play / 2015

Play for Life in South LA

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by A Place Called Home

Through LA2050, APCH will help beautify our South Los Angeles neighborhood, improve fitness and wellbeing, expand opportunities for education, and encourage broader horizons and a sense of community by engaging all residents, young and old. APCH believes that your zip code should not define your future; through our innovative, wrap-around services we will provide thousands of children and families in the 90011 area with safe spaces to play and thrive.


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

  • Central LA
  • South LA
  • City of Los Angeles

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

  • Engage residents and stakeholders

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
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

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

From its humble beginnings over 22 years ago, APCH has evolved from an afterschool drop-in program in the basement of a church to a community center representing 25,000 square feet, including an athletic field, commercial kitchen, garden and dance studio. We serve an annual average of 900 boys and girls from more than 100 elementary, middle and high schools in South Los Angeles.

At APCH we believe that zip code should not determine a child’s future, so we offer a comprehensive array of free programs spanning academics, athletics, the arts, and more with the goal of enriching our members’ lives and helping them become excited to learn and grow. We propose to:

Create Opportunities to Play - Our South Central neighborhood currently lacks safe places for children to play. Through our totally free programming and open membership process we create healthy avenues for activity and joy. We plan to expand the South Central Sports League, which we founded and currently facilitate. This League provides an opportunity for hundreds of youth from APCH and partner organizations to play competitive sports in a supportive environment completely free of charge. We also offer 125 enriching field trips throughout the year, including sailing camp, horseback riding, sporting events, and more.

Expand Safe Places to Play- An important part of encouraging play and community is providing safe spaces for local residents to gather. APCH has already built two community gardens, in addition to our on-site garden, and will continue to expand by building a new, even larger garden over the coming year. Our vision is for a “Green Corridor” linking APCH, the Newton Division Police Station, and Jefferson High School. We will also increase the number of community clean ups we coordinate throughout the year (currently averaging six per year), helping to create a physically pleasing neighborhood that will inspire pride and active ownership.

Engage the Community in Change- For our plans to be successful, all community members must be aware of, equipped for, and able to participate in the opportunities available. By building on our existing relationships, APCH will generate awareness and participation in community change. This will be accomplished through parental education workshops held at APCH, regular stakeholder meetings, our annual community events including the Health & Garden Expo, and the distribution of nearly $1 million in groceries, toys, books, and more.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We will monitor this proposal’s progress by tracking the number of community members taking advantage of our services and community spaces and through pre and post surveys given during the beginning and end of key projects and events. These surveys will gauge residents’ knowledge of local services and resources, satisfaction with our programs, as well as their perspectives on and involvement in the neighborhood.

All APCH youth members are also tracked through KidTrax, a performance measurement and participant management software designed specifically for youth-serving nonprofit organizations.

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

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research