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.

Robert Alhanati, owner of Tomlinson Flowers
The North Valley BusinessSource Center helped third generation florist Robert Alhanati successfully obtain financial assistance that allowed him to keep his business open and save six jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Robert has been working in the flower industry for over 50 years.

In 2007, he purchased Tomlinson Flowers, a shop that has also been around since the 1960s. Tomlinson Flowers faced uncharted territory at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and closed its doors for a month to implement the COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols for Florists.

Para Los Niños YouthSource participant Lucero on CSU Long Beach campus
The Para Los Niños (PLN) YouthSource Center provided long-term mentoring to Lucero, guiding her through her senior year of high school, during her college years and assisting her on her path to graduate school.

In 2014, Lucero enrolled as a participant at the PLN East YouthSource program. The center provided Lucero college and career guidance and steered her toward paid internships offered by the City’s Hire LA’s Youth employment program, which helped her gain professional experience and gave her opportunities to be exposed to different career paths.

Manny and Ruth Paez, owners of Manila Forwarder freight company
The Mid-City BusinessSource Center helped husband and wife duo Manny and Ruth Paez obtain a $50,000 loan to keep their freight company Manila Forwarder stay open during COVID-19. The couple launched the business in January 2018, which specializes in importing and exporting packages from the U.S. to the Philippines.

Manila Forwarder delivers care packages known as balikbayan boxes, along with drop shipping, money transferring and logistical services to and from the Philippines worldwide by land, sea, and air.

GN Towing Service truck
The LA Regional COVID-19 Fund helped Evodio Garduno keep his family business, GN Towing Service, open during the pandemic. For more than 15 years, GN Towing Service has provided the San Fernando Valley community towing and roadside assistance.

Yet like many other small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic created severe financial hardships for the company. With fewer cars on the road and more people delaying vehicle repairs, work slowed down considerably for GN Towing Service and the business was struggling to make ends meet.

Appleton’s Market nutrient-dense microwavable mini-meals
The LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund grant provided Christina Appleton financial relief that allowed her to keep her business Appleton’s Market open during the pandemic.

Appleton’s Market is inspired by the grocery store Christina’s great grandparents founded in 1962 and passed down for several generations. She now honors her family’s entrepreneurial spirit with her business, which specializes in the sale of “power veggie bites,” nutrient-dense microwavable mini-meals.

real estate agent helping man with home ownership
The LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund provided a grant to real estate broker Wanda B. Henry, helping her cover pandemic-related expenses for her business, Brookside Real Estate.

With more than 25 years of experience in sales, listing, and finance, Wanda and her colleagues have helped property owners in need for decades, offering real estate services and extra assistance to homeowners and renters. When COVID-19 emerged, the real estate market, like many other industries, was caught off-guard and faced many sudden uncertainties.

Shad Mishu, the owner of California Coast Limo Inc
Shad Mishu, the owner of California Coast Limo Inc., a transportation company based out of San Pedro, was first acquainted with the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC) in 2019 when he needed access to capital.

With the help provided by the Harbor-Watts BSC, Mr. Mishu was able to secure a $415,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) loan with Poppy Bank. The SBA loan enabled Mr. Mishu to purchase a fleet of stretch limos, thereby expanding his revenue streams.

young children receiving sensory development through food play and sorting
The LA Regional COVID-19 Fund provided a grant that allowed the Child Development Institute to continue to provide their services and resources to families in need.

For more than 20 years, the institute has been promoting healthy development and providing crucial information, products, and services to parents. The organization’s website has become a “go-to” for parents seeking support for child development questions and issues, and is referenced by major universities, school districts, professional organizations and public agencies.

West Valley Boys & Girls Club staff members
The LA Regional COVID-19 Fund provided the West Valley Boys & Girls Club a grant that helped the organization continue to provide services to the 3,200 children that rely on its resources annually.

Since 1992, the West Valley Boys & Girls Club has provided programs to children that build character, encourage healthy lifestyles, and boost academic performance. Many alumni have said that the Club’s commitment to building communities and providing strong role models has helped keep them out of trouble and become more dedicated to their education.

L.A. entrepreneur Angelo Varsobia
After spending his career in the cleaning industry, entrepreneur Angelo Varsobia used his savings to launch Premier Property Preservation, LLC.

Established in 2017, the business entity includes several separate businesses that specialize in commercial and residential janitorial services, including sanitizing, disinfecting, repair, maintenance, and debris removal. Prior to 2020, Premier Property Preservation, LLC was a growing business that received more than 70 small contract jobs in the public and private sector.

LACCC Clean Streets partnership crews cleaned streets in Pacoima
The Los Angeles Community CARE Corp (LACCC) program, which ran in December 2020, offered temporary employment to Angelenos who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Participants were offered jobs related to COVID-19 emergency response and humanitarian efforts that paid up to $22 per hour for up to 200 hours. EWDD’s WorkSource Centers, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Council District Offices and Community Build, Inc., rolled out the LACCC in 30-days in order to expend the CARES Act funding for the program before it expired December 30, 2020.