Youth Center Opens with Fanfare, $1 Million CheckJan 25, 2023 08:25AM ● By Mb News Staff
Pictured from left: Beach Cities Health District Board members Vanessa Poster, Dr. Noel Chun and Dr. Martha Koo; BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly, Rep. Lieu, Camille J., Mollie O., Chase S., Rani C. of the allcove Youth Advisory Group; Ali Steward of BCHD; John H. from the Youth Advisory Group and Supervisor Holly Mitchell.
A new resources for youth in the beach cities opened last weekend with fanfare - and a $1 million check.
The new allcove Beach Cities, offering support services and resources for young people ages 12-25, opened on Saturday with a “covefest,” party featuring live music, tours, activities, and a check presentation.
Located at 514 N. Prospect Ave. in Redondo Beach, allcove Beach Cities offers mental and physical health resources, education and employment counseling, peer and family support, and substance use prevention programs. The center aims to be a safe place for young people that reduces stigma, embraces mental wellness and increases community connection.
The center is the result of a collaboration between the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, the State of California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) and Beach Cities Health District (BCHD).
Funding for the new center includes $2 million from MHSOAC and $1 million from Congress, part of last year’s $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package.
Congressman Ted Lieu, who championed the program, presented a ceremonial check for $1 million to the allcove Beach Cities team at Saturday’s event.
“The creation of this youth wellness center addresses the urgent need to expand access to mental health services in our community,” said Lieu. “allcove is based on a successful model pioneered by the Stanford Center on Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing. It was an honor to have championed the Beach Cities Health District’s work in Congress and I’m continuously grateful for all they do to help ensure young people have the resources they need to lead a healthier and happier life.”
Several other elected officials were in attendance Saturday, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who presented a proclamation to the allcove Youth Advisory Group, a team of eight young people who have been actively involved in the development of the new center.
“I am thrilled for the free and accessible services allcove will provide for our youth,” said Mitchell. “We know that not addressing mental health in our youth has consequences that impact their lives into adulthood. Providing them access to these services now gives them an opportunity to thrive as adults. By expanding these free services to youth, the Beach Cities Health District is exemplifying how resources should be shared with our neighbors to ensure that all our communities thrive.”
Approximately 500 people attended Saturday's party and enjoyed performances by local bands Concave, Hallo Haus, The Pres, and The Vlasics. There were numerous booths with games and activities, while members of allcove’s Youth Advisory Group led tours of the new center.
“allcove Beach Cities has turned into something so much greater than I could have ever expected,” said John H. of the allcove Youth Advisory Group. (allcove identifies its youth members only with first name, last initial.) “I get chills seeing it all finally open and coming together, and we appreciate all the community support.”
“All of us at BCHD are extremely grateful to the many people, providers and organizations who have come together to make allcove Beach Cities a reality,” said Tom Bakaly, CEO of Beach Cities Health District. “This allcove center will serve a need we’ve identified in our community for mental health resources focused on young people in the South Bay, providing service and support in a way that has not been available before.”
Currently, the center is in a temporary location on the BCHD campus. allcove Beach Cities will be a permanent feature in Phase One of BCHD’s Healthy Living Campus project, which includes a re-design of its current Prospect Avenue campus.
A Place for Youth
allcove aims to provide a space where every youth belongs, chooses the support they need, and thrives. To that end, allcove is developing a network of integrated youth mental health centers designed with, by and for youth that reduce stigma, embrace mental wellness, increase community connection, and provide access to culturally responsive services.
The allcove centers are anchored in a model of care that considers the holistic needs of young people. The centers welcome young people between the ages of 12 and 25, providing a place to take a moment of pause and access a range of services that include mental health, physical health, substance use, peer support, family support, and supported education and employment.
To learn more about allcove Beach Cities, visit allcove.org/centers/beach-cities/.