O’Farrell Announces Historic Community Investment of $2.25 Million to Bresee Foundation
The investment in the non-profit community center – which serves low-income youth, adults, and families – is part of the redistribution and reinvestment of resources originally intended for LAPD
RAMPART VILLAGE — In a celebration featuring mariachis, local food, and hundreds of Angelenos, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell on Wednesday joined civic leaders and community partners to present the Bresee Foundation with a landmark $2.25 million funding allocation that will be invested in the non-profit’s comprehensive programming, which aims to empower and transform the lives of youth and families living in poverty in central Los Angeles. The funding is part of the $150 million originally allocated for LAPD that was re-distributed in the summer of 2020 to invest in underserved communities across Los Angeles.
“The work we began in 2020 to more thoughtfully and equitably distribute resources in Los Angeles is now coming to fruition,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “This investment represents our commitment to ensure that thousands of underserved Angelenos, especially our youth, have the support they need to lead long, productive, fulfilling lives that in turn benefit all of society. We care about you and we believe in you, because we believe in this great city, its amazing potential, and your place in it.”
“When we invest in young people with skills, resources, and relationships, they thrive,” said Seth Eklund, executive director, Bresee. “This incredible investment will allow Bresee to serve thousands of Angelenos, transforming lives in the process. We are grateful to Councilmember O’Farrell and the City of Los Angeles for partnering with us to make a positive impact on so many people.”
Bresee, now in its 40th year, works to battle poverty by empowering youth and families in Los Angeles with a comprehensive and diverse slate of resources and services including: after-school education, social services, mental health counseling, gang prevention, job training, English as a Second Language, food distribution, housing resources, and more. Bresee also operates as an official Family Source Center in partnership with the City of Los Angeles.
Each year, Bresee serves 2500 adults, 900 middle and high school students, and 100 at-risk youth in central Los Angeles, an area that is home to 44,000 people per square mile, the densest community west of the Mississippi. All Bresee clients are considered low-income based on federal standards, and 97% of youth and families are very low- or extremely low-income. 90% of Bresee’s service population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, and 5% identifies as Asian or Asian American. Many of the families Bresee serves are immigrants from Central America and lack proficiency in the English language. Fewer than 1% of Bresee clients are homeowners, compared to 46% of the general population in the Los Angeles metro area.
All of Bresee’s services are free of cost. The City’s $2.5 million investment will allow Bresee to assist over 10,000 youth and families over the next few years with its array of services.
“There is a crisis of poverty in Los Angeles, which this funding will help to address,” said Abigail Marquez, general manager, City of Los Angeles Community Investment in Families Department. “When we partnered with Councilmember O’Farrell on the 2019 summit on poverty, we had programs like this in mind. Breaking the cycle of poverty means investing in people, especially youth, and that’s what this opportunity will mean for thousands of lower-income families.”
“Here at Bresee, we take a hands-on, comprehensive approach to providing services, and we are proud of our partnerships with government, private philanthropy, corporate groups, professional sports, community partners, and volunteers,” said Rich Orosco, board chair, Bresee. “Bresee takes its mission seriously, and we are grateful to Councilmember O’Farrell and the City of Los Angeles for the resources to extend our mission and help even more Angelenos.”
“The programming and services at Bresee put me on a path to success and stability,” said Maria Flores, Bresee scholarship recipient and program alumna. “Over the next few years and beyond, these resources will help so many people in so many different ways. It is inspiring to know that the City of Los Angeles is committed to providing even more Angelenos with the life-changing opportunities that were made available to me.”