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NHS Sustainable Communities Initiative impacts Compton

The Sustainable Communities Initiative serves as a catalyst for achieving broader community and personal empowerment goals

Adrienne Ott of EcoCity Studios (left) confers with a Compton resident at a Farmers Market at the Neighborhood Housing Service Center for Sustainable Communities Compton one-year anniversary event in May. Photo courtesy CSC

Compton’s Center for Sustainable Communities has trained 99 entrepreneurs, created or retained 53 youth jobs, and provided help for food insecure families

COMPTON – As Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County (NHS) continues to address systemic issues affecting underserved communities of Los Angeles County, the NHS Sustainable Communities Initiative celebrated the one year anniversary of the first Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC), Compton.

NHS, along with partners Metro Community Development Corporation and Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation hosted two days of events at the CSC in Compton in May, including, a Farmer’s Market and Information Fair, and a Community Sustainability Summit.

“We are facing the most severe housing crisis probably in the history of housing, not only in California but in every major city across the United States. The need for assistance, the need for subsidy, the need for counseling, the need for education is greater than ever before and this is the mission of NHS”, says Sal Mendoza, NHS chairman, SVP, and manager of City National Banks Community Reinvestment Department. “Homeownership continues to be a way to improve lives, a way to build family wealth, and a way to stabilize communities, to revitalize communities.”

Over the past year, partnerships with community development organizations have been instrumental in the continuing success of Compton’s CSC, which has reached 51,000 households, trained 99 entrepreneurs and local businesspeople, created or retained 53 jobs for youth, and provided 305 pounds of vegetables for food insecure families.

“We need to engage each other; we need to make sure that the community knows we are here,” says Constance Anderson, director of Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Center. PCR hosts the Small Business Development Center as part of a nationwide SBDC program that partners with federal and private entities to provide small business owners access to free management consulting, low-cost entrepreneurial education, and valuable business resources. “[The community] needs to know the resources we provide in this building. Let’s create jobs. When we create jobs we will create the wealth we need in these communities.”

“When you walk into this building, here, the relationships are so valuable, when I am working with somebody and they are a first-time homebuyer, what do I do? I walk them over to NHS or we have PCR in the back and someone needs a business loan or they have a business idea,” says Bob Combs, director of Metro CDC. “I walk them back to talk with Constance or China. That is a valuable, valuable part of the Sustainable Communities Center.”

Metro CDC implements numerous youth and family development programs in Compton and throughout L.A.County. Metro uses urban agriculture and construction initiatives as ways to help empower Compton youth to their full potential as a great city with great people.

“What makes a neighborhood thrive: housing, health, economic development, small business, transit, affordable opportunities for people to start their lives and keep their lives running,” says Lori Gay, president, and CEO of NHS. “The question is how do we do that — how do we serve a community like [Compton]?”

The Sustainable Communities Initiative serves as a catalyst for achieving broader community and personal empowerment goals that will help low-income families most adversely impacted by economic divestment. By ensuring capital reinvested addresses financial and social concerns of L.A. County’s most distressed communities, NHS continues to create a sustainable future for underserved neighborhoods.

For more information, contact Lori Gay at (213) 381-2862 or email her.

About Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County

Since 1984, NHS has developed and rehabilitated over 21,000 housing and commercial units, placed 4.4 million families on the road to homeownership, created 225 block clubs, employed 235 neighborhood youth, and created 58,000 jobs. NHS is the largest non-profit affordable homeownership provider in Southern California.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.


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