Last year, KYCC was selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of the 2018-19 Citi Foundation Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in their communities. KYCC joins a group of 40 nonprofit leaders from Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C.
The mid-point convening for this cohort of the Community Progress Makers was held in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. KYCC staff members toured through the construction of Los Angeles LGBT Center’s stunning new Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood. Los Angeles LGBT Center’s revolutionary new building will include 99 units of affordable housing for seniors, 100 beds for homeless youth, new senior and youth centers and ground floor retail space.
“The Community Progress Makers Fund will allow us to design the service integration model and build the capacity of our social workers to enhance the impact of our services on our youth and their families.” Johng Ho Song, Executive Director of KYCC.
KYCC’s Director of Community Economic Development Services, Rick Kim, introduced Koreatown Youth and Community Center and all the ways KYCC is working to help families cope with the financial complexities of living in Los Angeles. Julio Barahona, KYCC’s Menlo Youth Services Coordinator, introduced our affordable housing unit Menlo Family Apartments, which provides housing for transition-aged youth, formerly homeless families and families with a history of mental illness. KYCC also provides wraparound services on-site to residents at Menlo Family Apartments that include counseling, life skills training, financial literacy and even parenting courses. Antoine Walker, current resident of Menlo Family Apartments, spoke about the impact KYCC has had on his life and all the ways KYCC goes beyond a home.
“A lot of people aren’t used to services or people putting their hands out because people are prideful. It’s a mindset that has to be broken over time. I was very guarded as I came into KYCC. But they reached out and kept reaching out. They were persistent. Having that ability to reach out to people and to connect is definitely the key. KYCC has that component and that compassion for people.” stated Antoine Walker, current resident of KYCC’s affordable housing unit Menlo Family Apartments.
In 2016-2017, the inaugural cohort of Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers helped more than 14,700 low-income individuals secure financial assets; built over 10,500 affordable housing units; strengthened more than 1,100 small businesses; and connected 1,800 young people to jobs in their communities.