The P.F. Bresee Foundation’s (Bresee’s) history dates back 33 years, when in 1982, members of the Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene established P.F. Bresee Foundation as a separate, non-sectarian 501(c)(3) to address the social needs of the community. Its services were meant to honor the legacy of Dr. Phineas F. Bresee, who founded the Nazarene church in 1895 and dedicated his life to serving the poor in Los Angeles.
In 1987, youth director Jeff Carr, currently COO to the 2015 Special Olympics, started an outreach to neighborhood youth, giving them a safe place to play basketball after-school. He later developed the activities into a structured after-school youth program including homework help, one-on-one tutoring, technology access, and college scholarships. In 2001, after concluding a $2,700,000 capital campaign, Bresee moved into a state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot remodeled community center allowing it to further expand its services. Bresee’s facility houses four homework and tutoring classrooms, art, dance and music studios, two industy standard 12 station computer labs, a multimedia studio, and a youth recreation room; sports and recreation are also facilitated at the adjacent park and neighboring gym.
Co-located with Bresee is a pediatric clinic run by QueensCare Family Clinics. In 2008, Bresee expanded to include family supportive services and case management, with a partnership through the Wilshire FamilySource Center. Bresee again expanded its services in 2012, providing gang prevention services through the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program.
Today, the impact of Bresee’s program is demonstrated in that 40% of Bresee’s 40 staff members are former clients and in the last decade Bresee has:
- Awarded over $550,000 in college scholarships to 123 alumni
- Assisted over 3,500 students with college prep, tours, SAT and FAFSA classes
- Provided career-readiness and employed over 600 youth in local businesses
- Hosted ten Annual Youth Film Festivals on Social Justice
- Offered over $200,000 in emergency family assistance since 2010
- Through mentoring and case management become a second home to 12,000 youth and family members.