The economic downfall forced many employers to make overhead cuts and tough decisions. Esperanza was not immune to the effects. As an alternative Esperanza took a solidarity stand this past year to keep every staff member employed by creatively looking at collaborative solutions, thus making it viable to keep every staff member on board.
We continued working our five program areas in housing, community health, arts and ecological sciences, education, and economic development providing tangible resources to many South LA residents. In addition to the services, we began cultivating collaborative work across the board with community organizations such as United Neighbors In Defense Against Displacement (UNIDAD) campaign organizing and the Declaration of Heath and Human Rights in South LA.
We also started a $1,000,000 service repayment loan a rehab Community Redevelopment Agency of LA sponsored project, for Mercado la Paloma renovations which will begin next week.
More notable events are highlighted:
In April the Salud Tiene Sabor debut, trailblazing first time business owners were responsible to their patrons by providing nutritional information on menu items to South LA residents.
In May, Vice President Joe Biden visited Esperanza holding a press conference at the gorgeous Amistad Apartments corridor congratulating the Healthy Homes project.
In June, a one of a kind event in our community, the South Los Angeles Health and Human Rights Conference took place at the Science Center initiating the path for the South LA nonprofits and residents to engage in health and human rights discourse and action plans serving to bridge with an international platform.
In July, the 13th class of promotoras graduated 24 community members adding to a total of 334 Promotoras/es de Salud who have graduated from the program.
In September two Public Allies, Drea Chicas and Doureian Fletcher joined Esperanza infusing fresh energy and assistance to the Esperanza team and the neighborhood.
In October we celebrated 20 years of community building as a South Los Angeles organization with our yearly signature event Dancing Under the Stars.
November 1st we had a Dia de los Muertos event at Mercado la Paloma.
In December we debut the South Los Angeles Declaration of Health and Human Rights signed by community members and Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas at the Martin Luther King Hospital. In addition, many Esperanza staff members and tenants were present at the City Hall action spearheaded by LA CAN declaring Housing as a Human Right. Esperanza is now involved in the Housing as a Human Right working group in Los Angeles.
We are excited to continue with the legacy built in 2009 responding to changes, though challenging , will us sett us afoot to the collective victories for our community.