In the Making: Framing the Future of Los Angeles

This spring, In the Making (ITM) will launch its flagship boutique in East Los Angeles. Our primary staff and stakeholders are low-income youth and youth transitioning out of foster care. ITM provides wraparound services through our "E3 Leadership" program, prioritizing 1)employment 2)empowerment and 3)entrepreneurship. Additionally, we host community events and provide in-kind donations to a plethora of non-profits, schools, and those who directly serve the homeless population in LA.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine, LAUSD, LA County Workforce Programs MCS and AYE.

Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

Once upon a time, in the heart of East LA, there was a little girl named Maribel, who liked to dream all day. Her mother would always say "go to sleep, so you can dream" but this didn't stop Maribel; just hurt her self-esteem. Although Maribel grew up in more of a house than a home, she was determined to one day create a version of her own. As an adult she found a plot, and seed by seed was sown, little did she know it was a path towards something set in stone. Eventually this community gathering space was named "In the Making", as it was constantly evolving into something more groundbreaking.

Her goodhearted vibe attracted a hardworking tribe.

Paulette and Ed managed operations and finances, while Cindy got volunteers involved, including those who needed second or third chances. Jeanette and Jewelz coordinated logistics and managed social media handles,

Little by little, ITM was igniting sparks of curiosity like a well-lit candle.

'Twas a magical day when Hayley arrived. She saw Maribel's vision right away and had never felt more alive! Keisha and Martin helped Hayley visually tell their tale, describing how this partner-SHIP was about to set sail.

She admired ITM for pioneering good work before getting paid.

Because of that, she wanted to share their story, naturally becoming their development aide. Bridging her passion for public health, with entrepreneurship and innovation, ITM was the perfect place to work and lead through incubation.

Hayley and Maribel are one and the same, as both of their passions burned bright through dark times, guiding them like an internal flame.

They marveled at how the organization had already grown, watering those very seeds that little Maribel had sown. What came to life was a safe space for low-income and foster youth, to gather in one place and learn how to speak their truth. Now on a path towards financial freedom and feeling so empowered, our youth are beginning to blossom into beautiful spring flowers. To bring the program to its full potential we need lights, and pipes, and more. We are just getting ready to launch our brand new ITM store! We can see the vivid vision of a more vibrant LA, In the Making is creating a better place to learn, connect, and play!

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your submission impact?​​

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings

Rates of volunteerism

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

East LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


How will your project make LA the best place to CONNECT?

We are a community gathering space in East Los Angeles dedicated to enhancing and improving the lives of everyone we meet. Our 501(c)3 organization, In the Making (ITM), is a dynamic 21st-century community-based resource center with multidimensional partnerships including several non-profits, faith-based organizations, schools, and local government officials. We cater to a multicultural, multi-age community providing items ranging from clothing to school supplies to toiletries, either at no cost or for prices that reflect the community's ability to pay. Through paid internships in partnership with Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services (AYE) and Managed Career Solutions Inc. (MCS), we are working to empower and employ our most vulnerable populations, youth who are at risk for homelessness and their families.

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness reported that about one in ten young adults ages 18 to 25, and about one in 30 adolescents ages 13 to 17, experience some form of unaccompanied homelessness over the course of a year. Additionally, California accounted for 58% of unsheltered unaccompanied youth, with 33% of California’s foster youth currently residing in LA County (USICH 2017).

At age 19, more than 60% of foster youth are unemployed (CASA of Los Angeles). Additionally, less than 50% of foster youth graduate from high school and only 3% graduate from college (CASA for Los Angeles).

In 2018, we generated a steady revenue stream through our Community Treasure events and pop-ups as we prepare to launch our boutique this spring. We donate in-kind resources to our partner organizations who directly serve those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row and other vulnerable populations throughout LA county. Our paid internship program is complemented by wraparound navigation services to foster youth as they transition towards financial independence. These are all vital parts of how we connect to the surrounding community and beyond.

Key technical, commercial, team, and financial milestones for (FY1) 2019 are:

* Developing a sponsorship kit and continuing web development

* Installing shade infrastructure for the parking lot to protect against extreme weather conditions

* Hiring two part-time staff members, increasing the # of paid interns, increasing volunteer recruitment

* Practicum program development, working with marketing staff to increase engagement

* Launch our boutique and also our capital campaign, diversify donation stream

FY(2) 2020:

* Strengthen social media marketing and increase online engagement in our e-commerce platforms

* Modify the existing bathroom so it is handicap accessible

* Building out current space to include a community fitness studio requiring flooring, mirrors, equipment

* Establishing satellite food pantry/kitchen

* Recruiting bloggers, designers, artists, students

* Providing trauma-informed training for all staff and volunteers

* Establishing revenue from boutique & studio

In what stage of innovation is this project?​

Post-pilot (testing an expansion of concept after initially successful pilot)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Our metrics encompass the values of our social impact enterprise. For our leadership program, key program evaluation metrics for success will be the number of youth enrolled in our paid internship program, percentage of youth who obtain a high school diploma while in our program, the duration of their employment with ITM, percentage of participants enrolled in college and/or vocational training, and percentage of participants employed after their ITM internship. Additionally, the number of volunteers and the number of collaborations with other organizations are key to our organization's mission.

Our partnership with USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine and access to key health system navigators will lend credibility to our organization as well as provide a critical lens for understanding how our community work fits in the larger framework of public health and prevention of youth homelessness in LA county. Major themes in which we will continue to measure our growth include adults getting sufficient social & emotional support, rates of volunteerism within the organization, as well as attendance at our public events.

Additionally, with $100,000 of start-up funds to advance us from post-pilot to expanding existing operations, we can begin to cover capital improvements that are currently preventing us from opening our store. With the stimulus of partnering with LA2050 and winning this challenge, our projections for 2019 show a growth rate of 275.48%, with a net efficiency ratio of 39%, generating a sum total revenue of $245,000. We are excited about this wonderful partnership opportunity and how we can work together with LA2050 to make LA the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live.