Eisner Foundation Seeds Efforts to Bridge Youth, Seniors in Los Angeles

ONEgeneration, an intergenerational site, will use its $250,000 grant from Eisner to merge with Grandparents as Parents. Photo by ONEgeneration

The Eisner Foundation announced on Tuesday that it has awarded nearly $1 million to support efforts to bring youth and the elderly together in Los Angeles.

Grants were made to a total of eight organizations, including $350,000 to two organizations that work with children in the foster care system.

“We’re pleased to see high-quality intergenerational work happening in L.A. County,” said Trent Stamp, CEO of The Eisner Foundation. “Our recent report shows that intergenerational programs, especially shared sites, are both needed and wanted in communities across the country.”

The two foster care-related grants were made to:

Partners for Children South L.A., which received $100,000 over two years to support for the Kinship Project, which will provide assistance to 120 relative caregivers and their children.

ONEgeneration, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that works with both the elderly and young children, received $250,000 to support a recent merger with Grandparents As Parents (GAP), an organization which advocates on behalf of grandparents who take in foster children. GAP provides financial, legal and support services to grandparent caregivers – its founder, Sylvie de Toledo, was recognized as a CNN Hero in 2013.

Founded by Michael Eisner, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, the foundation is focused on supporting intergenerational approaches to addressing social issues. These grants come just a week after the foundation, along with Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Generations United, published a report showing widespread support but little awareness of intergenerational sites, physical locations built to serve youth and seniors.

Two of the Los Angeles grantees – ONEgeneration and EngAGE – are intergenerational sites.

According to a Harris Poll included in the report, 89 percent of respondents would like to see resources that serve both children and older adults at the same site. But only 26 percent said they knew where to find such intergenerational services in their own communities.

“The demand for quality children and youth services compounded with the increasing need for creative older adult programs creates an environment ripe for innovative age-integrated care,” said Donna Butts, executive director at Generations Untied in a statement released with the report. “For many communities facing limited resources to build and rehabilitate facilities, intergenerational shared sites that serve all ages save dollars while making sense.”

The other grantees for intergenerational projects includes:

  • House of Ruth, $100,000 for recruitment of senior volunteers to assist domestic violence victims.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, $50,000 for intergenerational engagement on its Arts for NexGen program.
  • Los Angeles Philarmonic Association, $100,000 for Youth Orchestra LA.
  • Sages and Seekers, $25,000 to pair seniors with high school students in an eight-week program.
  • Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, $150,000 to provide free food and events in city parks during the summer.
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Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change
About Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change 351 Articles
Jeremy is a West Coast-based senior editor for The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at jeremyloudenback@chronicleofsocialchange.org.