The 1980s

A devout Catholic, Mrs. Doheny cared deeply about providing for the welfare of the underserved in Los Angeles. In the 1980s the Doheny Foundation began to expand partnerships with Social Services organizations that provide Food Security, Youth Programs, Job Training, Medical and Dental Care, Mental Health, and Social Work. These providers have grown over the years, and many have become large multi-service organizations making significant impacts in their local communities.

MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity) began in a garage to provide needed food and clothing. In the 1980s, with the help of many, including the Doheny Foundation, MEND purchased a building and began to offer more than just food and clothing assistance. Today, those in the San Fernando Valley that need assistance come to MEND for numerous services, including job training.

Volunteers at MEND package boxes of food for their clients.

In 1986 a group of Boyle Heights community members from Dolores Mission Parish, along with Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, founded Proyecto Pastoral to make changes in their community. In the years since, the schools in Boyle Heights have excelled, gang violence has decreased, and the community has become a safe and welcoming home. Services from shelters to childcare have been instrumental in making Boyle Heights a community worth living in.

Students in East Los Angeles attend an after school program provided by Proyecto Pastoral.

Nestled in South Los Angeles, St. Francis Center, started by a Franciscan priest in 1972, is a long-standing partner. Beginning with just food and clothing for the homeless, the Center now also offers programming for low-income children, families, and seniors. The Foundation was happy to make St. Francis Center a dual grantee in 1999 by also supporting their summer campership program. Children and youth from the low-income families enrolled in the Center’s Food Pantry program have enjoyed a variety of summer camp experiences.

Participants outside St. Francis Center awaiting services.
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