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Para Los Ninos Celebrates 30 Years Since Opening in Skid Row

By Lauren Mattia
Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 07:40PM

PLN's founder Tanya Tull (left) with some of her early clients.

Para Los Ninos has come a long way since officially opening its doors in Skid Row in January 1981.

With only $5,000 grant and an old eyelash factory on 6th and Gladys as their location, PLN's founder Tanya Tull worked to get children and their parents off the streets after reading a 1979 LA Times article about the plight of children in some of L.A.'s at risk neighborhoods.

Today, PLN has 21 facilities in the L.A. and San Bernardino area, operated by 400 employees and serving over 7000 children and families every year.

"When we began providing services, it was strictly childcare and some social services," said PLN's VP of Communications and External Affairs Elena Stern. "Over the years we grew to meet the needs of the families in and around downtown and grew to provide comprehensive and mental health services in addition to our educational program," she added.

PLN has seen its fair share of bumps in the road in recent years. "The state budget crisis in Sacramento has posed real challenges," notes Stern. "The dollars we receive from government sources accounts for about 79% of our overall budget."

Despite the obstacles, PLN has expanded the realm of their programmatic work. Stern added that PLN has instituted services like providing clients with emergency food, shelter, and clothing, as well as intensive and longer term interventions, parenting classes, and domestic violence courses.

PLN currently runs a Downtown charter elementary on 7th Street near Alameda. PLN joined The Los Angeles Unified School District on a $58 million project which includes a 450-seat 9th Street Elementary to be operated by LAUSD and a 405-seat middle school operated by PLN. The facilities are slated to open in 2013.

Coucilwoman Jan Perry, PLN's CEO Gisselle Acevedo, and PLN staff, clients, and board members will attend a formal celebration in the City Council Chambers at City Hall from 10am-1pm on Friday.


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