Serving our community

The Bresee Foundation serves people living in the immediate central Los Angeles vicinity, in an area defined by the city of Los Angeles as the Olympic Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD) Zone. President Obama recently identified this neighborhood as one of the first five national “Promise Zones,” due to the high level of economic need in this local community. According to the recent GRYD Assessment, this is the most densely populated area in the city of Los Angeles, with an estimated 75,000 residents, the highest concentration of recent immigrants in Los Angeles and 805 active gang members, responsible for nearly one-quarter of the city’s gang-related crimes. Local neighborhoods include mid-Wilshire, south Hollywood, Westlake, Pico-Union, and Koreatown.

The demographics of those served mirror the communities mentioned above: 84% are Latino, 4% are African-American, 2% are Asian/Asian-American, 2% are Caucasian, and 8% are mixed or other (US Census Bureau, 2011). Bresee’s local area was found to have 31% of families living in poverty compared to 18% in the county (US Census Bureau, 2011). Bresee serves middle school and high school students (ages 11-18) from this area, and their families. It is estimated that 90% or more of the families and youth that are served by Bresee are at the low to very low-income level and 80% of youth are in single parent households. The area has an unemployment rate of 12% (US Census Bureau, 2011).

The families and youth Bresee serves face numerous socio-economic barriers and risk-factors that impede their ability to succeed academically and achieve their full potential, including:

  • Local unemployment rates at 12%
  • 56% of adults not graduating high school and one in three not completing ninth grade (hindering parents ability to provide academic support)
  • 63% of households are cost-burdened as related to housing, defined as having monthly housing costs which exceed 30% of monthly income
  • 36% of households live in overcrowded housing
  • Schools in the bottom 10% statewide
  • Average dropout rates of 40%
  • Only 1 in 4 high school graduates are college ready, compared to 40% countywide
  • 90% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch (indicating low to very-low family income)
  • 73% of students being English Language Learners, who need additional support to meet educational outcomes and overcome language barriers
  • Children as young as 10 years old being recruited for gangs
Bresee serves local neighborhoods including mid-Wilshire, south Hollywood, Westlake, Pico-Union, and Koreatown. The three main zip codes of those served include 90004, 90020 and 90057. Generally Bresee’s street boundaries are Sunset Blvd. to the north, 110 Freeway to the east, 10 Freeway south, and Wilton/Arlington to the west, however students travel from as far as Compton and Watts for the services Bresee provides.
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