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BSCLB parents and caregivers vote to fund $170,000 in Community Change Projects (Press Release)

PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS OF PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN VOTE TO FUND $170,000 IN COMMUNITY CHANGE FUNDS TOWARDS PROJECTS THAT IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN CENTRAL LONG BEACH 

The Best Start Central Long Beach (BSCLB) Network Provides Community Change Funds to organizations serving young children and their families.

 

(LONG BEACH, CA – May 8, 2024) Long Beach parents, caregivers, and community leaders with the Best Start Central Long Beach (BSCLB) network launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) process that gave an opportunity for local families and community members to vote on $170,000 in community change fund projects that align with BSCLB’s community change priorities and will improve the lives of (prenatal to age five) and their families through education, community building, policy change, and systems change. BSCLB is an initiative funded by First 5 LA to create the best possible community for young children and their families.

 

The $170,000 in BSCLB community change funds’ purpose is to advance the BSCLB community change agenda priorities that were identified by parents, caregivers, and organizations within the BSCLB network. All community-led projects must align with a minimum of one of the following community change priorities:

 

  1. Build community knowledge about child development and parenting skills; 
  2. Prevent child abuse and neglect;
  3. Increase access to quality and affordable child care; and
  4. Increase access to quality and affordable housing and economic security. 

 

BSCLB Community Project recipients voted on by the community are:

  • MORE Mothers – “Motherhood Together,” A focus that zeroes in on the resilient Mothers of Central Long Beach, particularly those identifying as Black Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC). Despite systemic obstacles, BIPOC women exhibit extraordinary resilience. However, their endeavors often fall short due to financial constraints. Juggling multiple jobs, they navigate a landscape where the wages earned hardly cover the escalating costs of living and childcare. This grant award champions these BIPOC Mothers, aiming to empower them with resources, support networks, and opportunities for economic advancement. Helping to redefine the narrative, unlocking pathways for Mothers to thrive and lead their families toward prosperity.
  • ORALE – “Immigrant Empowerment for Economic Liberation,” – To develop, institutionalize, and build an economic justice program for undocumented families to thrive and move them towards economic liberation, build power via financial fortitude, and financial literacy. ORALE will coordinate and facilitate three (3) economic justice workshops where undocumented/immigrant community members will walk away with tangible tools and resources that gets them closer towards economic security.
  • Long Beach Residents Empowered – “Central Long Beach Neighborhood Tenant Council,” LiBRE commits to organizing five Neighborhood Tenant Council (NTC) meetings with Know Your Rights presentations. These spaces have become LiBRE’s organizing hub where people come together to learn about their rights as renters and local housing policies, as well drive LiBRE’s systems change agenda by sharing their needs and experiences. As our NTC meetings have grown, we have identified several community members with great potential for leadership on our progressive agenda. LiBRE will organize a leadership academy and invest in building up their knowledge base and organizing skills to support them in becoming the housing advocates and leaders the people of Long Beach would like to see.
  • United Cambodian Community – “Healthy Kids Healthy Families,” – The Healthy Kids Healthy Families program promotes education on child development and parenting skills to Cambodian parents/grandparents/caregivers who provide care to children from 0-5 years old. Those participants will improve their knowledge on child development and parenting skills through bi-monthly educational workshops; case management sessions; outreach education and engagement events; and monthly family/kids/social activity that is grounded in Cambodian culture.
  • Long Beach Community Table – “Food Distribution Programs (Pantry, Park & Homebound)”- Continuing their programs to distribute food in 3-ways: 1) weekly homebound grocery deliveries to 250-300 food insecure households with individuals, seniors and families that have a medical condition or disability which prevents them from leaving their homes to access our food pantry; 2) (four weekly food pantry distributions; 3) six weekend food distributions in Long Beach parks. Collectively, these programs serve approximately 4,000 food insecure people weekly.
  • Project X LB – “Loads of Kindness,” – Offering a lifeline to individuals and families in need by providing complimentary laundry services within our community. Through this program, we aim to alleviate financial burdens and promote dignity for those facing hardship. By offering free access to clean clothes, we strive to empower individuals and strengthen the fabric of our community.
  • Advantage Health Now (AHN) Foundation – “How to Navigate the Healthcare System,” – Every person has or will need to access the healthcare system multiple times in their lifetime. AHN Foundation’s proposed program will provide educational resources to parents of children ages 0 to 5. Over seven weeks, we will provide 90-minute classes to give parents the knowledge needed to navigate the healthcare system with the goal of increasing health equity. Each week, participants will obtain information that will provide them more confidence when accessing the healthcare system for themself and their family.
 

Proposals for this opportunity were voted at the BSCLB’s April Community Partnership and a week following the meeting in order to allocate $170,000 to the winning projects, which will be funded by June 2024. Community members that participated at least once in BSCLB programming within the last 6 months were eligible to cast their vote in-person and virtually. Project proposal requests range from $12,000 – $25,000 per project.

 

“Best Start Central Long Beach is dedicated to supporting our community in building their knowledge and parenting skills,” said Juanita Wilson, a member of the BSCLB Leadership Team. “These Community Change Funds are the first step in creating thriving and safe spaces where we can connect families and ensure that the first few critical years of children’s lives are the best possible.”

 

“We encourage families to get involved with Best Start Central Long Beach because they are given the power and tools to be decision-makers in their neighborhoods – building a foundation for what is necessary in creating a caring, united community,” Nubia Flores, Associate Director of Long Beach Forward said.

 

More information about the RFP process can be found at www.lbforward.org/collaborative/communitychange/

 

About Best Start Central Long Beach

Best Start Central Long Beach is a network that brings together parents, community organizations, and institutions to improve policies and resources to better support parents and create a community where children and families can thrive. Best Start provides skills-building and leadership opportunities to help parents, caregivers, and organizations achieve their goals and ensure that children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten. Best Start Central Long Beach is an initiative funded by First 5 LA through Proposition 10 dollars focused on children 0-5 and their families, and supported by The Nonprofit Partnership and Long Beach Forward. www.lbforward.org/beststart 

 

About Long Beach Forward

Long Beach Forward, Inc. in a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that builds community knowledge, leadership, and power with low-income communities of color to drive real change and to advance the vision that Long Beach can be a place where race and income do not determine one’s future—it can be a community where everyone is safe, connected, and healthy. Established in 2010, Long Beach Forward has been rooted in community since its beginning, when it coordinated the efforts of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Long Beach initiative. Currently, Long Beach Forward provides leadership, strategy, communications, and convening support to multiple coalitions; partners with numerous community-based organizations; and facilitates or participates in collaborative groups and campaigns, including the Best Start Central Long Beach network. www.lbforward.org

Web Site: www.lbforward.org/beststart             Social media:       Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @beststartclb

Media Contact:

Nubia Flores, Associate Director, Long Beach Forward, 562-900-7768 nubia@lbforward.org 

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