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HUNTINGTON PARK : Health Services Center to Open


Maria Vargas ignores the broken windows and the peeling paint clinging to the walls of the old hall that houses the Mexican-American Health Educational Services.

Instead, she focuses on the future of the service center, which is expected to be fully operational by July. The nonprofit group was established in 1991.

"The goal of the center is to become a one-stop location where residents can come to find out the answers to health questions," said Vargas, the organization's director.

The center, which will provide health education classes including AIDS, tobacco and alcohol education programs, will be open from noon to 5 weekdays. Currently it is open a few hours weekday afternoons, providing limited information such as where free immunizations can be obtained.

Vargas, 45, said she is relying on volunteers to help repair the building but said it is unlikely they will be completed before the center opens in July.

She has submitted a request to the city for $113,400 in Community Development Block Grant funds which would be used to establish an after-school youth and health education program. Currently, the center is operating on donations and Vargas' work.

The center, at 2502 Clarendon Ave., has scheduled a 5 p.m. orientation meeting June 16.

Information: (310) 898-7941.

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