The challenges of poverty in LA County are deeply rooted and large-scale. At Specialty Family Foundation, we concentrate our philanthropic investments on core areas that address pressing challenges in underserved communities, provide clear pathways out of poverty, and offer significant potential for progress: Catholic education, housing, and substance use treatment and intervention.
Our commitment to inner-city Catholic education is founded on the belief that these schools can be powerful assets of poverty alleviation. Nevertheless, decades of enrollment and budget challenges make an undeniable case that the “model” or “paradigm” that has worked so well for at risk students for more than a century in Los Angeles must be adjusted to remain the relevant, solvent, impactful, and life-altering instruments of social good they seek to be. After a decade of seeking this type of change at the individual school level, SFF is now investing in systemic paradigm adjustments that, if effective, will set up all low-income-serving Catholic schools in the region for greater success, growth, and vitality for theses populations that depend on them as a powerful neighborhood option in the educational landscape. SFF is grateful for the vision and hopeful audacity of its primary systemic partners in Catholic education. SFF supports bold leaders who see the space of Catholic education through a similar lens and have plans to take significant steps in how Catholic schools are governed, financed, staffed and diversified in their programmatic offerings.
over 3 Years
Elementary Schools Participating
We believe that housing is a human right. A stable, safe home is essential in supporting healthy family structures, and in providing for the whole child — with space to thrive academically, emotionally, and physically. With a home to call their own, families have the opportunity to break free of conditions that contribute to persistent poverty.
Every day, a growing number of people and families live in their cars or on the streets. In response to this reality, in 2020 Specialty Family Foundation incorporated Housing as a new focus area of philanthropic investment. Over the next five years, we intend to invest $5,000,000 with the ultimate goal of getting people off the streets and into affordable, safe, and stable homes.
As part of this effort, Specialty Family Foundation invests in organizations and programs that focus on housing preservation and homelessness prevention for LA County’s most vulnerable children, foster care youth, transitional age youth, and families. We additionally seek solution providers who offer complete wrap-around services that address substance use disorder, mental illness, and unemployment. Our investments will work to support targeted, innovative strategies aimed at:
INCREASE IN UNSHELTERED PEOPLE
INCREASE IN UNSHELTERED TRANSITION-AGE YOUTH
INCREASE IN UNSHELTERED FAMILIES
UNSHELTERED PEOPLE EXPERIENCE SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
*Greater Los Angeles Homeless County 2020. Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Substance use disorder is one of the most complex and intractable contributors to persistent poverty. In one year alone, over 50,000 people in LA County were treated for substance use. *Many of those who struggle with addiction confront other interconnected challenges, including homelessness and mental illness. To break the cycle of addiction and poverty, we must invest in novel approaches to substance use intervention, prevention, and treatment for the whole family. Because where there is recovery, there is also healing and hope.
Specialty Family Foundation recognizes the role substance use plays in intergenerational poverty, incarceration, and homelessness. To meet this interconnected challenge, substance use treatment and intervention is one of our key focus areas for future investments.
Of the 50,252 people in LA County admitted for substance use treatment:
HAD IMMIGRANT PARENTS
WERE AGES 16-25
DID NOT COMPLETE HIGH SCHOOL*