The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Monday will name the recipients of its Cutting Edge Grants — $2 million going toward seven local initiatives, with $300,000 earmarked for Safe Parking LA to assist people living in their cars.
“This year’s Cutting Edge Grant recipients reflect our commitment to supporting social innovation as a pathway to empowering diverse voices and capabilities in our community,” said Marvin Schotland, the foundation president and CEO. “At their core, what each project addresses is both unique to our community and cuts across our city and nation, from the rising mental health needs of college students to the housing crisis to the importance of engaging more voices in leadership. Collectively, these grants draw attention to these challenges.”
Safe Parking LA, under the grant “Jewish Community Safe Lots,” will receive $300,000 over three years to engage synagogues and their members in providing safe parking options and supportive services for individuals living in their vehicles.
Grant recipients also include:
— Community Legal Aid SoCal in partnership with the Jewish Divorce Assistance Center for Safe and Healthy Jewish Families Project will receive $300,000 over three years to provide supportive services, protective orders and civil and religious divorce assistance to Jewish survivors of abuse, helping survivors and their families leave abusive situations.
— Jewish Graduate Student Initiative for Jewish Executive Women’s Leadership will receive $270,000 over five years for a leadership program for female Jewish graduate students and young professionals.
— RespectAbility for Project Moses: LA Jewish Leaders with Disabilities Program will receive $300,000 over three years for mentorship and job support for college-educated Jewish individuals with disabilities looking for leadership positions.
— SVARA for SVARA Los Angeles will receive $260,000 over three years to launch the first queer-focused Talmud learning program in Los Angeles for the queer community and allies.
— Trybal Gatherings for Trybal Gatherings LA will receive $270,000 over three years to provide immersive overnight Jewish camp experiences in Los Angeles for Jewish people in their 20s and 30s, reaching disconnected young adults and building a pipeline to ongoing Jewish communal involvement
— USC Hillel for The Bradley Sonnenberg Wellness Initiative will receive $300,000 over three years to launch a health and wellness program that will provide Jewish college students with mental health services, wellness workshops, and individualized counseling and support.
According to the latest figures from Los Angeles County’s Point-in-Time Count, there were almost 10,000 people who were counted as living in a car, van or RV within the city’s boundaries. The City Council recently reinstated a ban on people sleeping in their cars from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. near schools and in residential neighborhoods and other sensitive areas; however, the city has provided some parking lots for people to stay overnight.
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