Nonprofit Spotlight: A Place Called Home (APCH)

APCH members run in the 2014 Jive Live New Year's Race. | APCH Facebook

APCH members run in the 2014 Jive Live New Year’s Race. | APCH Facebook

Intersection’s Nonprofit Spotlight series profiles South L.A. organizations that are propelling positive change in South L.A.


A Place Called Home provides children in South L.A. educational programs, counseling and mentorship.  By promoting creative expression and providing specialized tutoring programs, APCH helps builds a bridge towards success for many South L.A. youth. Charyn Harris, who leads APCH’s music programs, answered a survey for us telling us more about the organization’s work.  

What is APCH’s purpose? APCH is a community partner that offers a safe haven to youth daily as well as resources to families.

When was APCH founded? The organization was founded in 1993 by Debrah Constance. It started with 12 youth members in a local church. Many of the youth were trying to escape involvement in the rampant gang activity that existed during that time. Debrah was extremely successful in working with them and many of the original members are now thriving.

Snapshot from APCH Garden Program sponsored by Chipotle | Photo Courtesy of APCH

Snapshot from APCH Garden Program sponsored by Chipotle | Photo Courtesy of APCH

Which areas does APCH serve? The community of South Los Angeles. It is located in Council District 9.What services does APCH provide? APCH offers free programming in creative expression (dance, music, art, digital media), fitness, nutrition, counseling, education (tutoring, Bridge to the Future for high school students) as well as classes for the parents of our members.  The agency further offers scholarship assistance to qualifying members. Every day student members receive healthy meals and snacks and we also provide food from time to time for families in need.

We also host several events to support the community: The Cinderella Project provides free prom dresses, suits and accessories to students attending prom; the Turkey Giveaway provides up to 900 turkeys and meals to the community; the community Thanksgiving Dinner feeds about 1000 community members; and our annual Toy Giveaway provides holiday gifts to at least 3,000 families. We also host Family Movie Nights and are active in local community leadership events.  This year over 200 of our families were adopted over the holidays during our Adopt a Family program.

What are APCH’s recent accomplishments? APCH recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and serves 250-350 youth per day. Our Shaheen Scholarship program has helped over 230 youth attain their goal of attending college. The agency is prominent in the beautification of South Los Angeles, having recently remodeled our facade. Our band is requested to perform throughout Los Angeles.  They have performed for the Farewell of former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, African American Heritage Month at City Hall and The Central Avenue Jazz Festival.

Video Courtesy of A Place Called Home Youtube Channel 

 What does APCH see as…

…top safety issues in South L.A.? Gang activity, youth being approached by gangs, robberies and tagging.

…top education issues in South L.A.? Many of the youth are struggling in school. APCH is doing its best to support them by providing tutoring, academic focus classes and activities to boost academic skills.

2014 Jive Live New Years Race | Photo Courtesy of APCH

2014 Jive Live New Years Race | Photo Courtesy of APCH

…top housing issues in South L.A.? Many homes are run down and barely inhabitable.  There is a lack of quality, affordable housing.

…top business issues in South L.A.? People are not typically attracted to shopping in the area. There are some great shops, however there is no uniformity in aesthetics, which can sometimes steer traffic. The community has benefited from the addition of the Fresh & Easy Market.  It is understood that the community will finally benefit from a pharmacy and a Starbucks.

In which areas could APCH use volunteers? The Leadership Council, mentoring, and parent involvement.

Affiliated programs: College Bound, Continuation High School, APCH Shaheen Scholarship.

Contact info: Charyn Harris, Conductor of Music Programs: (323) 238-2409, [email protected].

Social media: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Hours:  10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (business hours);  2 – 7 p.m. (member hours)

Address: 2830 S. Central Ave, Los Angeles 90011. (323) 232-7653

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