THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF THE LOS ANGELES HARBOR SUPPORTS COUNTY’S PUBLIC HOUSING COMMUNITY AMID PANDEMIC
Partnership Offers Youth with Academics Assistance and Provides Weekly Food Distributions to Larger Community
May 14, 2021 – Since January 2020, the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA), with support from Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn, has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor (Boys & Girls Club) to provide onsite services to residents at the Harbor Hills Public Housing community. Located in Lomita, the Harbor Hills Public Housing community is the third largest public housing development operated by Los Angeles County, housing 744 residents, 31% of whom are between the ages of 6 and 17.
The Boys & Girls Club currently operates 20 sites, one of which includes a program for youth at the Harbor Hills Public Housing community. The partnership between the LACDA and Boys & Girls Club was kickstarted with an afterschool program and flourished during last year’s summer camp amid the pandemic, offering approximately 45 youth residents an opportunity to get active in athletics, creative in arts, and challenged with projects in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Youth were also supplied with snacks, lunch, and water. With the Stay at Home order in place, the Boys & Girls Club intensified health protocols with physical distancing practices and use of personal protective equipment to ensure youth were participating in the safest conditions. Youth participants were able to stay physically healthy and mentally stimulated in the onsite summer program.
As the academic year progressed, the Boys & Girls Club provided further support to residents with virtual programs and additional academic assistance for youth. Due to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued in February 2021, the Boys & Girls Club temporarily transitioned it’s in-person programming to Google Classrooms and hosted the Boys & Girls Club Living Room Bingo, an online community event which allowed the organization to strengthen its relationships with residents. After the resumption of in-person programming, youth participants were required to commit five days a week to the all-day program. Youth participants were assisted with logging into their online academic classes, completing assignments, and attending tutoring sessions. Since the reopening of the in-person program, staff members have been able to establish a relationship with academic instructors, and every youth participant has increased their school attendance, improved their grade point average, and are up-to-date with school assignments.
In addition, the Boys & Girls Club has also introduced the larger Harbor Hills Public Housing community to the Weekend Wellness Program, serving more than 75 families with 30 pounds of groceries every week. The groceries include canned foods, dairy products, cuts of meat, and vegetables. In understanding the unique needs and circumstances of the Harbor Hills residents, the Boys & Girls Club has encouraged community involvement, and supported residents during the pandemic.
“Time after time, we see that collaborative partnerships are successful when all actors share a mutual commitment to their mission – in this case, that’s promoting a good quality of life for our Harbor Hills residents,” said Emilio Salas, LACDA Executive Director. “I would like to express my gratitude to the Boys & Girls Club for their dedication to our youth and larger public housing community.”
“Unity has been a great factor in creating a safe and welcoming environment for our youth and community,” said Hilda Chacon, Boys & Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Regional Director. “This partnership with LACDA has brought a brighter future to the children we serve. We not only help them academically, but we provide the tools necessary to adopt positive choices and a sense of belonging. Thank you to the LACDA for allowing our organization, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor, to be part of the greater change!”
As COVID-19 cases continue to decline and the local school districts welcome back students into classrooms, the LACDA and Boys & Girls Club partnership will continue to assist residents and encourage youth to enhance their academic achievements and self-worth.
For more information on the LACDA’s programs, please view the agency’s brochure, LACDA Connected. For more information about the Boys & Girls Club programs, please contact Anthony Devine at (310) 831-0550 or ADevine@bgclaharbor.org.