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Trends in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge LIVE Category

Posted April 21, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch and Jake Bishop

At LA2050, the LIVE category represents our vision that all Los Angeles residents will have equitable access to the environmental, economic, and cultural resources needed to thrive. By the year 2050, Los Angeles will have the nation's lowest poverty rate. All families will have access to fresh and healthy food, high-quality health care, and safe housing, no matter where they live or how much money they make. Our communities will enjoy the benefits of a sustainable environment, from clear skies to clean water.

We noticed six trends in the 74 proposals in this year's LIVE category:

  1. A number of LIVE proposals focused on providing health education resources and mental health support to young people. And, with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, several are seeking funding specifically to develop virtual and mobile programming, from phone applications to online chats. Some of the organizations providing this essential programming to youth include Changeist, Peer Health Exchange, Creative Healing for Youth in Pain, We Can Foundation, and more.
  2. The most popular impact metric selected by LIVE applicants was “resilient communities." It's no surprise that in this time, 29 applicants are focused on enhancing Angelenos' capacity to withstand, adapt, and even thrive in the face of obstacles – from Strategic Actions for a Just Economy's UNIDAD Coalition to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council's Farm Fresh LA! Initiative.
  3. There were also several proposals working to alleviate food insecurity by capturing and redistributing food that would otherwise be wasted. The “access to healthy food" and “food insecurity" impact metrics were selected by 25 applicants each. Some of the applicants aiming to improve local food distribution include Hollywood Food Coalition, Venice Family Clinic, Sowing Seeds of Change, FoodCycle, and others.
  4. Each year, the grants challenge receives proposals from organizations working with Angelenos experiencing homelessness. But this year, in particular, there was impressive diversity in the proposed services and programs. The organizations offering creative, holistic support to individuals experiencing homelessness include Jovenes Inc., Village for Vets, St. Francis Center, Back on My Feet, and Shower of Hope.
  5. We know that COVID-19 and the “Safer at Home" orders were particularly challenging for LA's older adult population. For that reason, it's encouraging to see an increase in the number of proposals focused on serving older adults. Asian Americans for Housing and Environmental Justice, Westside Pacific Villages, the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's, and Next for Me are some of the groups working in this area.
  6. With housing costs in Los Angeles County continuing to rise, a number of organizations applied to expand tenant protections and increase the supply of affordable housing. Ideas range from providing legal services (Western Center on Law & Poverty) to building a brand new affordable housing development (Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects) and advocating for tenants to have first-right of purchase (LA Community Land Trust Coalition).

Learn more about all of the proposals:

The Little Angels Project will provide financial assistance to pet owners who have fallen on hard times with the ultimate goal of making Los Angeles a zero-kill city.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected seniors drastically. For its proposal, Westside Pacific Villages aims to keep seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy and help them transition back to "normal" life post-pandemic.

Food on Foot will provide the tools and resources unhoused and low-income individuals need to become self-sufficient through housing, employment, life skills trainings, and more.

Through social media and its new digital app, Peer Health Exchange aims to deliver its health curriculum to increase young people's health knowledge and encourage help-seeking behaviors.

The food and water box from 501CTHREE delivers fresh food and up to 20 gallons of clean water per minute. Its proposal will launch food and water boxes to low-income communities that disproportionately experience contaminated water.

Whether it's to medical appointments, to and from the hospital, or nursing facilities, Lynsteb Inc. provides non-emergency medical transportation services for people with disabilities for its proposal.

By distributing "mental health first aid kits," Find Your Anchor seeks to offer support for Angelenos struggling with serious mental health issues and de-stigmatize conversations around mental health and suicide.

With the recent re-opening of Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall as a housing facility for homeless young women, Jovenes, Inc.'s proposal focuses on helping these youth meet their basic needs and reintegrate into the community.

By creating a safe parking program in San Gabriel Valley, the proposal from Foothill Unity Center, Inc. hopes to create a pathway to stable housing and reengagement for people sleeping in their vehicles.

As a food distributor, Hollywood Food Coalition applied to provide small- to medium-sized nonprofits in Los Angeles County with the fresh food their communities need.

For its proposal, Eayikes suggests coordinating between volunteers who make meals in their homes with partner organizations that deliver those meals to people experiencing homelessness.

CHYPchat is a unique online community from Creative Healing for Youth in Pain where teens with chronic pain can connect. This proposal focuses on mind/body connection, mental health, stress management, social connectedness, and a path to wellness for teens with chronic pain.

Baby2Baby's proposal seeks support for the organization' mobile distribution program, "Baby2Baby On-the-Go," that delivers baby food, diapers, and other items to families with young children.

The submission from House of Ruth Inc. focuses on helping survivors of domestic violence through survivor-driven, trauma-informed mobile advocacy, flexible funding assistance, and community engagement.

RuckusRoots's proposal, entitled "The Play with Your Food Project: Intergenerational Culinary, Visual and Movement Arts'' would provide free produce, healthy cooking classes, and interdisciplinary arts workshops for youth.

"Ready to Stay LA" from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) seeks to expand the organization's current infrastructure to help immigrant workers, youth, and families in LA County adjust their legal status under immigration reform and other measures.

If the Housing Authority of Los Angeles becomes a finalist, grant funds will support its Watts Rising Street Team, a group of resident ambassadors in Watts who focus on community engagement, trust-building, and adoption and utilization of new community investments.

With its proposal, Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services plans to offer individual and family counseling sessions, therapy, and psychiatric care to high-risk youth.

There are 200+ tool libraries across the nation, but none in LA County. With its proposal, The Maker's Hub would create LA's first tool library in Compton for its residents who want to garden, start a small business, teach a repair class, and more.

LA Compost is very passionate about, you guessed it, composting! For its proposal, the organization would establish new compost hubs and infrastructure throughout Los Angeles County, including expanding it's food scrap drop-off locations at LA-based farmers markets.

Next For Me hopes to offer its books, courses, and workshops to 50+ workers navigating employment in the next phases of their lives for its proposal.

In partnership with TRUST South LA, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, and CD Tech, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) hopes to support motions to use government-owned land to build affordable housing and drive community-serving economic development.

With its proposal, Village for Vets hopes to pilot its "Veterans Street Academy," a new program that would provide services and community-based solutions to support case managers who engage the most difficult homeless Veterans.

St. Francis Center is seeking funding to continue its breakfast and pantry programs as well as its comprehensive services such as showers, rental and utility assistance, phone access, and longer-term case management interventions for Angelenos experiencing homelessness.

In partnership with UCLA, Venice Family Clinic plans to fight food insecurity by connecting hundreds of households to free, nutritious meals.

Back on My Feet LA's proposal focuses on forming run/walk teams of volunteers and individuals experiencing homelessness that meet three times a week to create a positive relationship and community.

With its proposal, Western Center on Law & Poverty seeks to make sure that LA residents experiencing poverty are protected by California law, both during and after COVID-19.

Sowing Seeds of Change seeks to launch its "No-Cost Open Farmers Market" to divert food from landfills, create meaningful jobs, and provide food access to communities.

Vision To Learn bridges the gap in access to vision care for low-income communities. The organization applied to bring its programming to more local students.

The Shower of Hope's proposal supports delivery of its shower services and other resources to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Garden School Foundation proposes expanding its composting program to a second school site. Its current program shows how school composting can increase fresh food access, reduce food waste, drive climate action, and provide jobs for parents.

National Alliance of Mental Illness - SGV recognizes that there is a barrier to accessing mental health care for Angelenos who do not speak English. The organization's proposal seeks to translate its free mental health resources into multiple languages

In partnership with the US-Africa Institute, the National Association of Mental Illness, and others, We Can Foundation hopes to provide reproductive health and mental health support to youth in California.

Youth Emerging Strong applied with "Staying Strong," its proposal to ensure that the youth in its charge maintain the positive attitudes, behaviors, and connections that they develop while living in one of its homelike shelters.

Social Model Recovery Systems, Inc. hopes to connect Angelenos struggling with mental health and substance issues to accessible telehealth services at every step of their recovery journey for its proposal.

Asian Americans for Housing and Environmental Justice plans to provide business and professional skills for low-income, older and senior BIPOC LGBTQ+ to start-up or expand a nano-business through its submission.

People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) plans to create a Lived Expertise Advisory Board to strengthen its existing LeaseUp LA initiative, a countywide landlord engagement effort to expand the affordable rental market.

For their submission, Todo Verde and People's Yoga seek funding for their community-powered studio for wellness, learning, and production in East LA that will reimagine community wellness and economy.

Healing California applied to fund its work bringing free, high-quality dental and vision care to uninsured and underrepresented Angelenos.

Tree People seeks to activate Angelenos to help create a sustainable, edible urban forest by distributing fruit trees in "tree poor" neighborhoods.

Hospitality Industry Training and Education Fund hopes to continue providing healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals to at-risk people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by re-employing laid-off hotel and event center culinary professionals.

The proposal from Watts Labor Community Action Network, "MudTown Farms," seeks to train Watts residents in urban farming for economically and environmentally sustainable careers.

Esperanza Community Housing proposes to invest in its "Promotores de Salud (Community Health Promoters)" program to provide life-saving culturally accessible in-home health education, primary prevention and advocacy to families in South LA.

In collaboration with Commonwealth Nursery, City Plants seeks to expand nursery infrastructure to grow more climate-ready trees to distribute to Angelenos via LADWP's Free Trees Program.

The proposal from The Right Kind of Black Girl Inc., "Queens Building Queens (QBQ) program," hopes to provide a space for like-minded women to connect with one another and gain inspiration, skills and establish long-term professional connections.

In order to help Angelenos experiencing homelessness, The Center in Hollywood's proposal focuses on facilitating programs that assists individuals with decompressing, feeling safe, and overcoming social isolation.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles proposes to expand its Home Preservation Program, providing low-income households throughout Los Angeles County with interior and exterior repairs to their homes.

“Meal Nation," the proposal from Foster Nation, would ensure foster youth have at least one meal a day for 30 to 60 days, and the know-how to access public benefits such as CalFresh.

CultivaLA proposes using green spaces to empower immigrant and low-income communities across Los Angeles to grow and obtain fresh foods in their neighborhood..

Virtual YouthCare, the proposal from the Youth Movement Against Alzheimers, seeks to partner trained student volunteers with older adults who have early-to-mid stage dementia.

Blueprints For Pangaea at USC proposes sending excess, unused medical supplies to areas in need both locally and overseas.

LOVS applied with a plan for a pilot program to train psychotherapists of color with free, trauma-focused clinical training.

The application from Maxwell Vehicles suggests bringing electric vehicle tech to the ubiquitous white van at a discounted rate for nonprofits.

The Right Way seeks funding for its Operation Housing First program, which houses former foster youth at risk of homelessness and provides trauma-informed case management, employment, and mental health services.

The Changeist team seeks funding to pilot a new model of virtual mental health support, providing youth participants with easy access to a suite of high-quality, free services.

For this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects seeks support for The Village, a community-oriented supportive housing concept that will provide safe and affordable housing for female-led households.

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) proposes using My LA2050 funds to cover the cost of a full-time Youth Emergency Response Case Manager who will be dedicated to attending at least 100 youth survivors in crisis over one year.

For its proposal, United Way of Greater Los Angeles focuses on building a countywide approach to our most pressing challenges: housing affordability, low incomes, and shameful wealth gaps.

FoodCycle seeks funding to provide infrastructure to connect new food donors to nonprofit partners in need.

To serve EV drivers and the Los Angeles power grid, ElectricFish seeks to install its 350kW battery at various sites for its proposal.

The core of Voices Beyond Assault's proposal is providing emergency trauma relief for survivors in Los Angeles.

MoceanLab, Inc. seeks to provide three vehicles to LAUSD nurses, psychologists, and aides for its proposal.

“The Heroic Journey" by The Hero Coalition would feature evidence-based tools teaching mental health and social-emotional skills in a culturally-relevant way if selected as a finalist.

If The Niles Foundation LA wins, it will create MicroFoodFarmGarden Sites by transforming Angeleno's rooftops, yards, lawns, unused, or vacant lots into local food access and food secure spaces.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is seeking to expand the capacity of volunteers to serve the community via weekly empowerment workshops, food pantries, and much more.

To reduce the carbon footprint of LA, Project Ropa's proposal seeks to continue its recycling and distribution of clothing, shoes, and textiles to low-income and unhoused individuals.

YWCA of the Harbor Area seeks funding for its Healthy Futures Program, which provides healthy food and encourages recycling and composting.

The LA Community Land Trust Coalition from Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust, Liberty Community Land Trust, T.R.U.S.T. South, LA El Sereno Community Land Trust, and Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre aims to empower tenants to have the first right to purchase their building to multi-generational wealth.

"Farm Fresh LA!" from the Los Angeles Food Policy Council seeks to connect California farmers of color to CalFresh shoppers at Healthy Neighborhood Market Network stores.

If Growing the Table is selected as a finalist, the organization will partner with Farm2People to create a weekly flow of produce from BIPOC and women farmers to food insecure families.

LA Room and Board is on a mission to end housing insecurity among community college students. Its proposal seeks to scale its unique housing model and serve more students at-risk of and experiencing homelessness.

Pacific Urbanism plans to advance understanding in LA of how land use, zoning, and code should change to produce both climate resilient outcomes and healthy communities.

Food Sector Systems, LLC applied to fund its "Corner Farm" project and provide fresh, nutrient-dense, vitamin-rich agricultural products in a modular unit.

Downtown Crenshaw Rising seeks support for its bid to purchase the CrenshawMall and provide a new model of Black community ownership and economic development.