Nonprofit Spotlight: Esperanza Community Housing Corporation

Intersection’s Nonprofit Spotlight series profiles South L.A. organizations that are propelling positive change in South L.A. Here we look at Esperanza Community Housing Corporation — a 25-year-old group helping people to create communities for themselves where they can thrive.

Mercado la Paloma |

Mercado la Paloma |

What is Esperanza Community Housing’s purpose?

Esperanza seeks to create opportunities for community residents’ growth, security, participation, recognition, and ownership through developing and preserving affordable housing, promoting accessible health care, stimulating involvement in arts and culture, ensuring quality education, pursuing economic development, and advocating for progressive public policy.

When was Esperanza Community Housing founded? 1990

Which areas does Esperanza Community Housing serve? Figueroa Corridor

What services does Esperanza Community Housing provide? The organization provides a variety of programs around the core program areas of affordable, housing, health, economic development, environmental justice, and arts and culture. [Read more…]

State grant brings makeover to Figueroa Corridor

Listen to the audio story here:


Read the script here:

Figueroa Street links some of the area’s biggest attractions, from the coliseum to LA Live. But it is still seen as a way to get from point A to point B and not a destination.

“It’s like a freeway. It’s just a whole lot of people traveling through it at very busy, congested speeds, that really don’t take the time to see what amazing things are along it.”

That is Lillian Burkenheim who works for the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. She says residents and business owners are trying to change that. Her group just received $20 million from the state to renovate and improve Figueroa Street. They’re trying to make it friendlier for pedestrians, bikers and transit riders. They held workshops this week to ask locals how they are currently using the street and how they would improve it.

Burkenheim: “There’s a lot of people that walk Figueroa that take their bicycles along Figueroa, live along Figueroa and they’d like Figueroa to reflect a little bit of that. That it calm down a little bit, that there’s a little bit less car traffic on it, more opportunities for biking and walking and more places that people from the community feel like they would like to come and hang out.”

Burkenheim says improvements will start around April of 2012.