Hilton Foundation Awards $875,000 to Address Homelessness, Improve Lives of Foster Youth

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has announced three grants totaling $875,000 to organizations working to address homelessness and improve the lives of foster youth in Los Angeles County.

The Weingart Center Association and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA) will each receive $300,000 to expand services for the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless. The association will use the funds to support the development of a state-of-the-art community health center in downtown Los Angeles to serve the poor — both housed and homeless — and workers as part of the Skid Row Homeless Healthcare Initiative.

UWGLA will use its grant to support more than thirty organizations providing emergency services in the county, where the unemployment rate is currently 10.5 percent, to help prevent people from falling into homelessness. The funds will pay for motel vouchers, rent subsidies, meals, groceries, and emergency and transitional shelter beds. "Many individuals and families in Los Angeles are in danger of falling through the cracks at this difficult period," said Hilton Foundation president and CEO Steven M. Hilton. "One of our goals is to provide help before situations become emergencies."

In addition, the foundation awarded $275,000 to the University of Pennsylvania for a study of the condition of young adults who have aged out of foster care in Los Angeles County. The study, which will be led by Dennis Culhane, a professor of social policy at the university, will help determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of current programs and which interventions best serve youth leaving the system. "Many of our youth transitioning out of foster care also find themselves in very vulnerable situations," Hilton said, "so we hope to find ways to better assure their success."