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Westside Digest

Crenshaw : Cancer Support Center Opens

August 12, 1993

The Youth Intervention Project has opened its Family Preservation Center, which houses the inner city's first cancer support group for minority adults, among its many free services.

The center, at 4625 Crenshaw Blvd., also provides individual and family counseling, substance-abuse testing and treatment, and in-home homemaking training and emergency care.

The new center's key service is a cancer support group, which is being sponsored by Vital Options, a national organization for young adults with cancer. The group, which meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, is led by a UCLA professor of social welfare who helps members talk about the emotional, social and economic problems they face on a daily basis.

Vital Options, based in Studio City, started looking into a Central Los Angeles program three years ago after one participant, a young black man, found it increasingly difficult to catch the bus from his South-Central home to attend meetings in the San Fernando Valley.

The nonprofit center has about 20 employees and serves 100 families, a figure it expects to double this year, said staff member Paul Radke. The center, which is funded by the county, underwent nearly $100,000 in renovations before the staff moved into the three-story office building that formerly housed a trade college.

Director Barbara Wainwright began the Youth Intervention Project in 1986, working with the Los Angeles school district's adult schools to improve the academic performances of gang members who could not attend regular high school because they were expelled for behavioral and other problems.

For information: (213) 290-7111.

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