Kariana as a Property Manager with Project Roomkey
A year ago, Kariana moved from Michigan to Los Angeles for a fresh start. She arrived in LA with some savings, but due to the high cost of living and difficulties finding a full-time job, she experienced homelessness just as the COVID-19 pandemic began.

While living in a shelter, Kariana saw a job posting for a food delivery worker with social enterprise Chrysalis Enterprise Staffing.

Julian working on his counselor vocational classes
At 43 years old, Julian is starting a new chapter of his life and training for a career that he’s passionate about.

After spending 20 years incarcerated, Julian sought out support to successfully re-enter society, find stable housing, and enter the workforce for the first time. He was referred to social enterprise Goodwill Southern California and the LA:RISE program so that he could begin earning a paycheck and developing vital job skills.

L.A. youth learning about sustainable landscaping
Last week, several Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center (YSC) participants started their hands-on internship hours with North East Trees, a community-based, grassroots, environmental non-profit organization that specializes in landscape improvement and habitat restoration projects throughout the LA region.

At Ascot Hills Park in El Sereno, the YSC participants learned about native plants and how to care for them, said EWDD Senior Project Assistant Juan Romero.

Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center participants with their safety training certificates
Nearly 40 youth interns from the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center earned safety training certifications in OSHA 10, Post COVID-19 Awareness Training, and Cal/OSHA Confined Spaces, programs designed to prepare them on how to enter the workforce after COVID-19 safely.

The interns also received their first paychecks after completing the training. These entry-level certifications will give local youth an advantage when they apply for their first jobs.

two men performing automotive maintenance
The LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund provided a grant to Roberto Oliva that helped his automotive shop Rob’s Service Center stay open during COVID-19. Rob’s Service Center is an automotive repair facility that has served the Chatsworth community for more than 25 years.

When the pandemic hit, Oliva found himself struggling to keep his employees paid and cover the rent for the facility.

Lilia Soto, a participant at the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center
EWDD has 14 YouthSource Centers (YSC) strategically located throughout the City of Los Angeles to provide resources to young Angelenos in underserved communities. The YSCs offer youth ages 14 to 24 services, including job skills training, career exploration, and tutoring.

Lilia Soto, a participant at the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center, recently shared a testimonial thanking EWDD Youth Development Specialist Victor Gutierrez for his mentorship and counseling.