Los Angeles, CA
Responding to gaps in Los Angeles’s COVID-19 response and recovery services with a network of service providers to improve family well-being.
In Los Angeles County, health and human services have historically failed to deliver opportunities and resources to communities that need them. Since 2009, Para Los Niños (PLN), a parent-led organization that serves BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and immigrant communities with low incomes, has been working with many of these communities to implement Best Start Metro LA, a place-based systems change partnership. Now, in response to COVID-19, PLN is expanding this effort and launching a resource distribution network consisting of trusted partners to create additional access points for families. Through this project, PLN will identify existing gaps in local pandemic response systems and test whether a network of service providers with a strong history of serving communities in a 500-block catchment area can enhance recovery efforts.
To collect data, PLN will survey residents and partner organizations to assess the impact the resource distribution pilot has on family well-being, food insecurity, housing insecurity, transportation gaps, and mental health. These surveys will be supplemented with qualitative interviews, surfacing detailed information on how residents are accessing resources. The research team will also use secondary data, including the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation’s interactive Neighborhood Data for Social Change mapping platform, to provide context on how local systems have been supporting the community before and during the pandemic. Along traditional methods, the survey data will be analyzed in a reflective sense-making process, whereby participants (including partnering organizations and residents) and the research team will examine the connection between findings and people’s lived experiences. Moreover, PLN will engage residents and organizations in capacity-strengthening exercises to help them interpret and use data to shape policy recommendations. Project findings will be discussed in a virtual town hall, where stakeholders will ask questions, offer recommendations, and identify next steps.
In this community-led data initiative, PLN will provide ongoing updates to the community, engaging them as co-designers and agents of change. Ultimately, the pilot project is intended to provide a model for how organizations can form collaboratives and share decision making power with residents.