Public voting in the the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge begins on Monday, June 8, 2020.
Check out the finalists!
In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 67 submissions to the CONNECT goal category. This goal category depicts a future where every resident in our region is empowered to engage and interact with their fellow Angelenos, move around our city efficiently, and contribute meaningfully to the civic process. You can see a summary of every single CONNECT proposal categorized by issue area here.
Here are four trends we noticed in submissions to the CONNECT goal category:
One of the changes to this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge is that Social Venture Partners Los Angeles (SVPLA) is reviewing and evaluating all proposals submitted. The evaluation process began in the beginning of April and will end when 25 finalist organizations are selected at the end of May. (See the challenge timeline here).
According to Christine Margiotta, Executive Director of SVPLA, “It feels particularly meaningful in this moment of crisis to be able to help amplify powerful and impactful work happening in LA through the My LA2050 Grants Challenge."
The Evaluation Process
For the My LA2050 Grants Challenge, 38 SVP members will serve as reviewers. They received training from SVP and Goldhirsh Foundation teams to familiarize themselves with the LA2050 goals, metrics, and review process. After being screened for conflicts of interest, members were then assigned to review proposals for one of five goal categories.
Each evaluation team will take into consideration a range of factors to support the diversity of lived and learned expertise in addition to racial, age, and gender diversity. All proposals are read by at least two reviewers, who each have two weeks to score proposals. From there, SVPLA will meet with each evaluation team to further review and discuss the applicants in their category. The five strongest applicants will be submitted to the Goldhirsh Foundation as SVP's top tier recommendations.
Excited to Review and Spread the Word
Margiotta says SVPLA members look forward to the process, “Our SVP Partners are excited to have the opportunity to learn about so many great organizations working on a variety of pressing issues within our communities. They are curious, passionate, and engaged in a range of initiatives throughout the region, so they can also help spread the word about the great work of these organizations."
Similarly the LA2050 team is excited to work with SVPLA, whose team and members have many years of experience reviewing grant applications and pitches for funding. They bring a thoughtful eye to the proposal review process as they embody a wide range of experiences, coming from professional fields spanning nonprofit and philanthropy, government, business, and more.
Social Venture Partners is an international network with over 3,500 engaged members in 40 cities. Its mission is to catalyze long-term social change in Los Angeles by connecting engaged philanthropists with innovative nonprofits.
Members of SVP LA are individuals committed to creating a more equitable, just, and thriving Los Angeles. They learn from nonprofit leaders while donating their money, time, skills, and networks, thereby cultivating meaningful relationships and amplifying impact.
If you're interested in getting involved with SVP and supporting early-stage, innovative initiatives in LA County, you can learn more about joining them as an SVP member here.
In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 67 submissions in the CONNECT goal category. This category represents the goal that every resident in our region has the opportunity to engage and interact with fellow Angelenos and feels empowered to contribute meaningfully in the civic process.
Within this goal category you'll find projects that address civic engagement, arts and culture, volunteerism, community-building, technology, access and inclusion, health, wellness, and trauma response, hunger and homelessness, immigrant rights, foster youth, and the environment.
Stay tuned as we'll be featuring the LEARN goal category next week!
LA Forward provides Angelenos with the resources and training they need to take constructive action and organize to make LA a better place. The LA 101 campaign, a collaboration between LA Forward and Inclusive Action, aims to transform LA into one of the nation's most civically engaged places by providing resources that lower the barriers to entry for individuals who want to take their first steps into local activism and advocacy.
Changeist immerses young people in 6-month civic action experiences that empower them to make the world a better place. As the only AmeriCorps State program model that uses service as a strategy to grow civic engagement among youth, its proposal aims to expand the program to bring on 15 additional AmeriCorps members over the next year and to engage an additional 300 youth across Los Angeles.
SameSide is a peer-to-peer web-based events platform that encourages grassroots political engagement by allowing activists to connect their gathering to a cause. The goal of its proposal is to empower 1,000 unique hosts in Los Angeles between July and November 2020 to hold events that promote voting and political engagement.
Students Run LA aims to challenge underserved secondary students to experience goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring, and improved health by training for and completing the Los Angeles Marathon. In collaboration with the Civics Center, its proposal seeks to build an active, civically-minded electorate among the greater Latinx community in historically underrepresented neighborhoods through student-led voter registration drives in majority Latinx schools.
Novelly aims to spark activism in young people through relatable and engaging young adult fiction. The organization seeks to expand on its Novelly Leadership Academy, an 8-week online training program using the Novelly app, to empower students to facilitate and moderate high-quality civic discussions with their peers.
Facing History and Ourselves aims to create the next generation of caring and informed citizens by using lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. The organization proposes expanding its social-emotional learning program, Facing History, to support over 9,000 teachers in creating a strong cohort of civically-engaged youth in LA.
Venice Family Clinic, which provides quality and comprehensive healthcare to underserved families and individuals, proposes launching the non-partisan civic engagement initiative, West L.A. Votes! Through this project, the Clinic would mobilize West L.A. residents to vote by training volunteers to connect residents with voting resources and educating Angelenos about national, state, and local government via video shorts, a 'Lunch & Learn' series, and more.
National Association of Latino Independent Producers is one of the leading organizations prioritizing a Latinx pipeline in the entertainment industry. Its Emerging Content Creators Inclusion Initiative would provide emerging artists from underrepresented communities with valuable knowledge, resources and an accessible point of entry into entertainment via workshops and mentorship.
Free Arts is a nonprofit that uses art to restore hope, resiliency, and self-esteem in children ages 5-18 who have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness. The goal of the proposal is to serve over 22,000 low-income youth in Los Angeles by making the organization's four core programs – Free Arts Mentoring, Free Arts Days, Free Arts for Families, and the Free Arts Court Program – free of charge.
Heidi Duckler Dance creates place-based dance performances that transform vacant and non-traditional spaces. Its project, Los Angeles Street, seeks to transform the LA Fashion District, improve its livability, and preserve its unique “maker" culture by establishing an artist residency with a pop-up performance venue, discovery space for exhibits, performances, workshops, and more.
Arts Bridging the Gap highlights the voices, experiences, and self-expression of LA's youth through immersive arts programs. The 100 Murals for Peace project encourages artistic expression in under-resourced communities by encouraging thousands of kids to engage in painting murals, thereby developing a true creative connection to their communal spaces.
Creative Acts seeks to heal trauma, build community, raise power, and amplify the voices of the most marginalized through art. The organization proposes expanding its 'Art Attacks' program to increase voter turnout among incarcerated and formerly incarcerated young people by engaging and inspiring them through community art, spoken word, and poetry, as well as connecting them with both program alumni and organizations whose work directly affects their communities.
Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore provides a positive space for people to create, imagine, and express themselves through ancestral knowledge, arts, literacy, and creative engagement. In collaboration with Pukúu Cultural Community Services, its project, the Indigenous In Us: Embracing Ancestral Knowledge and Sharing the Beauty of Practice, aims to engage Northeast San Fernando residents in learning, reflecting, and sharing indigenous-based history, lessons, skills, and practices via workshops and ceremonies.
The Neighborhood Music School serves students from Boyle Heights and the communities of East Los Angeles, where public art is rarely experienced. The goal of its Community Performance Series is to foster community pride in neighborhoods across East LA by providing free, high-quality, public musical performances.
The Skirball Cultural Center proposes organizing the Skirball Puppet Festival, a daylong profusion of puppet theatre including interactive performances, roaming marionettes, pageant puppets, live music, and puppet-making workshops. The aim of the festival is to engage multiple generations through puppetry arts and immersive storytelling and to create a shared experience around universally accessible stories.
Build A Better World Foundation supports the empowerment of youth and other charitable organizations by sponsoring concerts, musicals, and events. The organization proposes hosting the Build A Better World Foundation Concert to create awareness of and fundraise for existing nonprofits already working within the community, and to provide a platform for community and spiritual leaders to speak about the importance of coming together.
Good Trouble Makers is a practice-driven collaborative that investigates what anti-racist, queer dance making, teaching, and performing looks like. The group proposes collaborating with Downtown Dance & Movement to expand its social and concert dance and movement program, In Progress, to serve the disabled, queer, and POC communities in Los Angeles and showcase accessible dance.
Citizens of Culture uses arts to develop critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and to combat resource inequality. The organization proposes expanding Community Practice, an art-based and donation-based social emotional learning and mental health program that attempts to combat loneliness and develop emotional literacy via weekly community engagements, webinars, and online training.
International Eye LA transforms communities through arts, culture, and the humanities. In collaboration with Black Arts Los Angeles, Ideal Chalk, Belize Caye Fest, and more, the organization proposes curating the Leimert Park Village Festival Series and producing a Los Angeles Carnival to support, market, and re-imagine Leimert Park as a culturally-rich community and destination rooted in African-derived culture and traditions.
The Music Center proposes relaunching Dance DTLA, a series of diverse dance engagements featuring live music, DJ sets, and dance instruction, to help Angelenos from all demographic and economic backgrounds recover from social isolation. The project envisions transitioning from virtual dance parties to both online and in-person dance engagements through which the Music Center will collaborate with the League of Women Voters and the Los Angeles County Registrar to support voter registration.
Inspiring Service develops the technology and tools to enable volunteerism and social activism; the organization has been focused on rebuilding the volunteer ecosystem in Los Angeles for more than three years. Inspiring Service aims to work closely with the Mayor of LA and local nonprofit partners to transform its platform into a COVID-19 Assessment and Response system that shows the impact of COVID-19 on the county's social sector and recruits volunteers to help the sector recover.
L.A. Works, in collaboration with Everyone In–United Way, Audubon Society at Debs Park, and Councilmember Ryu, proposes expanding its Take Action Initiative by launching monthly bootcamps around three different issue areas – climate change, homelessness, and equity in education. The collaborative aims to mobilize over 1,000 volunteer advocates to address the root causes of these issues.
826LA supports students ages 6-18 with creative and expository writing skills and helps teachers inspire students to write. Through its Changing the Story project, the organization aims to grow its volunteer program by developing new outreach strategies and improving its training systems.
Dressember is a nonprofit that empowers communities to advocate for the dignity of all people and to fight human trafficking. The organization seeks to grow its community in LA by recruiting new volunteers to provide survivors of human trafficking with case management as well as education and job readiness services.
Kid City Hope Place aims to increase access to opportunities for young people to explore their intellectual curiosity and capacity, claim their education, and advocate for themselves and their communities. In collaboration with the Museum for Social Justice, Kid City Hope Place proposes creating a new LA Story by having young leaders facilitate story circles around museum exhibits to connect resident artists and curators with a new audience and build a deeper sense of community among young and marginalized individuals.
Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community news project produced by youth. Voices, its story-sharing project, aims to build and strengthen relationships between youth and the elderly by training youth to be community reporters and tell the stories of both young and old.
Southern California Curling Center is the only facility dedicated to the sport of curling in Southern California. In partnership with Hollywood Curling, Triumph Foundation, Angel City Sports, and others, its Connect With Curling program aims to foster social connection by bringing different community groups together through curling sessions and a tournament.
Trauma Informed LA is an all-volunteer grassroots organization that aims to foster resilient communities that promote healing and well-being through collaboration, education, and community engagement. Its podcast Our Stories LA is a narrative-building project centering around the lived experiences of activists and healers. The goal of its proposal is to bolster intergenerational social and emotional connection through expanding on its podcast to include healing stories, events, and workshops.
Shared_Studios brings communities together in immersive spaces called Portals to talk, collaborate, and provide a source of creativity, positive, and strength for each other. Shared Studios aims to work with local organizations to co-create the LA_Portal, a pop-up community space where people can gather in small groups and explore ways to create a more vibrant and resilient city.
Camp Lost Boys is a nonprofit that offers retreats and immersive experiences for transgender men. It proposes collaborating with the Intentional Man Project to engage transgender and cisgender men of all experience in transforming the culture of masculinity and creating a shared brotherhood.
Center for Council delivers programs and trainings that promote communication, build community, enhance well-being, and foster compassion. It proposes launching the Circle Up Los Angeles project to offer every resident the opportunity to engage, interact, and come together by hosting weekly Councils that gather and connect a diverse cross-section of local communities to listen and share their stories.
LiteraTea is a website where individuals can write, share, and discuss stories aided by interactive courses and tools, live video, and communal support. The goal of the organization's proposal is to expand its services by creating tailored programs, such as specific courses, ancillary content, and instructional videos for underserved Angelenos, especially seniors, recent immigrants, and the homebound.
The Altadena Library District proposes implementing Curiosity Connection: Altadena Library on Wheels, an outreach initiative and mobile library program that aims to provide volunteer opportunities, WiFi access in areas of need, educational materials through mobile check-outs, events for community members to build cohesion, and more.
PLUS ME Project is dedicated to empowering middle and high school youth to increase their confidence for college, career, and community advancement by teaching the art of storytelling. In collaboration with GEAR UP 4 LA, the organization seeks to expand its project by hosting monthly story building training sessions for its volunteers and organizing quarterly storytelling mixers where volunteers, students, and the public can interact with, inspire, and listen to each other's stories.
Mighty Companions produces events, projects, and experiences to help shift an individual's worldview from one based on self-interest to caring for another. The organization proposes launching its project Making L.A. a Friendlier City, which aims to get people to connect with each other and come together as one city.
Startups in the Sky proposes launching an InTECHrity podcast and conference series to provide a critical platform for social justice advocates, software engineers, internet philosophers, and the startup community to reimagine and create a digital future that is safe, equitable, and just for all digital citizens.
EveryoneOn connects low-income families with affordable internet service and computers, and offers digital skills training. Its Connected and Empowered Communities virtual digital skills training program seeks to engage those who are most affected by the digital divide to ensure they develop the digital literacy skills required to access critical services, employment opportunities, and educational resources found online.
human-I-T provides low-income individuals and nonprofits with technology, internet, and digital literacy training. The organization proposes expanding its Include program, a self-paced, student-centered digital literacy class designed to help students, parents, and older family members harness all of the opportunity that lives online.
Halt is a company dedicated to empowering the city through long-term sustainable and dynamic infrastructural technologies. The organization aims to complete its operating system haltOS, which has analytics and metrics to assist in reducing congestion in cities, offering city WiFi to residents, increasing sources of revenue for cities, and more, with the goal of helping cities be ahead of the curve.
Civy is a cloud-based mobile platform that seeks to enable direct and productive conversation between city officials and residents. The goal of its proposal is to improve civic engagement in Los Angeles County by implementing its public outreach platform so that the LA government can efficiently share civic projects with residents and residents can thereby provide feedback in confidence or vote on these projects.
Friendship Foundation supports families who have children with special needs through programs like Friendship Clubs, which are school-sanctioned clubs located in elementary, middle, and high schools across South Bay that bring special needs and general education children together to build a community of support and encouragement. This project focuses on impacting two populations in the South Bay and surrounding communities: children with special needs and students with a willingness and desire to volunteer.
Special Olympics Southern California provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Its Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program works closely with the LAUSD Adapted Physical Education Department to increase the social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities on LAUSD campuses through providing inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and engaging entire school communities.
Inclusion Matters by Shane's Inspiration aims to create social inclusion for children with disabilities through inclusive playgrounds and programs. In collaboration with LAUSD's Division of Special Education, its proposal, “Connect LA Families" aims to partner with five nonprofits in diverse, low-income communities to replicate its My PlayClub program, which provides families with fully integrated play events and online resources.
Social Cipher creates role-playing games that give autistic and other neuro-divergent youth a safe and accessible place to understand and apply social-emotional skills. Its proposal seeks support to finish developing and running subsidized pilots of its premier game series Ava, a space pirate-themed adventure game that breaks down social interactions through interactive dialogue and emotional systems, and encourages self-advocacy.
New Horizons aims to empower individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. The goal of the organization's proposal is to develop and implement a coordinated transportation system using agency vehicles, public transportation, and other mobility options and expand opportunities for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to connect with the community through volunteerism, employment, social interaction, and more.
Walk With Sally provides individualized mentoring and community support services to empower children experiencing trauma through a loved one's cancer journey. Walk With Sally aims to expand its services by opening a satellite office in downtown Los Angeles to provide more families with temporary financial support and more children with Friendship Activities programming to help them cope with traumatic situations.
The Foundation for Living Beauty empowers women to increase their physical wellness and emotional stability while coping with cancer and chemotherapy. The organization proposes creating virtual programming to serve more women, especially those in disenfranchised populations, through wellness and holistic healing, which is a critical part of the cancer journey.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles helps youth achieve their full potential by offering programs that facilitate and support positive youth development. Its free mobile app Teen Talk allows teens to anonymously seek social and emotional support from trained teen advisors. The goal of its proposal is to increase capacity and develop a local community of teens who will recreate this community in real life through increasing recruitment and training efforts.
Indigenous Circle of Wellness provides mental wellness services grounded in culturally inclusive holistic healing to build healthy relationships, families, and communities. Through its So'oh-Shinálí Sister Project, they aim to have a 40% increase in community members who receive social and emotional support. Its plan proposes hosting two large events to celebrate tribal culture, diversity, and resilience through visual and performing arts, as well as developing a toolkit on hosting such Indigenous community-focused arts events.
InsightLA is a meditation center in Los Angeles that serves more than 10,000 individuals annually. Its proposal seeks to expand its Insight in Action program by offering meditation teachings and community-building activities to individuals and organizations recovering from the effects of COVID-19.
Conscious Kids Project partners with schools in Los Angeles to teach students evidence-based yoga and meditation tools that improve physical and emotional health, academic potential, and overall well-being. The organization proposes empowering special education students through the Conscious Connections project, which aims to research, implement, assess, and design a yoga curriculum to reach 100 special education students across public schools in Los Angeles.
LASTing Impressions Center seeks to ensure that more people, particularly victims of violence and abuse, can recover from trauma through art therapy. The organization proposes providing individuals affected by violence and abuse with access to creative arts therapy, including art, music, writing, and dance, to help them undertake the healing process and connect with other individuals in a safe environment.
Creative Healing for Youth in Pain is a nonprofit that provides youth with chronic pain and their parents/caregivers with online resources that encourage creative healing and social support. The organization's proposal seeks to launch PhotoVoice, a pilot program that will empower participants to document their lives using cameras, thereby fostering individual and community change through social connections.
Voices Beyond Assault is dedicated to providing aid, resources, and innovative therapy for survivors of sexual assault. The goal of its proposal is to implement a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to ensure every survivor has access to support by launching its Beauty of Survival Project, which seeks to create safe environments where survivors can heal and celebrate through therapy, meditation, yoga, conversation sessions, writing experiences, and more.
The Giving Spirit assembles and distributes survival kits to homeless men, women, children, and families living in greater Los Angeles. The goal of its proposal is to build stronger community support for programs that aid the homeless by expanding on its outreach and educational programs that promote shared dialogue between housed and homeless individuals.
resisterhoodLA partners with nonprofits to curate impactful, accessible, and inclusive volunteer opportunities for Angelenos. Its goal is to host four events over the next year to build and distribute 1,000 FLOWVEMBER menstrual hygiene kits to benefit individuals experiencing homelessness and combine hands-on volunteering with homelessness advocacy education.
Union Rescue Mission provides life-transforming programs to end homelessness for men, women, children, and families throughout Los Angeles County. Its project aims to provide critical services, medical care, support, and housing for families experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis, in addition to inspiring Angelenos to end homelessness once and for all with its #LoveLikeaHero campaign.
The Living Through Giving Foundation proposes expanding #HashtagLunchbag, its humanitarian movement that motivates people to prepare and distribute meals for people experiencing homelessness. The organization aims to extend its geographical outreach, increase the number of meals provided, and build greater awareness among a diverse group of volunteers around solutions to address food insecurity and homelessness.
Union Station Homeless Services aims to help individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness across the San Gabriel Valley. The organization proposes expanding its Community Allies Program, which seeks to increase housing retention rates, improve community connection, and foster community integration between homeless individuals in bridge housing and formerly homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing by pairing individuals with a supportive community volunteer ally in addition to providing social and recreational activities.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights educates, legally protects, and advocates for immigrants to build their own power. As a coalition builder and national leader in immigrant rights, CHIRLA seeks support in expanding its work during the COVID-19 crisis to be a lifeline for immigrants through providing them with information, legally protecting them, and advocacy.
OneJustice connects underserved Californians in need of legal help with those who can provide it to ensure justice for all people living in California. In partnership with Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and Central American Resource Center, this collaborative proposes implementing quarterly Asylum Legal Clinics and Resource Fairs to support asylum seekers in navigating immigration court cases and connect them with legal, mental health, medical, and community services and resources.
Miry's List provides a network for Americans to directly help their resettling refugee neighbors get what they need to start their new lives. The goal of the organization's proposal is to expand on its Welcome, Neighbor program to further engage 5,000 Angelenos in sustained, tangible service through organizing large-scale events, smaller-scale convenings, and other activations, such as Welcome, Neighbor days at schools.
Korean American Family Services is a family resource center dedicated to empowering underserved Korean American and Asian Pacific Islander (API) families. The goal of its proposal is to change the trajectory of high risk youth in need by expanding community outreach, offering ongoing support groups for API foster parents, and providing emergency needs to API foster youth and their families.
Ready to Succeed is a nonprofit that supports and empowers youth impacted by foster care with the resources, relationships, and opportunities they need to launch successful careers and lead meaningful lives. The organization proposes establishing a sustainable and effective partnership with Stepping Forward LA to provide youth aging out of foster care with dedicated social and emotional support in addition to connecting them with the people and networks they need to advance in the modern workplace.
Climate Resolve is a nonprofit dedicated to combating climate change and helping vulnerable communities adapt to its impacts. Its One Day campaign aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging Angelenos to bike, walk, or take public transit once a week instead of driving to their destination, thereby changing how Los Angeles views transportation.
BREATHE California of Los Angeles County promotes clean air and healthy lungs through research, education, advocacy, and technology. The organization aims to collaborate with California State University, Northridge and Climate Cents on its proposed Blue Sky LA project, an air quality improvement program that seeks to engage residents through monthly volunteer opportunities, “citizen-driven" projects, community-based educational sessions, and more.
Investing in Place uses research, advocacy, and capacity-building to align policies and public dollars to support transportation investments that strengthen the Los Angeles region. In collaboration with ACT-LA, CicLAvia, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and Move LA, this group of organizations aims to create a new mobility movement that prioritizes equity, climate change, bikeable and walkable streets, and access to high-quality transit by building power together as an engaged and inclusive constituency.
There are many fantastic ideas to look through, so we made summaries of all the proposals in this category grouped by smaller issue area: housing, health and wellness, economic empowerment, food, environment, crisis and trauma response, community-building, youth development, senior services, veteran services, journalism, and violence prevention.
Next week we'll feature the Connect Goal Category, so keep an eye out!
ONEgeneration's Shared Housing project expands critical current housing support efforts aimed at reducing the number of people facing housing insecurity by matching older adults with intergenerational groups and individuals who are seeking companionship, independence, support, and affordability. Their proposal will partner with LA Family Housing, CSUN, and Pierce College to support and implement this intergenerational Shared Housing project.
Move LA's “Boulevards of Opportunity for Affordable Housing" project will promote policies enabling affordable multifamily housing in mixed-use developments with robust urban greening and bike/pedestrian improvements along commercial boulevards served by zero-emission bus rapid transit. Partnering with UrbanFootprint, this proposal seeks to provide graphic GIS mapping and evaluative services to address LA County's needs for affordable housing near mass transit routes.
Safe Parking LA's Neighbors for Home is a grassroots initiative that aims to mobilize local residents to act around the problem of vehicular homelessness in their own neighborhoods. This proposal proposes working with Neighborhood Councils to change the landscape for people living in their vehicles by pairing specialized case management with community support otherwise unavailable to safe parking clients.
The Midnight Mission aims to help people move from homelessness to self-sufficiency by expanding their successful Health Living Program, a no-cost 12- to 18-month structured process for homeless male adults who want help to overcome their addiction.
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy and JustFix propose creating an “Eviction Prevention Tool" to connect eligible tenants with newly available eviction prevention resources and conduct an outreach/education campaign informing tenants. This proposal aims to increase tenants' ability to remain in their current homes and reduce homelessness.
The project from Back on My Feet Los Angeles supports people experiencing homelessness by reconnecting them with their community and guiding them in obtaining sustainable employment by creating running teams. This running-based program aims to restore confidence, strength, and self-esteem so that individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move toward jobs, homes, and new lives.
211 LA proposes the development of an online Homeless Resource Portal, where homeless service providers and community-based partners in LA County can share and request needed items for homeless families they serve. The proposed portal will serve as a coordination and communication tool that will allow service providers to request and share resources needed for homeless individuals and families they serve.
Los Angeles Room & Board's Open Spaces project fosters partnerships with college student housing programs to reimagine the use of their vacant dorm rooms to provide stability to community college students experiencing housing insecurity, in addition to providing supportive programs such as academic mentorship, tutoring, and job readiness.
Renovation Planners' Urban $marts LA aims to help homeowners take charge of their finances by building a backyard home to rent out, while making their dreams of entrepreneurship and wealth-building a reality, reducing their housing costs and providing safe and affordable housing.
Safe Place For Youth's Safe Pods for Youth proposes working with PodShare to offer a low-cost and immediate solution to the youth homelessness crisis by galvanizing community sponsors to fund short-term pods for $28 a night while supporting youth in finding employment, enrolling in school, and locating permanent housing.
Abundant Housing LA is committed to education and advocacy on the affordability, livability, and sustainability benefits of more housing. The organization proposes doing outreach and education on LA's housing element update by creating a FAIR Plan that aims to recommend allocating housing in a way that equitably achieves LA's housing production target.
Saban Community Clinic (SCC) plans to open a new Family Health Center to provide medical, dental, and behavioral health services to more than 1,400 patients by July 2021. The SCC hopes to provide valuable, quality healthcare to thousands of families regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, including those who are living below the poverty line.
The project from Clinica Romero aims to address the current health crisis by utilizing technology (telehealth) to provide quality, affordable, and culturally-sensitive health care and other services to the underserved communities of Greater Los Angeles regardless of their ability to pay.
Heart Touch proposes trainings at four sites for new caregiver groups in Los Angeles for 520 RNs and CNAs over a period of two years. This project strives to train healthcare providers in non-pharmacological treatment strategies for those dealing with chronic pain and aims to use compassionate touch therapy in filling this unmet need.
Young Invincibles aims to expand the scope of its proven Barbershops campaign to better connect young people from the Black and Latinx communities in Los Angeles County to the health and nutritional benefits for which they are eligible. These efforts will ensure that a generation of young people who might otherwise see their goals deferred or denied due to food and health insecurity will be connected with the resources they need.
Esperanza Community Housing Corporations hopes to expand its Promotores de Salud program to increase access to health services and decrease preventable ER use for asthma patients in low-income communities of color. This proposal aims to train 25 community participants and serve 350 families.
The project from The Wellness Arts Collective takes on the gap in access to mental health services for those who identify as LGBTQ+, BIPOC, (im)migrant, and/or low income. This project hopes to expand existing pro-bono psychotherapy and wellness services for folks in the community that are unable to pay, in addition to providing free venue space to health and wellness educators and practitioners.
The project from My Friends House addresses the question, “how well matched is the food to the true nutritional needs of food pantry clients?" By searching medical records, emergency room visits, and doing blood tests, the goal of this project is to identify true nutritional deficiencies and work to meet that specific need. This proposal aims to make changes in the foods which are emphasized by the Food Bank and local Food Pantries.
Alzheimer's Los Angeles, in partnership with SAGE, proposes producing five educational videos and a facilitator guide, profiling LGBTQ+ adults with dementia and their family caregivers, to reach an under-served and stigmatized population with information to improve their access to quality dementia healthcare.
The project from Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services aims to provide online therapy resources for the more than 80% of their clients from low-income households who do not have the means to travel for face-to-face therapy. The goal is to provide online therapy services remotely to 1,000 clients in Los Angeles.
A Place Called Home will help improve mental health and wellness outcomes for 1,000 youth in South Central LA with a wraparound approach encompassing physical and socioemotional health, nutrition, family dynamic and function, and educational support. This project will provide 20,000 hours of free individualized mental health and family services in Spanish and English, serve 34,000 meals on-site and distribute 3,000 bags of groceries to food-insecure families, and serve 1,000 youth.
Find Your Anchor seeks to expand its program distributing “mental health first aid kit" boxes, each packed materials designed to inspire, soothe, and offer support, including a “52+ Reasons to Live" deck of cards, an infographic on depression, a list of resources, posters, stickers, a bracelet, and a letter. With this proposal, 6,750 citizens of LA would receive FYA boxes.
Golden State Opportunity plans to help hard-working Angelenos access the resources they need to take care of their families and improve their financial resiliency by leveraging their outreach and education model to provide the information and support Angelenos need to claim the millions of dollars available via tax credits, stimulus checks, and public benefit programs.
Bread Head's Community Ambassador program, working with Safe Place for Youth and Venice Community Housing, intends to inspire hired ambassadors to strengthen job readiness skills in a workforce they are passionate about while addressing issues of social isolation and bringing awareness to systemic challenges impacting housing insecurity, including malnourishment, mental illness, generational poverty, and stigmatization.
LIFT's Family Goal Fund is designed to help 400 families build a small financial buffer both in times of crisis like COVID-19 and to withstand the daily stressors that come with living in poverty and accelerate their progress towards long-term goals.
teamtaub aims to create a website and app to educate the public on how to pay household worker/nanny tax, as well as set up a "LA Tour" of live educational sessions at local schools to reach those who are currently not adhering to the law or are thinking of hiring a household worker.
urban possibilities plans to offer people sheltering at LA Mission with a digital 12-week empowerment program using writing and theater. Students perform original pieces for online graduation, followed by live talk-back and e-book.
The Dream Center Foundation aims to distribute food and programming to meet the basic needs of the surrounding community and support vulnerable families in their transition toward a more sustainable lifestyle, in addition to actively responding to the need caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
ZipMarket increases access to healthy food by enabling delivery services for local farmers' markets. This project would create and launch the ZipMarket app.
Meals on Wheels of San Pedro provides nutritious, affordable meals to those who are unable to supply it for themselves and to offer caring, personal interaction. This project aims to increase the number of clients served from 40 per day to 200 per day by replacing old equipment and increasing volunteers.
The Hollywood Food Coalition has been addressing food insecurity for 33 years by providing hot, nutritious meals to the hungry and homeless every night of the year and hopes to expand by building LA's first “Food Hub", designed to better connect excess food with hungry Angelenos in need.
United Parents And Students will partner with the American Heart Association and California FreshWorks to improve access to high-quality, fresh and affordable foods in underserved communities across Los Angeles.
LA Compost's programs aim to serve individuals with home composting opportunities, communities with education and access to a decentralized network of composting infrastructure, and the broader Los Angeles County area through regional sites for organics processing, compost creation, and continued education.
Huarache Farms plans to dramatically expand its current growing capacity by building a transparently run cooperative of backyard farms that provide sustainable and local food while keeping the majority of the money in the local economy.
elePlate aims to end commercial food waste at the source, save thousands, and unlock financially sustainable food recovery growth across LA. This project plans to work with companies to turn their kitchens into zero food waste operations.
Global Green aims to expand its Food Recovery Program, a comprehensive food rescue system that provides a sustainable solution to both hunger and environmental challenges. At least 5000 people will be fed by the food donated from the restaurants to the food banks, which will indirectly impact the population of Los Angeles due to the greenhouse gases (GHG) reduced by diverting food from the landfill.
Sprouts of Promise Foundation proposes establishing a Los Angeles Farmers' Market Coalition that will unite farmers' markets across LA, both affluent markets and those serving in food deserts, facilitating the sharing of information and resources.
Crop Swap LA will select 15 homes on a residential street to install professional gardens and rainwater harvesting systems on their front yards, back yards, and available rooftops, in addition to training and hiring a green team of gardeners to become a fleet of hyper-localized specialists.
The Urban Homestead is an established, successful, and highly productive working urban farm that has developed itself as a media authority for sustainable urban agricultural living. This project plans to improve its Urban Homestead Podcast to be a deeper, richer production; and a more reliable, frequent, and interactive show.
Share Our Strength is seeking to expand its No Kid Hungry program, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America to ensure kids have access to meals where they live, learn, and play. The goal of its proposed "Breakfast After The Bell" project is to partner with schools in LA County to expand access and participation for breakfast by making breakfast a part of the school day.
The SeaChange Agency's project “Stand Up for The Ocean" plans to reduce LA's water pollution by increasing the amount of trash removed from the Santa Monica Bay this year by 400% and educates and empowers hundreds of underserved youth to prevent future water pollution.
U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles is launching a Healthy Building Alliance for the LA region to create a commitment that building owners, tenants, and individuals can make to provide healthy, resilient space to live, work, and play. The goal of the project is to create commitment, generate valuable data, and provide resources to support the journey for all Angelenos to experience healthy environments.
Environmental Health Coalition's Regenerate Los Angeles campaign aims to equitably phase out fossil fuel power plants by training 160 activists from frontline LA communities in the organizing and campaign skills needed to phase out LA's fossil fuel power plants.
Heal the Bay's River Report Card project plans to protect the health of Angelenos who enjoy freshwater swimming and recreation areas by providing water quality information during the hot summer months. This project will train community college students in bacterial water quality monitoring, the development of state-of-the-art public notification tools, and a targeted outreach campaign for communities living near these sites.
The Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance plans to conduct outreach throughout the neighborhood council (NC) system, educating people about the parallels between this crisis and the climate crisis, and provide NCs with the tools to identify and implement the changes we can and must make in order to be more resilient and sustainable.
Habits Of Waste's DrinkTap will be a multilingual communications campaign to inform and reassure Angeleno's that their tap water is accessible, clean and safe to drink. The #DrinkTap campaign plans to work with LADWP to tackle the massive bottled water problem.
SoCal 350 seeks to put an end to neighborhood drilling throughout LA county, support the rights of indigenous groups, find renewable energy solutions to fight climate change, put pressure on Chase Bank to #stopthemoneypipeline that's destroying the Amazon, and educate/inform Angelenos about climate change via their podcast EcoJustice Radio.
Jenesse Center aims to restore families impacted by domestic and sexual violence through holistic, trauma-informed, culturally responsive services, and advance prevention initiatives that foster and sustain healthy, violence-free communities.
LA Forward's COVID-19 crisis response work includes crisis response guides, policy development, digital mobilization, and helping to launch and coordinate the Healthy LA Coalition of over 250+ local organizations proposing concrete solutions to the many hardships caused by the pandemic.
CleanSlate's WECARE Trauma-Informed Training program plans to provide 700 people with assessment, training, and care via ten community partner organizations that work with people experiencing trauma but who are not themselves trained in trauma-informed care.
HOMEplace plans to mobilize and sustain survivors of childhood sexual assault as Liberation Arts Community Health Strategists to innovate replicable interventions for internal, interpersonal, and collective freedom from internalized and enforced systemic oppression.
The Sustainable Communities Initiative utilizes a place-based, collective-impact approach to comprehensive community development to provide a wide array of services and resources that help mitigate social, economic, and health and environmental stressors that have historically caused barriers for LMI community members to fully thrive in their communities.
The Neighborhood Resiliency Gardens project from Unycyn plans to provide opportunities for STEAM education and a canvas for public art and connect programs and projects to foster healthy civic environments with public art and urban gardens through their platform “flowproject.la."
Novus Think Tank's Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) project is a community-based living and food insecurity project where visitors are encouraged to bring their own mugs to enjoy a coffee, and volunteer in BYOM's community garden in exchange for discounted produce or rent subsidization.
Cooperative Resources and Services Project's LA Eco-Village Community Hub plans to extend its outreach capacity at its community venue and urban farm (transformed from a former auto repair shop) This project aims to be a welcoming and vibrant place for LA residents to learn how to live healthier, more resilient, and less environmentally impactful lives.
Kingdom Causes Bellflower's “Strong Neighbors" program for homeless and low-income neighbors will empower people through workshops with topics like money management, life transitions, outdoor survival, self-defense, waste management, employment, and increasing income, authority interaction, organization of belongings, and property law.
Harvest All Resource Center's Nia Intentional Living Opportunity Youth project seeks to support youth living in South LA aged 16-24 in attaining access to mental health services, social and emotional well-being & life skills, enhanced social connections, and college and/or career engagement.
Providence Saint John's Child and Family Development Center's Nurture in Nature project aims to assess the impact of wilderness outings on mental health and well-being of two low-income groups and aims to provide opportunities to experience respite from daily stress and connect with other families in a supportive environment.
Peer Health Exchange will train nearly 315 college student volunteers to teach a 14-week skills-based health program to over 3,350 9th grade students in under-resourced communities across LA.
Root & Wings Institute of Social and Emotional Learning's Good Life Academy plans to expand its existing program, Good Life Academy, a virtual platform that will provide free online psychological support for teens and parents throughout LAUSD.
Valley InterCommunity Council plans to help seniors thrive by providing nutritionally balanced meals, socialization (post-COVID19), case management, transportation, and more.
Community Veteran Justice Project plans to expand assistance to LA area Veterans and their families by ensuring clients receive the maximum benefit from the California Veteran alternative sentencing statutes.
LAist aims to take the traditions and trust they've built to transform their “How To LA" guide into a “How To New LA" guide, serving a critical need as Los Angeles recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Report for America plans to field four full-time 'corps members' – emerging journalists – who will report on under-covered communities and topics in the greater Los Angeles area: environment and sustainability; homelessness, affordable housing, and development; education and young people; transportation; and minority communities.
Mother Jones plans to expand their coverage and reporting resources in Los Angeles, going deep on the biggest stories of the moment that impact Angelenos, including affordable housing, homelessness, access to healthy food, immigration, and other important issues.
International Association for Human Values proposes training 100 former gang members from across all neighborhoods of LA as Ambassadors of Nonviolence, empowering them to train community members in nonviolence practices and host a Peace Innovation Summit in 2021 to promote entrepreneurial solutions to the socio-economic challenges in their communities.
We received 66 submissions in the
LIVE goal category for this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge. At LA2050, the LIVE goal category represents our vision for a happy, healthy, and sustainable region in which residents have the economic means and cultural capital to lead active lives and benefit from a thriving environment. You can see a summary of every single LIVE proposal categorized by issue area here.
Here are four trends we noticed in submissions to the LIVE goal category:
“What are the coordinates of where we're moving to?”
The teacher's question is met with a flurry of raised hands. He picks a student to answer, she gets it right, and the class moves into independent working time. One student is levels ahead, already unlocking the tougher coding challenges beyond the first five “training wheels” exercises. Another two students point out mistakes in each other's coding and move forward together. The sound of furious typing is punctuated by the occasional “Ohh” and “Yes!” as things click into place.
These students are 5th graders and already learning how to write code.
Coding is complex work, so the design of 9 Dots' Computer Science (CS) pathway prepares students for the difficulty of simplifying their work – an easily under-estimated process that requires high-level analytical and problem-solving skills. From the way 9 Dots plans their curriculum to work like building blocks to the gamified interface they created to support both students and teachers, their focus on cultivating a truly engaging classroom environment is what makes their impact on the next generation so significant.
3rd and 4th graders begin their coding journey by navigating a graphical interface that familiarizes them with the structure and syntax of programming. By the time they enter a 5th grade classroom, many become quickly proficient in typing out their own code, with several even applying and broadening this knowledge on their own through an after-school robotics club.
While being fluent in programming languages is undeniably a useful skill for the future, a 9 Dots classroom emphasizes the multiple useful skills one picks up when learning how to code. The classroom is quiet as students troubleshoot their own work, double-checking their code for spelling errors. With all their focus and attention to detail, it was impossible to tell that they had just come back from recess.
Much of this environment is carefully cultivated by the teacher who hands laptops out ten minutes before recess so students can play with the 9 Dots interface. Details like adding a robot icon to the instruction page and using shapes and colors to visualize the functions they're coding keeps the interface intuitive for students. It also eases their transition into a math class where they might recognize why coordinates are necessary to plot a graph. On the back-end, teachers are able to track the progress of students in real-time and assist those stuck on an easier level who are hesitant to ask for help.
As you leave the classroom you notice a poster hangs on the wall reminding students that they can use CS as a superpower for art, sustainability, social justice, and more, it's not at all difficult to feel hopeful at our glimpse of the future.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We continue to be inspired by our grantees who are adapting, innovating, and championing their missions more than ever during this time.
Defy Ventures has paused its in-prison programs due to the California Department of Corrections restrictions on visitors at this time, but Defy's staff hasn't skipped a beat. The team has been able to connect with participants to continue with the EIT (“Entrepreneur-in-Training") curriculum, and has shifted to virtual meetings for post-release and community programs. In addition, they're starting virtual book clubs and launching a letter-writing campaign so that volunteers and post-release EITs can send words of encouragement to in-prison EITs.
Rise reallocated a small portion of its project budget to provide immediate shelter to 40 local college students living in their car or on the streets. The goal: to use the time in a temporary facility to find permanent housing for these students. Rise has also continued its work with local college student organizers, shifting from in-person to digital advocacy methods.
Rock the Vote moved its Census “Create-a-thon" to an innovative digital gathering. Fortunately, the “Create-a-thon" was all about expressing creativity through the use of digital tools and platforms. The kick-off and award ceremonies were conducted virtually while a Slack workspace was created so that participants and event organizers could share resources, announcements, and questions about the Census in real time.
The Street Vendor Coalition responded swiftly to alleviate the negative economic impact of COVID-19 on local micro-businesses and their workers. The coalition created the Street Vendor Emergency Fund to raise the money needed to provide $400 in direct cash assistance to vendors who are unable to access government assistance.
The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's coordinated an alternative to its in-home caregiving model given concerns around older adults and COVID-19. The program, “E-Meal," will combat isolation by setting up virtual dinner meetings via phone or video to connect YMAA's volunteers with older adults. Not only does E-Meal encourage social interaction, but it also gives older adults a venue to express their need for resources.
The Natural History Museum has closed its local museums and paused all in-person programming. But NHM's Community Science team is accustomed to using creative, mobile methods to encourage Angelenos to explore nature on their own. One example: the upcoming 2020 City Nature Challenge, an international effort to mobilize people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe using their own smartphones and cameras.
826LA is continuing to provide its free tutoring, writing workshops, and support services to students, teachers, and families both online and over the phone. 826LA was motivated to make the shift to virtual methods in part because of the team's belief that storytelling can be a powerful tool in difficult times. See 826LA's digital resource hub for families here.
Harlem Lacrosse adapted proactively to the challenges faced by students, families, and teachers due to COVID-19. Program Directors served as “Resource Catalysts" to disseminate information from schools about virtual learning, meal distribution, and more. Meanwhile, the Leadership Team created virtual platforms and streamlined curricula to continue delivering academic support, athletic training, and social-emotional learning virtually. Some activities: live workouts, lacrosse jeopardy games, and an age-appropriate discussion on the coronavirus.
9 Dots has designed new remote learning options for its Get Coding and Academy students and will be offering webinar lessons to a full grade level at a time. 9 Dots is also launching this year's CS Education Heroes awards as a virtual campaign by soliciting videos from the community about why CS education and teachers are so important.
One thing we're really thankful for during this time is the truly wide variety of content that's available online to keep our spirits up and our minds open. We've put together 8 of our top picks that we're excited to share!
Looking for ways to stay engaged while self-isolating? Check out some of the resources we've come across that can help you live, learn, play, connect, and create from the great indoors.
For more resources in response to COVID-19, check out our article compiling all the local resources we're aware of.
If you know of other resources, please submit them through this form.