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2022 Grants Challenge

Critical Item & Transition Housing Support

Casa serves young, homeless pregnant women in crisis pregnancies, providing each resident with a safe, secure, compassionate and structured living environment. We offer classes and programs that impact their lives going forward with their newborn. We give residents an opportunity to feel safe, to have and keep their babies and to be supported and empowered through demanding academic, professional and emotional Instruction. These skill sets build the confidence needed for their families to have a happy and economically satisfying life.

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What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Housing and Homelessness

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

South Bay

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Casa de los Angelito helps young women acquire vital knowledge and skills for parenting and independent living while acknowledging the stresses of pregnancy. Our work reinforces the understanding that despite obstacles, young mothers who are homeless or face housing instability, can lead happy, fulfilled, productive lives with proper support, community awareness, and training/education. With deep community roots, Casa de los Angelitos maintains partnerships with local institutions, key stakeholders and integral relationships with families. Working in tandem to support these young and expecting mothers, we ensure that their infants have the resources and supplies to grow healthy as their mothers work to secure their future. Our critical item distribution program gives access to basic items like diapers, wipes, clothing, formula and more. This program serves as an entryway to our other services including parenting workshops, financial literacy training and employment search support.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Breaking the vicious cycle of the “Revolving Door of Pregnancy and Homelessness” is the underlying goal of Casa de los Angelitos. Casa admits young, pregnant women in crisis pregnancies who are not only homeless, but have also experienced domestic violence and have nowhere to go. We provide each resident with a safe, secure, compassionate and structured living environment in a private home located in a residential area in Harbor City in Los Angeles County. Each resident needs to learn many practical and emotional skills. Casa offers the residents classes and programs that will impact their lives going forward with their newborn. Pre and Post-Natal Classes are provided by nurses, in addition to Nutrition and Cooking Instruction. Critical are the Domestic Violence Course – a 10-Week program with certification; Psychological Counseling- Individual and Group Services with certified, paid counselors; and Budgeting and Time Management Classes. Two of the critical skill sets the residents need to be taught are impulse control and self-esteem. Funding from this grant will enable us to add more classes taught by professionals, including additional psychological counseling, financial literacy classes, and life coaching. We need to update the teaching materials for domestic violence instruction and spiritual counseling. This grant would allow Casa to expand our program, empowering residents to make good decisions that allow her and her child to have a happy, deeply satisfying life.

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

Casa is the only shelter of its kind in the South Bay/Harbor City area that accepts pregnant women who have reported histories of childhood abuse, neglect and/or domestic violence. Casa strives to change the lives of Hispanic, African-American, Filipino/Asian, poor Caucasian women and migrants of various backgrounds who have been told all their lives what they cannot do because of their racial, ethnic, or economic status. The barriers are many, and they are systemic. Casa’s 5 bedroom home is located in a residential neighborhood in Harbor City just minutes from hospitals, schools, churches, etc. Being a part of a residential neighborhood provides a family atmosphere where the women make meals together and compare notes on pregnancy and their hopes and dreams for the future. Breaking the vicious cycle of pregnancy and homelessness restores our residents’ dignity and productivity, giving them a path forward and improving the social fabric of our community.

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

Our work makes a significant difference in the quality of life of those often forgotten. Since its inception in 1986, Casa de los Angelitos has been a safe haven to over 800 homeless, pregnant women between the ages of 18-40. We have the capacity to house 10 women at a time, and typically host an average of 75 women annually. Casa anticipates daily progress as the residents assimilate into the Casa community, with each resident evaluated regularly to make sure she is on track. The data we collect is individually based on the success of each resident while living at Casa. We measure impact through mobile and digitally distributed surveys. We deem our efforts successful when our participants are in a stable place, and are able to rebuild their lives. Our outcomes are beginning to show that our model has a profound impact on our families’ growth in communities where individuals have struggled for high-quality resources and proper and effective support services.

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

Direct Impact: 20

Indirect Impact: 20