Poverty is a significant issue faced by many children in California and many of those children reside in Los Angeles. Across the state of California over 2 million children lived in poverty last year, a number that accounts for almost one-quarter of the population of children within the state.
While not all children who live in poverty are homeless, there are many that must spend their nights with families at shelters or on the streets, with many calling the area known as Skid Row their home. It is because of this that support for organizations that provide youth programs are so very important to me. Hands for Hope is one of the organizations in North Hollywood that provide a safe atmosphere for children to learn and play and flourish.
Hope for Hands was founded in 2000 and since that time has provided both after-school and single parent resource programs. H4H predominately assists and serves low-income and minority youth, a necessary service given that approximately 34.3% of African-American children and 30.8% of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2011 compared to 10.3% of Caucasian children.
Hands for Hope offers several programs designed for different ages and needs including:
- Youth Program – This service is designed for children ranging in age from 8 to 14 and provides academic assistance, education on how to live a healthy lifestyle, exploration of the arts, and development of life skills for 4 hours Monday through Thursday.
- Teen Program – Those aged 15 to 21 can participate in programs and activities aimed directly at their needs including education regarding driver safety, planning for college and a career, achieving financial literacy, and receiving advanced level tutoring during the hours of 4:30 to 7:00pm Monday through Thursday.
- Single Parent Programs – Three times a year Hands for Hope holds a resource fair for single parents where topics such as child support and mediation, career development, returning or enrolling in college, completing a GED program, and fixing credit ratings have been discussed.
Hands for Hope has done a great deal of good in the lives of many children and teens in the last 12 years, which is why Michael Omidi and I support Hands for Hope and hope that you will too.
By Julian Omidi