MARCH 2021
The Village Expands Services in
Southeast Los Angeles
Nothing stands in The Village’s way when it comes to meeting Latinx children and families’ needs, not even the pandemic.

Although the renovations on our Huntington Park location were completed just as COVID-19 hit, The Village’s service expansion in Southeast Los Angeles has proceeded undeterred.

As essential service providers, our Huntington Park team knew that demand for our expertise and services was greater than ever. By working closely with three local schools, our bilingual mental health professionals and caseworkers have connected with families in need. Most are Spanish-speaking, have suffered trauma, and are struggling with housing and food insecurity.

Because many have been too fearful to seek supportive services, we take our services to them – virtually and in socially-distanced settings. We have also established a strong network of community-based organizations, such as food banks, to address each family’s unique needs.

We are optimistic about the relief that vaccinations are bringing to our work and our communities. And we look forward to fully reopening our Huntington Park location soon and increasing our role in Southeast Los Angeles.
Liliana Makes the First Contact for
Families Warm and Welcoming
The first voice that every Huntington Park client hears is that of Liliana Hernandez. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she understands the importance of making a personal connection.

“In my experience, treatment hesitancy is less about overcoming the stigma of mental health and more about practical concerns such as confidentiality, safety, transportation, and the time commitment.”

Providing culturally sensitive services is at the core of The Village’s approach. The vast majority of the families Liliana and her team serve are Latinx and are more comfortable speaking Spanish.

“First, we talk about them and their families. After a bit of trust-building, they begin to share deeper concerns, often about violence in the community or ICE raids. COVID has heightened some of these issues.”

Liliana oversees five bilingual mental health providers and caseworkers who share her commitment to providing personalized support to each child, young person, and family. Through a team-based approach, they coordinate the spectrum of resources that each client needs.

“We were recently connected with a grandmother who was caring for her 11-year-old grandson. He was experiencing bullying and was very depressed. She wanted to get him help but was fearful that immigration officers were watching community health centers. We were able to meet her and her grandson in a different location and began providing treatment. It’s wonderful to see them making progress in their lives.”
Volunteer Profile
When Passion Meets Purpose
For Cesar Biggeri, putting others first comes naturally.

As a long-time executive in the luxury hospitality industry, he’s accustomed to going above-and-beyond to deliver the highest level of service.

Just over two decades ago, Cesar witnessed an extraordinary example of commitment when his good friends Irma Seilicovich and Hugo Villa founded The Village to help underserved Latinx children and families in the San Fernando Valley.

“Irma and Hugo saw the need for bilingual, culturally sensitive services and stepped up,” noted Cesar. “I’ve always been interested in volunteering and immediately wanted to help.”

Cesar was so compelled by The Village’s compassionate and impactful work that he became the president of its Board of Directors, a position he held for more than ten years.

Today, Cesar continues to find creative ways to raise visibility and support for The Village. Each year he hosts a Facebook fundraising campaign to commemorate his birthday. And he actively engages his network of colleagues and friends to bring resources to The Village.

Most recently, Cesar connected with technology provider SADA Systems. The company made an in-kind donation of new, high-quality apparel to The Village’s Drop-In Center for distribution to homeless young people.

Whether he’s leading a major fundraiser for The Village or handing out Powerbars and information about the Drop-In Center to homeless youth, Cesar actively lives his philosophy: Even one person can make a positive impact.
Advocacy Brief
Your Voice is Needed to Prevent Homelessness
for Foster Youth

At The Village, we work with hundreds of young people to ensure that they do not end up homeless when they leave foster care. We teach independent living skills and provide support and access to housing, employment, and financial resources. We know this works.

But, homelessness data shows that the larger Los Angeles community is failing foster youth. County officials report that youth homelessness is on the rise, and a large percentage of homeless youth were involved in the foster care or justice systems.

Join us in calling upon county officials to provide more dedicated support to prevent homelessness among our foster youth countywide.

Learn more by reading the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority’s update on youth homelessness.