It was a welcome ceremony filled with feel-good music and community support on March 21 for the five nonprofits that now have a home base at the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Central Facilities Center (DHHS).
Sixth District Councilmember Dee Andrews, along with staff from the DHHS, formally introduced the nonprofits that will enhance and complement the already established health and human services for the neighboring community.
Andrews said the next focus to getting the added services recognized would be community outreach. “A lot of these individuals want to get the service done, but they don’t know where to go,” Andrews said. “Now they’re right in their own back yard.”
Ron Arias, department director for the DHHS, and Susan Price, manager for the Bureau of Community Health, worked closely with Andrews in the selection process, and each provided acknowledgments for the five organizations at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.“We all came together and came up with an aligned vision for how we were all going to work together to improve the community overall,” Price said. “It was very empowering to see them all come together in that way.”
The five nonprofits were selected through a questionnaire process, and the candidates whose services were felt best suited for the community were selected. “This can almost be a little one-stop community, and that’s really what we’re eventually trying to do,” Andrews said.
The newly added nonprofits include: the United Cambodian Community (UCC), which will provide mentoring, tutoring, youth leadership classes and translation services; New Generations, which will offer leadership, mentoring and sports programs for youth; St. Mary Medical Center, Families in Good Health/Educated Men with Meaningful Messages (EM3), which is a Southeast Asian male involvement program; A New Way of Life Re-entry Project, which is a program to support women and girls to lead healthy lives; and the First 5 L.A. program that was established to improve the health of children.
The DHHS center, located at 1133 St., was established to provide childcare services managed by the Long Beach Unified School District, public health services and community services. The five nonprofits will join the already existing Child Development Center, Helpline Youth Counseling, Inc; Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and the Sixth District City Council Field Office.
Andrews said the five nonprofits had already made their mark on the community long before the induction and now hopes that they’ll continue to grow at the center. “This program will help individuals get some kind of insight to say, ‘Look, all hope is not lost,’” Andrews said. “That’s what is really exciting.”