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Villaraigosa launches anti-poverty program using $18 million in federal money

October 19, 2009 |  5:01 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today unveiled a new anti-poverty program that will include 21 Family Source centers throughout the city as one-stop shops for applying for financial, educational and some healthcare assistance programs.

The centers are scheduled to open Jan. 4 and will be in some of the most impoverished pockets of the city.

Villaraigosa said the coordinated program comes at a critical time for many in a city where the unemployment rate is cresting near 14% and more than 28,000 families have lost their homes in the past two and a half years.

“Now more than ever we need to act," Villaraigosa said.

The program will receive $18 million in federal grants and stimulus money.

City Councilman Richard Alarcon said the program enhances L.A.’s ability to attract more federal money and grants from nonprofit foundations, and allows the city to provide more efficient and effective outreach to those in need even at a time when the city is struggling with a $405-million budget deficit.

“We have less to work with and more problems to address," he said. “The bottom line is we are going to provide better services to more people who need them more than ever."

Along with signing up for social aid, the service centers will be able to provide adults with everything from child care service to helping with job placement. For youth, the centers will provide educational assistance, offering tutoring, mentoring and arts instruction.

-- Phil Willon at L.A. City Hall