of the new wing’s exhibits to determine the extent to which visitors’ knowledge of scientific concepts and the connections between ocean issues and their own behavior increased.  Currently, 165,000 students and teachers visit the Aquarium annually and schools are eligible for free admission if at least 40% of their student body is low income.  The Aquarium anticipates that when the new wing is completed, over two million people will visit, including 200,000 students and teachers.

P. F. Bresee Foundation

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2017

Founded in 1982, the P. F. Bresee Foundation (Bresee) provides afterschool programming and family support services to middle and high school students and their families in a densely-populated area of central Los Angeles that is home to the highest concentration of recent immigrants in the City.  A three-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the launch of the English for Success program through Bresee’s Academy for Middle School (BAM), which will serve struggling English Language Learners (ELLs).  One in three students at Virgil Middle School, Bresee’s primary BAM partner, is enrolled in English as a Second Language classes.  If they are not reclassified as English Proficient by the end of 8th grade, they are significantly less likely to pursue a postsecondary education.  Only 18% of ELL graduates nationwide advance to college.  The pilot English for Success program consists of three components: supporting families to set goals for their child’s academic attainment; fostering students’ academic success by providing homework help and language interventions; and, addressing their socio-emotional needs through mentoring and enrichment activities.  For the students participating in the pilot cohort, Bresee anticipates that 75% will reclassify as English Proficient by the end of eighth grade and advance to ninth grade ready to take on the full course of study needed to prepare for college.  Key findings from the pilot will be disseminated to other organizations through the City’s network of FamilySource Centers and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell after school programs.  The project will also build Bresee’s capacity to use data to evaluate and continuously improve its other programs and deliver optimal results for clients.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
June 2017

This project is part of UCLA’s Community Schools Initiative (CSI) launched by the Chancellor’s office in 2007 and led by the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.  The goals of CSI are to expand access to a high quality public education in partnership with urban school districts, advance the university’s mission of teaching, research and service, and prepare underrepresented students to succeed in college.  In 2009, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), UCLA created its first K-12 community school, which now serves 1,000 low income, predominantly Latino students living in Pico-Union and Koreatown.  In the fall of 2017, UCLA will launch its second community school on the site of the Horace Mann Middle School.  Horace Mann is a 6th-8th grade school that faces declining enrollment and low student achievement.  To reverse these trends, UCLA will partner with LAUSD, Mann Middle School and the local community to design a 6th-12th grade neighborhood school where students will receive high quality instruction and the support they need to graduate and be prepared to succeed in college and beyond.  As part of the school’s transformation, UCLA will work with teachers and parents to set high expectations for achievement for all students and ensure students have access to the rigorous courses required for admission to a four year college or university.  A two-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support the establishment of the College Access through Student Achievement Center to begin fostering a college-going culture on the school’s campus.  Students will participate in tutoring and mentoring by UCLA students, college counseling and college field trips to build their awareness about opportunities and their families will be invited to monthly family gathering activities and workshops on college-going.

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