Magnolia Place Community Initiative in Los Angeles Offers Innovative, Promising Answers to Solving Society's Social Issues and Related Economic Burden

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With shrinking financial resources, public and private sectors are seeking new strategies in how they effectively help vulnerable families. Magnolia Place Community Initiative is developing a unique system that unites entities rather than separates them, ultimately impacting more families and large-scale community change.

As social problems and the financial costs associated with them continue to plague many of this country’s poorest neighborhoods, Magnolia Place Community Initiative (MPCI) in Los Angeles offers innovative solutions that are gaining national attention. This groundbreaking model for large-scale community change is focused on helping 35,000 vulnerable children living within the five-square, 500 blocks of the West Adams and Figueroa Corridor area break all records of success in their education, health milestones, the nurturing they receive from their family and the economic stability of their family.

What draws them to Magnolia Place is a unique synergy that unites entities rather than separates them, ultimately impacting more families. At the core of this effort are Children’s Bureau, County of Los Angeles Chief Executive Offices and UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. They are joined by more than 70 high-profile government and private sector partner organizations that have a shared vision and outcomes for the transformation of this community through a self-organizing, open network.

“Those who are concerned for the public’s welfare are following our learning and development of this new approach. We’re helping parents be stronger for their children. Families that once felt isolated are now reaching out to help each other. Parents are organizing to change their neighborhood. Government and other institutions are working to change their organizational behavior to better help families. What we’re creating is a system where everyone has a part in uplifting the community,” said Alex Morales, president & CEO of Children’s Bureau.

MPCI formed four years and continues to evolve in creating relationships and systems that better help families and those of future generations. The momentum thus far has been enough to peak the interest of notables such as University of Southern California, United Way Worldwide, Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Joan Lombardi (Ph.D./Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Recently, Pedro Segarra, Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut came to learn more about MPCI and groups from Tulsa, Oklahoma and another from First 5 Santa Barbara have visits planned. MPCI spokespeople have also presented to groups in New Orleans and Washington, D.C. and serve on panels across the country dedicated to the future well being and capacity of our nation’s children.

“In the U.S. today, there are few if any children’s initiatives that are as inspired, ambitious and hopeful as Magnolia Place. It’s using the best evidence from years of research on what it takes to help children thrive, to craft a thoughtful comprehensive and immensely practical approach to optimizing children’s outcomes. By involving the entire community and cultivating a dynamic network of engaged individual and organizations focused on improving child outcomes, Magnolia Place is promoting real change. As a member of the national Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) network, Magnolia Place is fostering innovative approaches to improving outcomes for children that are of national and international significance” said Dr. Neal Halfon, Director, UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, Professor of Pediatrics, Community Health Services, and Public Policy.    

Magnolia Place Community Initiative is a groundbreaking model for large-scale community mobilization and transformation where children, living in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, break all records of success in their education, health milestones, the nurturing they receive from their family and the economic stability of their family. This is an innovative collaboration of more than 70 county, city and community organizations joined by a shared strategy to build neighborhood resiliency and civic engagement — beyond the traditional multi-service strategy. For more information, contact MPCI Director Lila Guirguis at 213.342.0109.

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Susan Wirth
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