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connect / 2021

The HOPE Project - helping families heal through mental health access.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by South Central LAMP

South Central LAMP serves low-income and immigrant families that have little to no access to mental health services. The Hope Project aims to provide trauma-informed, culturally-responsive mental health and supportive services (including family advocacy, parenting classes, case management and childcare) to children and families in South Central Los Angeles.


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

  • South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

South Central LAMP serves immigrant families facing language and cultural barriers, food insecurity, unreasonable rent increases pacing them at risk of homelessness, and limited access to physical and mental health care. These stressors place the mothers we serve at higher risk for mental health issues such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. The pandemic has placed additional challenges on our families. Many of our families are undocumented and cannot access government relief; many work in environments where they are at risk of infection; others have suffered job loss and are struggling to pay rent; and others have tragically lost the family’s head of household or sole income earner due to Covid19. As a result, more families are struggling with grief, anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation. Sadly, cultural stigmas and years of living in fear of deportation often stop our families from seeking mental health services. So, we are seeking to address these challenges in our community.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Since 1993, South Central LAMP has engaged an underserved and hard-to-reach community through a Family Literacy Program that engages immigrant mothers and their children ages 0-5 in an integrated 3-year curriculum that includes Parenting Education and Family Advocacy, English as a Second Language, Early Childhood Education that incorporates STEM education, and Parent-Child Interactive Literacy Activities. We also provide a weekly food distribution, free educational workshops, and developmental screenings for children in partnership with the LA Regional Center. Since the onset of the pandemic, South Central LAMP has continued to provide Early Childhood Education and ESL lessons through Class Dojo, allowed more parents to connect during zoom classes by providing them with iPads with modems, and remained in contact with our families to provide mental health support. We also continued to work with Partners for Children South LA to ensure effective and efficient linkage to local services for families with children ages 0-5, and offered food and basic needs essentials to the community at large each week. South Central LAMP is considered a haven for many of our families, and with your support, we can provide trauma-informed, culturally-responsive mental health and supportive services (including family advocacy and case management) to better meet the needs of the children and families we already serve while increasing our support and impact the South Los Angeles community.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

300
Direct impact
1,000
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The 2017 Key Indicators of Health report lists South LA as the county’s highest percentage of households living in poverty, highest percentage of adults with less than a high school degree, and lowest percentage of children ages 0-5 who are read to daily. Within a 5 mile radius of our agency, 99% of immigrant families emigrated from Latin America and nearly 100% of the women we serve are new immigrants who speak little to no English and are not aware of, or are afraid to access, resources that will help them advocate for themselves or their children. Mental health stigmas often keep immigrant families from seeking help. But we know that negative preconceptions and myths can be dispelled through education and positive experiences. By providing mental health and support services at South Central LAMP, an agency they trust, we can change the way that parents see mental health and mental health treatment, thereby breaking the cycle of generational trauma through education and therapy.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

South Central LAMP’s parenting and family advocacy services focus primarily on the women and children in our morning program. To serve more families, we will implement an afternoon program that includes case management, parenting classes, family advocacy, and mental health workshops while also providing childcare and an after-school STEAM program for their children. Surveys and assessments are administered to measure each child’s developmental gains, improvement in the areas of maternal support of a child’s learning and development, and progress in adult literacy and language skills. Through Family Advocacy, mothers develop goals and create an action plan in the areas of personal/academic, parenting/family, and child/early childhood education. Their progress is assessed throughout the year and the Family Advocate helps them overcome any obstacles. This close personal engagement contributes to our high program retention rate, which is consistently 90% and higher.

Which of the connect metrics will you impact?​

  • Social and emotional support
  • Immigrant integration
  • Enrollment in afterschool programs
  • Early education enrollment
  • Proficiency in STEM

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the best place to LEARN