Program Initiatives

Through thoughtful community engagement and the implementation of a newly created strategic plan, the Board of Directors has identified four program initiatives for 2022 through 2027.  These initiatives  have been carefully researched with community leaders and issue experts and aligned with our current resources and experience.  It is the intention of our Board of Directors to actively engage with community stakeholders and work collectively to address and strengthen our regional strategies related to these program initiatives. The four funding priorities include:

  • Homelessness and Housing
  • Access to Healthcare Services with Emphasis on Mental Health
  • Disaster Relief
  • Education (pre K-12)

The Community Foundation of the Valleys has already focused attention on programs addressing the unhoused and the housing crisis impacting the region. During the next two years, we will prepare program plans for the remaining three program funding priorities. 

Homelessness and Housing

“Homelessness is not who someone is, but rather their current circumstance.” Advocates for the unhoused state that transitioning to more accurate identifiers of this population will bring further understanding of the population and create more collaborative community solutions. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), more than 64,000 individuals were unhoused with 38% considered “chronically unhoused” and 27% identified as abusing substances. In 2021, we planned the first multi-sector conference to address the unhoused and housing with our community partner, the Valley Economic Alliance.

This conference, planned by community and business leaders in the region, featured speakers focused on solution-based strategies to provide services to the unhoused and to identify housing solutions. For more information on the conference, click here.

As outlined in our strategic plan, the board has approved resources for programs to convene business and community partners to develop localized action plans to alleviate homelessness, engage other nonprofit organizations to create an unhoused service network, met with education partners to identify land that can be utilized for the unhoused (including students, identified as a growing population among the unhoused) and to grow the unhoused and housing donor fund.
Homeless man on the sidewalk with a shopping cart full of belongings

Photo courtesy of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and used by permission.

For more information about the unhoused and housing crisis, click on the following links:

2022 – 2024 Plans Include:

  • Identify potential funders for Foundation Homeless Fund
  • Engage other organizations in the Valley Homeless Services Network
  • Identify housing options for college students
  • Plan homeless housing development program

Access to Healthcare Services with Emphasis on Mental Health

According to the County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, at least 20% of residents are personally affected by mental health challenges. There are many barriers to accessing mental health services including difficulties in identifying and communicating distress, stigmatizing social and family beliefs, personal shame associated with mental health challenges, preferences for self-reliance and anticipation that support will be difficult to obtain.

Hospital community benefit reports continue to include lack of mental health support among the top community health challenges. And, mental health challenges are more prevalent in the workplace. As part of our strategic plan, the Community Foundation of the Valleys will begin to create initiatives to provide stronger access to mental health services. Dialogues are planned with business and community leaders to consider a local mental health summit, similar to the homeless and housing conference hosted by the Foundation in 2021.

Disaster Relief

Prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the county of Los Angeles experienced its share of disasters such as wildfires and heavy rainfall that can cause intermittent flooding. 

Unfortunately, Los Angeles also experiences its share of earthquakes.  The Community Foundation of the Valleys does not plan to create specific disaster relief programs, but rather, support ongoing programs sponsored by other community organizations.  The Community Foundation can also serve as a communication hub between organizations providing disaster relief services, community and business leaders and to individuals seeking ways to provide financial support to those in need.  Should a disaster occur, the Foundation will have plans in place to set up donation solicitation programs that provide a convenient and efficient way for donors to make a financial contribution. 

Helicopter dropping water on brush fire

2022-2024 Plans Include:

  • Identify potential funders for Disaster fund
  • Create social media platform to be deployed when disaster occurs

Education (pre K-12)

The foundation that is built through a child’s participation in early childhood education sets children on a path to positive economic and social impacts lasting well into adulthood. According to the State of Early Care and Education in Los Angeles County (link, below), there are not enough early care and education for families with infants and toddlers. Although there are an estimated 650,000 children under the age of five in Los Angeles County, licensed childcare centers only have the capacity to serve 13% of working parents with infants and toddlers.

Likewise, disparity in K-12 education between rich and poor neighborhoods has been stark. During the next two years we plan to create a fund to promote education programs impacting K-12 students. We also intend to create public private partnerships among the business community and schools.

For more information about early childhood education, click on the following links:

2022-2024 Plans include:

  • Identify potential funders for K-12 education fund
  • Identify education program