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Community News: Mid-City

PICO-UNION : Comprehensive Aid Program for Families

August 22, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

The Hope Street Family Center is recruiting low-income families to participate in a project that will provide comprehensive health, education and social services to children and adults living in households in which alcohol or drug abuse is a problem.

The model child development project, one of five in the nation with the same target group, received a $6-million grant from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families and will be administered by the UCLA School of Medicine and the California Medical Center-Los Angeles.

To be eligible for the project, families must meet federal low-income guidelines, include a pregnant woman or a child younger than 1, have at least one member affected by alcohol or drug abuse and live in the area bounded by Western Avenue on the west, Alameda Street on the east, 6th Street on the north and Exposition Boulevard on the south.

The 120 families selected for the project will receive--over the next five years--prenatal care and counseling, child development education, health and dental services and referrals for a full range of other services, including substance abuse treatment, job training and English as a Second Language classes.

"It's critical to stabilize and strengthen families with young children, particularly in their first five years," said Dr. M. Lynn Yonekura, one of the project's directors and director of perinatal services at the medical center. "Many of the problems we're seeing played out these days with adolescents might be avoided if there were more attention paid to helping families help themselves."

The project is "one attempt to address all the problems in a comprehensive fashion over a long period of time," Yonekura said. "We can't give up on these families. We're saying, 'Let's see if we can turn them around.' "

If the project proves successful, it could serve as a model for a national program, Yonekura said.

Families who register for the project will be interviewed and their names will be placed in a lottery from which participants will be selected.

Information: (213) 742-6385.

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