Wave Staff Report
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Nearly a year after a fireworks explosion nearly destroyed a local neighborhood, City Councilman Curren Price joined the Community Investment for Families Department and All Peoples Community Center June 22 for a grand opening and resource fair to inaugurate the Trinity Neighborhood Center.
Located at Walker Temple AME Church, the new community hub is part of Price’s ongoing efforts to deliver continuous attention and support to the 27th Street neighborhood impacted by the fireworks explosion last year.
“Since day one, my office has been at the center of emergency relief efforts,” Price said. “As we approach the one-year anniversary of this catastrophe, we’re reminded that neighbors continue to face residual trauma and long-term effects.
“We remain committed to seeing this tragedy through until every last person is back on their feet. We are far from where we need to be as a neighborhood and as a city, but today we take another step in the right direction.”
Since the explosion, All Peoples Community Center has provided case management serving as a liaison to help victims obtain social services and access to a myriad of programs. The neighborhood center has assisted households with food and relocation efforts, and connected families with mental health services, eviction defense programs and other resources. All Peoples was designated by Community Investment for Families Department to operate the new Trinity Neighborhood Center.
“The Community Investment for Families Department, in partnership with Councilman Curren Price and All Peoples Community Center, will continue to address the unique needs of each individual household impacted by this incident,” said Abigail R. Marquez, general manager of the Community Investment for Families Department. “We have not abandoned these families and are committed to helping all displaced households transition to permanent and stable housing.”
Helping to coordinate all the various helping-hand efforts has been the city’s Emergency Management Department. That department’s Operations and Training Division convened a long-term recovery group meeting weekly, which assisted with local crime prevention, community beautification, claim processing, health care issues, and housing assistance and repair work.
“Today’s opening of the Trinity Neighborhood Center shows yet again the continued commitment by Council District Nine to achieve a full recovery for this impacted community,” said Carol Parks, general manager of the Emergency Management Department. “Many city departments and our most valuable community partners — like All Peoples Community Center and Walker Temple AME Church — are helping move 27th Street neighbors still closer to that goal by providing much needed and ongoing, no-cost services to these residents as well as surrounding communities.”
The Trinity Neighborhood Center will operate five days a week. Local neighbors will have direct access to a wide range of free services, including continued case management, resources such as food, diapers, rental or utility assistance, tutoring, tax services, employment and immigration services, financial literacy and parenting classes.
A licensed mental health therapist will be onsite and the center will collaborate with mental health providers in the area, including Kedren Health. The Trinity Neighborhood Center also will bring city departments under one roof to help residents obtain added services and support.
“Having the Trinity Neighborhood Center open in the community is vital to helping victims of such a tragic event begin to heal,” said Saundra Bryant, executive director of All Peoples Community Center. “Our team is looking forward to continuing to serve the residents of 27th Street and the surrounding community with open arms.”
The explosion occurred last June 30 after Los Angeles police officers discovered an illegal cache of more than 5,000 pounds of fireworks at a home in the neighborhood.
The Los Angeles Police Department later admitted its officers significantly misgauged the amount of illegal fireworks that they detonated in a trailer on 27th Street. The blast destroyed the police rig and sent debris flying through the air. The force of the explosion damaged 25 homes, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles nearby.
Since the explosion, Councilman Price has led the way to bring relief and care to the area, first by establishing a $1 million emergency relief fund. He then championed another $5 million to pay for longer-term corporate housing, home repairs, financial assistance and the establishment of the Trinity Neighborhood Center.
The new center is open Monday through Friday at Walker Temple AME Church, 2525 Trinity St. For more information, contact All Peoples at (213) 300-0784 or (213) 536-5030.