Housing and Tenant Services in South LA

imageLos Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.
Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services believes that strong neighborhoods can be achieved through quality affordable housing options.  It offers financial education workshops to workshops in an attempt to curb foreclosures and provide financial independence for low-income families.  Los Angeles Neighborhood Services also lobbies for the development and maintenance of affordable housing in communities of need.

imageFair Housing Foundation
Founded in 1964, the Fair Housing Foundation seeks to end discrimination in housing and to provide equal access to housing options to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, socioeconomic group and any other characteristic protected by law.  It also provides services in dealing with tenant/landlord issues.  The Fair Housing Foundation serves South Los Angeles, Compton, Lynwood, Huntington Park, Bell and their surrounding communities.

imageBroadway South Neighborhood Revitalization Project
Broadway South is a collaborative effort by Beyond Shelter and the Beyond Shelter Housing Development Corporation to provide an affordable housing complexes in South Los Angeles.  The program not only offers Section 8 housing but also seeks to address the socioeconomic needs of its residents.  It currently has housing complexes on 74th and Main, 79th and Broadway and 51st and Broadway.

imageHousing Rights Center
The Housing Rights Center provides housing services to residents throughout Los Angeles County.  It combines legal action with educational services to end housing discrimination.  Telephone and in-person counseling for both tenants and landlords is available.

imageLos Angeles Community Action Network: L.A. Right to Housing Collective
The Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) engages in community and public policy activism in the South Los Angeles and Skid Row communities.  It’s Right to Housing Collective advocates for tenants’ rights at City Hall.  Among the Right to Housing Collective’s latest action was a protest outside of Councilmember Wesson’s office demanding changes to the city’s rent-control laws.   

Afterschool Programs in South LA

imageThe Children’s Collective, Inc.
The Children’s Collective, Inc. provides comprehensive educational and support services to 4,000 South Los Angeles students.  Founded in 1972, its 18 locations feature programs ranging from childcare to afterschool tutoring.  Fees for services are dependant on family income, and most families participate in the programs free of charge.

imageThe First Tee of South Los Angeles
The First Tee of South Los Angeles uses the game of golf to teach life skills.  It offers the First Tee Life Experience course, which emphasizes the need to maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity.  The cost of the 8-week session is $50 for the first member of a household, $25 for the second member and free for any additional members.  The fee covers training, equipment, a uniform and any field trips or outings.

imageLA’s Best
LA’s Best was established in 1988 by Mayor Tom Bradley to address the lack of afterschool programs in Los Angeles.  It serves 28,000 elementary school kids at the schools with the lowest tests scores in the city.  Activities range from tutoring to arts and crafts and physical education games.

imageHeart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
Based out of the LaFayette Park Recreation Center, the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) afterschool program introduces youth to a wide array of programs in academics, the arts and recreation.  By partnering with the Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks Department, HOLA boasts access to a state-of-the-art turf soccer field and outdoor basketball courts.  It has also partnered with the LA Philharmonic to provide a youth orchestra program.  All activities and programs are free of charge.

Keeping Your Spending Plan Merry During the Holidays

Originally published in Prominence Magazine.

Nothing can blow that spirit of goodwill like taking a look at your credit card statements after the holidays. Here are a few tips to keep you merry this holiday season.

imageDecide who’s in
Think about your usual holiday spending pattern and decide who you would like to consider in your holiday gift giving. You get to choose how you spend your money. Don’t let anyone force your hand.

Open up a holiday account
I would guess that you have an amount you’d like to spend when you think about holiday shopping. Instead of waiting until October/November to start planning your budget, why not open a “holiday account” at your local credit union or bank? Add a specific amount every month and you’ll find that when the holidays arrive, you’ll be sitting pretty without going into debt. It may be too late this year, but it’s never too early to plan for Christmas 2011.

Shop online
There are many good discounts to be had online. Shop early and check prices often. Sign up for online notifications from manufacturers and/or businesses that have a tendency to offer good sales. A great place to find deals is www.SlickDeals.Net; check the forums.

Shop clearance
Check out the clearance page from the manufacturer you want to purchase from. Also, stop by the page for refurbished items if you’re purchasing electronics. Almost every business from designer clothes to cars has to get rid of older stock. Savings of 50% are common.

Follow these tips and you’ll be thrilled to watch your loved ones open their gifts knowing that you won’t regret any of your purchases.

imageShay Olivarria is a financial educator, speaker, and the author of Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook and 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money. Visit her at www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.

WORKSHOP: Empowerment through community journalism and social media

The Internet has drastically changed the media landscape. With the accessibility of information, the ease of self-publishing and the decreasing cost of technology, the power to provide voice to a community is being handed back to citizens themselves. Mainstream media outlets have traditionally reported from a top-down perspective: coming into a community as outsiders, and covering it as such. But residents have many advantages when it comes to community reporting, including expertize, personal investment and passion, as well as a heightened ability to gain trust.

In this workshop, residents are given an overview of the purpose of citizen journalism and the tools available.