Campus: CSU Long Beach -- January 9, 2004

Community Partnership, Cal State Long Beach Awarded 3-Year, $339,979 Grant from Housing, Urban Development Program

The Greater Long Beach/South Bay Community Partnership, with Cal State Long Beach serving as the lead agency, has been awarded a three-year $399,979 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Outreach Partnership Centers (COPC) grant.

The grant, one of just 10 similar grants to be newly awarded, will be administered by CSULB’s Community Service Learning Center with the university working with other members of its consortium, primarily CSU Dominguez Hills, Long Beach City College, the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, Long Beach BLAST (Better Learning After School Today) and Goodwill Industries of Long Beach and South Bay.

Specifically, the grant will fund the Carmelitos Initiative, aimed at addressing the needs of the residents of the Carmelitos Housing Development, located in North Long Beach. Carmelitos is located on a former U.S. Army property, which became a housing development under the Los Angeles Housing Authority in the 1960s.

“This is a perfect example of what the service learning program is all about,” said CSULB President Robert C. Maxson. “Our students get real hands-on experience and, in this particular relation-ship, the residents of Carmelitos will get some much needed assistance to make their lives better.”
Raul Reis, director of CSULB’s Community Service Center, and community partnerships coordinator Carina Sass, will be overseeing the grant.

“When we applied for this grant I think it helped that we to included other organizations we were partnered with,” said Reis. “It is a multi-faceted project and we are attending a diversity of needs – some
being the elderly, the young, at-risk kids, and after-school programs. There are many different groups in this housing development that we will be assisting through this consortium.”

The initiative was designed to meet college and university academic goals and to address critical community needs through combined resources and collaborative actions. The initiative seeks to address needs relating to children and families in the North Long Beach area, with a particular focus on family literacy, workforce development and family and senior life issues.

These needs will be addressed through outreach activities that utilize the involvement of service learning students and faculty from the three educational institutions involved.

According to Sass, a year ago six service-learning students were involved with Carmelitos. Now, she noted, there are approximately 170…and that was before the grant was awarded.

“We will probably not expand it too much, but this grant will give us the opportunity to properly support what we are doing,” said Sass. Funds will be used for supervisors, training, overhead, educational materials and software, materials for a community advisory board, curriculum development, office supplies, books, videos and printing costs.

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