A Santa Ana-based nonprofit organization that works locally to prevent child abuse received a $25,000 grant from a local foundation that the nonprofit will use to continue helping vulnerable youth in the Coachella Valley, it was announced Thursday.

“With less than 1% of the government’s child welfare budget allocated towards preventative care, private funding for these programs is critical for us in reaching our ultimate goal, which is to restore broken families and keep kids safe,” said Tracy Fitzsimmons, executive director for Olive Crest.

Palm Desert’s H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, in partnership with local television station KESQ, teamed up to award $25,0000 to Olive Crest, whose programs include temporary homes for at-risk children, ages 0-18, as well as transitional, independent housing for emancipated foster youth, who are ages 18-21, according to the foundation.

“Olive Crest’s transitional homes are helping young people navigate an extremely difficult time in their lives, so they can more easily shift from someone else’s care to self-sufficient, independent living,” said Catharine Reed, the foundation’s vice president of charitable programs.

Olive Crest sprung up in 1973 and currently serves 3,000 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.

For more information about Olive Crest, go to www.olivecrest.org or call 951-686-8500.

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