Time and a village
In 1992, during the aftermath of the Rodney King riots, former Councilman Mike Hernandez brought a group of community leaders together. They were determined to find solutions to the community’s most difficult problems – poverty, crime, unemployment, drugs, gangs and violence. They instinctively knew it would take time and a village, so they started by discussing ways to collaborate, to rebuild, and to share resources. The City of Los Angeles and community leaders came up with a “one-stop” concept, a single location where youth and their families could have their needs met. It would be a cost effective, efficient hub, and in 1994, the Youth Fair Chance program was implemented. The city purchased a building to house the collaborative effort under one roof. They began delivering comprehensive services, fulfilled the one-stop concept and evolved into Central City Neighborhood Partners.
Systemic change and a strong community
Today, Central City Neighborhood Partners is a nonprofit collaborative of more than 20 agencies providing services to benefit low-income children, families and communities. Community-based organizations offer direct services to help families meet social, educational and workforce needs. Academia has committed to preparing youth and adults for higher education. Businesses provide training and jobs. The collaborative is supported by both the private and public sector. The result is a community strengthened by systemic change.
The list of support, education, health, training and financial services available is quite comprehensive. Low-income families and individuals can get health screenings, as well as medical and dental referrals to partner clinics.
There are parenting, computer and English as a second language classes. Even tutoring and help with homework for 6th through 12th graders is available. Another program provides discounted phone service to qualified households.
Through an extensive referral network, families can gain access to affordable housing. There’s also the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that offers help with Federal and State filing, and ITIN filings for those without Social Security numbers. In 2020 CCNP completed 1,752 tax returns infusing nearly $2 ½ million into the community. There are legal and immigration services, food distribution, transportation, and a host of other things.
SCE Credit Union has provided financial literacy programs, which include educating people on savings, budgeting and responsible use of credit. “I think SCE Credit Union has been awesome,” says Sandra Bonneville, the Financial Empowerment Program Manager, adding “the Credit Union has been an essential part of bringing this basic but important information into the community.”
Making more than a dent
Central City Neighborhood Partners makes a substantial impact on the neighborhoods it serves. In fact, in 2020, the organization brought back to communities $10,737,813. CCNP changes lives and brightens the future for otherwise often overlooked children and communities.