The Youth Police Institute (YPI) has opened a FamilySource center in Hollywood, aiming to end generational poverty in the area by serving as a resource for low-income families.
On Wednesday, YPI opened its Hollywood location in a shopping center on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Western Avenue. Several city and county officials attended, as well as representatives of Citibank, whose community development department recently donated $150,000 to YPI’s college savings program.
“We are thrilled to have a FamilySource center located in the heart of Hollywood,” YPI executive director Dixon Slingerland said.
According to the new location’s calendar, YPI officials are diving right in, offering literacy classes, a resource fair, tutoring, cultural arts classes, parenting classes, movie matinees for children and more.
“This center is a one-stop shop for families in the community,” Slingerland said, adding that more than 35 percent of families in Hollywood live in poverty.
He said YPI has 125 sites in Los Angeles with 1,200 staff members. The organization operates three schools and partners with 80 others. In all, the organization serves 50,000 youth and families annually, Slingerland said.
The center’s main two goals are raising family income and increasing academic achievement, he said. Through a partnership with Citibank, YPI is helping families save for college, offering matched savings accounts to 1,300 families, Slingerland said.
“It’s really a wonderful partnership,” he added. “This is about providing an alternative to families.”
Through another partnership that was announced Wednesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will be “co-locating” full-time staff members — a pupil services and attendance coordinator, and a psychiatric social worker — at the new location in Hollywood, Slingerland said.
“It’s really exciting,” he said, adding that adult education courses will be offered as well.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said Hollywood is the focal point for social issues in the county. He praised YPI’s efforts to make a difference in people’s lives.
“It’s all about changing a kid’s trajectory,” Yaroslavsky said. “If you haven’t made a difference in someone else’s life, you haven’t made a difference in your life.”
Bob Annibale, the global director of Citibank’s community development department, said YPI is a holistic program that is fully integrated. He said it was pleasing to offer families additional resources to get their children in college.
“But we’ve got to get them through,” Annibale said. “The next challenge is getting them through and graduating.”
Kingsley Elementary School Principal Renee Fuentes-Campa said YPI has hosted many programs, including financial courses and nutrition classes at her elementary school. She suggested that YPI could only be of more benefit by opening a site in the area.
“You’re doing a great thing for the community,” Fuentes-Campa said.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, 13th District, said YPI is the city’s lead partner and is a model for the city and nation. He said YPI has done an extraordinary job on the city’s “frontlines.”
“As great as the LAPD has been … putting this here is the safest thing we could do,” Garcetti said.
The center’s resource fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the new site. Residents will be able to inquire about employment support, tutoring information, tax preparation and more of YPI’s offerings. The new location is at 1075 N. Western Ave., Suite 110. For information, call (323)836-0055 or visit www.ypiusa.org.
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