Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Celebrates Completion of Via Avanta Renovation

Media Contact:

Kim Kowsky
Director of Communications
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
O: 310-751-5426  C: 310-569-5354
kkowsky@didihirsch.org

 

MEDIA ALERT

DIDI HIRSCH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

CELEBRATES COMPLETION OF VIA AVANTA RENOVATION

Dedicates Zev Yaroslavsky Family Center and

W.M. Keck Foundation Children’s Learning Center

 

WHAT:          Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services dedicates Via Avanta—a residential

treatment center for families headed by homeless women with mental illness and substance use disorders—to Zev Yaroslavsky, former Los Angeles County Supervisor and current Director of the L.A. Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Department of History, who helped  secure more than $2 million in county funds for renovations. It also celebrates the opening the W.M. Keck Foundation Children’s Learning Center. About 100 community partners, government officials and Didi Hirsch staffers expected. Rarely offered tours are available to the media.

 

WHEN:          Friday, March 4, 2016, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

11:15 AM       Speeches

11:45 PM        Tours/Lunch

1:00 PM          Program ends
 

WHERE:  Via Avanta’s Zev Yaroslavsky Family Center    

 

WHO:     Dr. Kita S. Curry, Didi Hirsch’s President/CEO;

Carlos Garcia, Chair, Didi Hirsch’s Board of Directors;

Zev Yaroslavsky, former L.A. County Supervisor and current Director of the L.A. Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Department of History;
Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor (Third District);

Wesley Ford, Deputy Director, Bureau of Health Promotion, L.A. County

Department of Public Health;

Dr. Robin Kay, Acting Director, L.A. County Department of Mental Health;

 

BACKGROUND:     Didi Hirsch’s Via Avanta Zev Yaroslavsky Family Center is a

residential treatment center that aims to reduce family homelessness by addressing untreated serious mental illness and substance use disorders in mothers.

A haven for women with drug and alcohol problems since the 1970s, Via Avanta was one of the first programs in California to accept women for substance use treatment without requiring them to separate from their children.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services received $4.1 million—more than half in county funds secured with the support and leadership of former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky—to convert Via Avanta into an integrated, family-focused treatment center for homeless women with mental illness and substance use disorders and their young children.

The remaining $2 million was raised with grants from the Ahmanson Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the George Hoag Family Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, the California Health Facilities Financing Authority and individual donors. The Children’s Learning Center has been named in honor of the W.M. Keck Foundation, which provided a $300,000 grant to complete the two-phase project.

About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

With more than 70 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health and substance abuse services in communities where stigma or poverty limits access. From 11 locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties and about 100 schools, Didi Hirsch helps more than 90,000 children, families and adults each year. 

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center was the nation’s first, and is now an international leader in helping people who have thought about, attempted or lost loved ones to suicide. A founding member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Didi Hirsch’s crisis center provides back up services for all of California and is one of three that has English- and Spanish-speaking crisis counselors around the clock. It is also one of three centers in the United States that takes calls on the National Disaster Distress Helpline, the nation’s safety net during times of disaster. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org.