2021 Grants Challenge

Project:Camp Pop-up Day Camps

Idea by Project:Camp

Project:Camp sets up pop-up day camps to support children, parents, and their communities in the wake of disaster. We work with community partners to launch pop-up day camps when disaster strikes and to prepare them to launch their own pop-up day camps in preparation for future disasters.


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

County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Disaster response infrastructure is not designed for children; evacuee shelters are simply not a great place to be a kid. Disasters have been increasing in frequency and severity. The year 2020 was the sixth consecutive year with 10 or more billion-dollar disasters in the United States. Yet disaster response was not designed to support the needs of children. The National Risk Index (FEMA) shows communities that are least equipped to respond to disaster also tend to be the same communities with increased rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), or traumatic experiences that can lead to long-term stress and poor health outcomes in children. Communities need a way to support the mental health of children, while providing space for parents to rebuild their lives. California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris calls for long-term investments in community care to build resilience in the face of increasing disasters (Roadmap for Resilience)

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Project:Camp will use funding from LA 2050 to build our capacity to work with communities to both prepare pop-up camps prior to disaster and to launch camps when disasters strike. We will convene community members to discuss preparing resources for children and families in the event of future disasters. This funding will also be used to increase our capacity to train volunteers and community leaders by engaging in further outreach and hosting more training events. Support from LA 2050 will also help us tell our story, developing our website and social media presence to amplify this work and the need to invest in it prior to disaster instead of waiting for it to strike. As well, though currently a fiscally sponsored organization with an Advisory Board, we are currently enlisting the first members of our Board of Directors and are working with Cooley LLP pro bono to apply for our own 501(c)3 nonprofit status. We will use funding from JVPF to support our strategic planning, including developing fundraising and organization structure to ensure Project:Camp’s stability and success moving forward.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 250

Indirect Impact: 500

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Our vision is that all children have a safe and joyful space during a disaster. Our goals are to increase the capacity of community organizations across Los Angeles County to provide pop-up day camps in the event of future disasters. We will build a network of trained volunteers to support pop-up camps. We will identify and sign on sites across the county that are willing and able to be used to host camps when the need arises. We will also convene community groups and their members to work with parents to have these resources ready in the event of disaster. The vision is for Project:Camp to be the experts in the room on providing an adaptable, trauma-informed camp model and the resources to train volunteers and run camp. We can then work with community partners to adapt this work to fit the needs and cultures of the communities that we are supporting.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Success means that there are preparations in place across the county to support children and their families when regular child care services are disrupted. We will be able to show the support given to children by providing the amount of campers per day we can serve and the amount of hours and days that parents have to return to work or rebuild their lives in response to disaster. We will map out resources to support this work across the county, enlisting sites pre-arranged to host camps, summer camps that can provide volunteers and connect with parents and potential campers. Project:Camp will connect the dots and provide the network needed to link together sites, volunteers, and families to focus these resources in the event of a disaster.

Which of the PLAY metrics will you impact?​

Prevalence of trauma and adverse childhood experiences

Perceived neighborhood safety