1736 Family Crisis Center Breaks Ground on "Everychild Foundation Emergency Shelter and Youth Program" for Homeless and At Risk Children

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The National Center on Family Homelessness reported in Nov. 2014 that the number of homeless children in the U.S. reached a historic high in 2013, with an astonishing 1 in 30 children identified as homeless. California, and Los Angeles County in particular, have one of the highest rates of child homelessness.

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In February 2015, 1736 Family Crisis Center broke ground on a new youth shelter (ages 10-17) at 4365 Purdue Ave., Los Angeles, Calif, joined by more than one hundred distinguished guests, including elected officials, celebrities, LAPD leadership and members of the philanthropic community. The renovation of the existing structure is primarily made possible by a grant of $1 million from the Everychild Foundation who presented the award at the ceremony.

The Everychild Foundation Emergency Shelter and Youth Program addresses one of the most vulnerable and invisible segments of this population: youth who are homeless and alone. In Los Angeles County, the vast majority of unaccompanied homeless youth is unsheltered and faces intensive dangers and exploitation on the streets.

The need for the Everychild Foundation Emergency Shelter and Youth Program is great. There are 2.5 million homeless children and youth in this country that do not have a place to call home. In Los Angeles County, there are just a small handful of licensed emergency shelters that take minors directly from the streets.

Turnout for the ceremony underscored the widespread support the project has received from current and former elected officials, government agencies, foundations, other social service providers, service clubs, and community members. L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose district includes the Mar Vista project, officiated the ceremony. Presenters included: Jacqueline Caster, Founder & President of the Everychild Foundation; Former L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl; Captains Nicole Alberca and Brian Johnson of the LAPD, Pacific Division and Use of Force Review Division, respectively; William M. Keck III, Director, the W.M. Keck Foundation; and Sterling Tanner, President of the Forever Young Foundation, who committed on behalf of NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice to build a multi-media technology center for project beneficiaries. Other prominent guests included former L.A. County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, film, television and theatre actor Charles Shaughnessy, representatives from all relevant local, state and federal offices, and leadership of the Rotary Clubs of Westchester and Playa/ Venice/Sunrise.

Former L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who has championed the project since its inception and helped secure funding to purchase the new site, gave a powerful speech to acknowledge 1736 Family Crisis Center, the Everychild Foundation, supporters, and the vast scope of the problem being addressed. He was honored during the ceremony for his enduring support; one of 1736 Family Crisis Center’s Youth Leadership Council members, Mackin Carroll, performed an original song that was inspired by his personal relationship with the former Councilmember: "Smile and the Whole World Smiles With You."

“The statistics around homeless and runaway youth are simply staggering: 1 in 3 teens are recruited into the sex trade within 48 hours of leaving home; the life expectancy of girls once they become trafficked is just 7 years,” said 1736 Family Crisis Center’s CEO Carol Adelkoff. “Never in my 30 years as CEO could I have imagined the current level of danger to homeless children right here on our streets. This groundbreaking symbolizes a crucial day in Los Angeles in which the extended community has risen up to respond to this tragedy through a project that will save lives and rescue kids from depression, pimps, homelessness, suicide, and hopelessness.”

“This new emergency shelter and youth program will provide a lifeline to homeless, abused and runaway youth and a welcome alternative to life on the streets,” says Jacqueline Caster, Founder and President of the Everychild Foundation. “The project will address the needs of an underserved, at-risk subgroup of youth that all too often receives less attention than other homeless populations. The Everychild Foundation could not be happier to invest its resources in a project of this magnitude.”

The project will directly address escalating child and youth homelessness by expanding a safety net of life-saving and life-changing care for vulnerable homeless youth ages 10-17. The grant provides capital funding to renovate a property 1736 Family Crisis Center owns and create a larger, more versatile facility for its successful 43-year-old emergency shelter program, currently located in Hermosa Beach.

The new Everychild Foundation Emergency Shelter and Youth Program will offer safe, temporary shelter for homeless and abused youth, and a new, adjacent Youth Empowerment Center providing crisis intervention services and educational, job training, life skills, outreach and leadership activities for shelter residents and at-risk community youth.

About Project Supporters
The project is a result of the dedicated support of The Everychild Foundation, L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin, former L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe, the W.M. Keck Foundation, RED Architectural Group, Forever Young Foundation, LAPD Pacific Division, Rotary Clubs of Playa/Venice Sunrise and Westminster, and many community donors, agencies and members.

Public offices and law enforcement represented during the groundbreaking ceremony were:

  •     Office of U.S. Congressmember Ted Lieu, District 33
  •     Office of State Assemblymember Autumn Burke, District 62
  •     Office of State Senator Ben Allen, District 26
  •     Office of State Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, District 54
  •     Office of State Assemblymember David Hadley, District 66
  •     Office of LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11
  •     Office of LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Second District
  •     Office of LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer, District 4
  •     Captain, Brian Johnson, LAPD, Use of Force Review Division
  •     Captain, Area Commanding Officer, Nicole Alberca, LAPD, Pacific Division

About 1736 Family Crisis Center
1736 Family Crisis Center has 10 facilities and reaches about 25,000 people a year through its direct service and outreach programs throughout greater Los Angeles. The newest program assists homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families to get off the streets, overcome complex and debilitating obstacles, and start whole new lives of productivity and promise; since October 2013, the program has helped more than 450 Veterans and their children and loved ones. The agency also operates four domestic violence shelters, an emergency youth shelter, five 24-hour suicide/crisis hotlines, a Legal Services Program, and four Community Service Centers that give mental health care, job/career development and placement, legal aid, and crisis intervention services to the general public and special needs populations including Veterans. All services are provided free of charge. For more information on 1736 Family Crisis Center, please visit: http://www.1736fcc.org.

About Everychild Foundation
Everychild Foundation is a Los Angeles 501 (c) 3 women’s organization dedicated to easing suffering of Los Angeles area children whether due to disease, disability, abuse, neglect or poverty. The group funds incubator programs in the greater metropolitan area with the hope that they will serve as new models for filling critical unmet needs of children to be replicated nationally and internationally. The organization of over 200 women members eschews costly, time-consuming fund-raising events and focuses instead on results and leveraging resources by making a single annual $1 million targeted grant to a new, innovative project. Funds are amassed instead from annual member dues of $5,000. Operating costs are kept at a minimum – the organization pays no rent and no salaries.

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Tobi Quintiliani, LMFT, Senior Director Community Response and Relations

Aki Okumoto

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