By Shirley Hawkins
The White House on Wednesday designated Los Angeles as one of five communities across the country that will receive federal money to help improve housing, public safety, and education.
Known as a “Promise Zone,” the sections of Los Angeles earmarked to receive federal funds include Koreatown, Westlake, Pico-Union, Hollywood, and East Hollywood, which are considered to be some of the most poverty-ridden sections of the city.
The city is expected to receive tens of millions of dollars in federal grants that will come from various agencies, including departments of Justice, Agriculture, Education, and Housing and Urban Development.
The funding will go toward investing in public transit lines, increasing affordable housing and career and training opportunities.
Increasing the number of support services in schools is another goal of the funding. The nonprofit Youth Policy Institute has received $32 million to provide mentoring, tutoring, staff support, and after- and before-school care to 20 schools. The city hopes to double the number of schools to receive federal grants to 45.
Money will also go to improve conditions in the L. A. Unified School District.
The other areas being targeted across the country include Philadelphia, San Antonio, southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma. The designation lasts for 10 years.
The plan to help 20 of the hardest hit communities was introduced by Obama during his State of the Union address.