Who We Serve
The youth and families we serve live in communities that face overwhelming challenges. Poverty is entrenched and widespread. The number of families living in poverty ranges from 34% to 39% of the population in these neighborhoods as compared with 16% in Los Angeles County. These families average four to five individuals per household. Unemployment figures range from 16% to a high of 39%--considerably higher than that in Los Angeles County, which has a rate of 11.6%. Many adults over the age of 25 do not have high school diplomas—as many as 70% in some communities. Moreover, the population in these neighborhoods is dominated by youth; in many, over 40% of the residents are between the ages of 15 to 21.
This combination of poverty, lack of education, and a large population of people, who by virtue of their age are considered most vulnerable to delinquency and gang involvement, creates a perpetually fertile ground for gangs, drugs, and violence. According to a report by the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that has conducted in-depth studies on gang activity in Los Angeles, “all major research literature on gangs and community structure has noted poverty and declining income levels as significant factors contributing to the concentration of gangs and violence.”
Despite these odds, the youth and families that SEA serves have tremendous potential. And yet, they have few resources with which to realize a healthy, productive future. Therefore, SEA offers each of our clients the resources, opportunities, support, and services they need to pursue a healthy future.
In the past year, SEA has served:
- 1905 clients in our social service programs
- 3900 students in the SEA Charter School
- 2655 parents in the Parents Helping Parents parenting course
- 700 youth in the Youth Peace Movement and YPM Alumni Group
- 500 clients with crisis response services
- 1274 clients with mental health services
- 1080 youth with substance abuse services