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2 L.A. Groups Reap Money From USA for Africa Effort

November 21, 1986|JACK JONES | Times Staff Writer

Two Los Angeles organizations are receiving $50,000 each from profits of last year's "We Are the World" all-star recording, it was announced Thursday by the sponsoring USA for Africa foundation.

The grants, to the child-oriented nonprofit El Nido Services to continue helping pregnant or parenting poor youths and to People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) for its efforts on the Westside, came from the more than $50 million realized from the record and associated fund-raising.

About two-thirds of that money reportedly has gone to aid African famine victims, the original purpose of the undertaking.

In addition to the amounts going to El Nido Services and PATH, USA for Africa said $100,000 is being given to the National Student Campaign Against Hunger to help it continue raising money and forming student coalitions to help the poor.

PATH was one of several Los Angeles agencies that received $10,000 "We Are the World" domestic grants six months ago.

Also on Thursday, the USA for Africa foundation announced the first grants resulting from its coast-to-coast "Hands Across America" project to raise money for the homeless and needy in this country.

The initial 35 grants to agencies in 15 states totaled $576,665 and are part of what USA for Africa said will be $12 million in emergency and existing-program support to agencies in states authorized for less than $90,000 in total grants under a formula based on the number of persons living below the federal poverty line and other factors.

In states authorized for more than $90,000 in total grants, USA for Africa officials said, they have been working with social service organizations to arrive at the most efficient way to distribute the money.

Proposals from coalitions of agencies seeking those grants will be submitted beginning next month, the foundation said.

The grants announced Thursday went to agencies in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.

The organizations getting grants included statewide food banks, shelters for the homeless, low-income housing groups, tenant assistance groups, legal aid groups and referral services.

Ken Kragen, president of USA for Africa, noted that the foundation has been under pressure to begin making allocations from the "Hands Across America" fund, but said the recipient groups themselves counseled against proceeding without care.

Kragen said, "There is a clear plan here, and a process. With limited dollars, you can't just throw them out there."

Initially, it had been hoped to realize $50 million from the coast-to-coast hand-holding effort. At last report, there had been overall contributions of about $25 million, which comes out to less than $16 million after expenses. Contributions are still coming in, however, according to campaign officials.

USA for Africa officials said last month that groups in California will get about $1.2 million of the "Hands Across America" money . . . the largest share among the states receiving grants.

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