Imagine you are the single mother of a toddler, working two minimum-wage jobs. When you receive your meager check, you go to the corner check-cashing business where they take $25 of that check, and promptly give the rest to expensive daycare and the landlord of your dilapidated, $900/month studio apartment. Now imagine that studio has no kitchen and happens to be in a neighborhood with nowhere for your child to play.

You wish you knew your neighbors so you could do something to improve things for everyone, but you feel isolated. You are desperate to somehow, some way, make a better life for your child, but can’t get a better job because your English skills are shaky and you don’t know where to find childcare you can afford. You decide you will be the first in your family to go to school and get a GED, but are overwhelmed and confused by the application process. Feeling defeated and alone, you resign yourself to the fact that this is your life, and this is your neighborhood.

Now imagine that there was a place you could go for help with all of these issues. And that place was not just around the corner, but run by people who know your neighborhood, speak your language, and have begun to revitalize entire neighborhoods in your community. Your motivation to create change soars when you discover such a place exists, and that place is the East LA Community Corporation.

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Posted by act_la