play / 2015

Bresee’s Safe Place to Play for over 2500 Youth and Families in Central Los Angeles

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by P.F. Bresee Foundation

Bresee is seeking to transform its underutilized parking lot into a state-of-the-art multi-sport court and a hub for safe family-based community programming. Bresee’s Safe Place to Play Multi-Sport Court will provide over 2,500 youth and families in Central Los Angeles with healthy physical activity, safe alternatives to gang involvement, and positive youth development experiences.


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

  • Central LA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following “Play” metrics?

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
  • Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods
  • Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to play.

Bresee will make LA the best place to play by transforming an underutilized parking lot into a state-of-the-art multi-sport facility. Bresee’s Safe Place to Play Multi-Sport Court will provide over 2,500 youth and families in Central Los Angeles with healthy physical activity, safe alternatives to gang involvement, and positive youth development. Bresee’s two side-by side sport courts will be used for basketball, soccer, adult community leagues, zumba classes, and community events.

Bresee serves people living in Central Los Angeles. President Obama recently identified Bresee’s underserved urban area as one of the first five national “Promise Zones,” due to the high level of economic need. Youth in Bresee’s Central Los Angeles Sports programs face underperforming schools with dropout rates at 40%, high rates of gang violence and drug use (with youth indicating that they “often face intimidation from gang members”) and 60% of individuals are overweight or obese. Understanding the value of sports in preventing childhood obesity, protecting students from gang involvement, and teaching important lessons in teamwork and character, Bresee’s program offers a variety of free services to youth and adults, with an emphasis on youth development

By transforming Bresee’s underutilized parking lot into a state-of-the-art multi-sport facility, Bresee will provide over 2,500 youth and families with:

  1. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND COMPETITIVE LEAGUES: Over 600 youth (ages 11-18) will be trained through ongoing competitive soccer and basketball leagues and recreational sports. Students will not only improve their athletic skills and physical health but also learn character, discipline and sportsmanship.
  2. ADULT LEAGUES: Bresee will foster healthy community among 140 local adults through evening league play.
  3. LAFC YOUTH LEADERSHIP ACADEMY: Bresee will replicate its successful South Los Angeles LAFC program at its Central Los Angeles community center. LAFC is a unique partnership between the Los Angles Police Department 77th Division, schools, non-profits, and collegiate/professional soccer players. Bresee’s Central LA LAFC will train and mentor 15 at-risk high schoolers to conduct soccer training and organize soccer clinics for over 300 neighborhood youth annually.
  4. FAMILY EVENTS: Bresee will provide 1,000 family members with free activities (movie nights, zumba) that increase interaction between family members of different generations.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Bresee’s Athletics Director, Sports Coordinator, and LAFC Director evaluate work through maintaining attendance using Bresee’s customized internal database, administering pre-/post-tests, collecting report cards, and collecting testimonials showing qualitative impact. Relevant data is reviewed quarterly to ensure progress and completion of objectives.

However, the true measure of Bresee’s success will be the youth who overcome risk factors, pursuing their education, achieving their potential and learning the value of service. Carlos, a 12 year old who was struggling in school but fell in love with soccer at Bresee, exemplifies this: “Bresee’s soccer program taught me the pillars of character: responsibility, respect, citizenship, caring, fairness, and trustworthiness. I began using them at home, school and Bresee. Bresee taught me how to work hard to achieve my goals. My goals are to go to college, become a soccer player, and be a good role model to my five siblings.”

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Network/relationship support