Monday, December 1, 2008

About St. Margaret's Center

St. Margaret's Center

St. Margaret's Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Inc., has served low-income and homeless families since 1987. The Center provides a comprehensive range of emergency and supportive services to more than 10,000 unduplicated individuals annually in the Los Angeles "L.A.X." area, primarily those living in the cities or streets of Lennox and surrounding communities.

St. Margaret's Center's mission has remained the same throughout its history, but the Center's programs have grown and evolved to respond to the needs of the community. St. Margaret's Center's programs target individuals and families who live at or below the poverty level, and are administered by a paid staff of four, and an average of 40 volunteers. Programs are offered in both English and Spanish, and are free of charge, with the exception of nominal fees for immigration and counseling services. Two target groups have developed over the years as the Center's staff has become aware of their unmet needs: Spanish-speaking families, and homeless individuals. The Center provides assistance, though, to anyone in need, regardless of the person's race, national origin or religious affiliation.

St. Margaret's Center’s goal is to provide relief, dignity and support to low-income persons in crisis and to assist individuals through case management and skills development to become more self-sufficient and to achieve economic security. St. Margaret's Center's services include:

  • Emergency Food: Monthly groceries for low-income families (@200/week), and sack lunches for homeless persons (@250/week) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

  • Information and Referral: Information and referrals for free or low-cost services and programs, e.g., legal, medical, housing, employment, government programs. Advocacy with government assistance programs.

  • Translation: Assistance in filling out simple forms, mail, telephone calls, etc.

  • Emergency Shelter Vouchers: When available, short-term emergency housing for eligible homeless Inglewood families and individuals with special needs.

  • Rent Assistance Program: Assistance with move-in costs for eligible homeless Inglewood households, and funding for Inglewood residents who are seniors or disabled, when funding available.

  • Homeless Supplies: Hygiene kits, blankets, diapers, clothing and bus tokens, as available, to low-income persons.

  • Clothing: Low-cost clothing and household goods from St. Margaret’s Center’s Thrift Store adjacent to the Center.

  • Counseling Services: Free and low-cost counseling for individuals, couples and families provided by a licensed therapist, Mondays and Wednesdays.

  • Food Stamp Application Assistance: Free assistance with filling out the food stamp application and follow-up case tracking and troubleshooting. D.P.S.S. worker on site for this program, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

  • Health Insurance Application Assistance: Outreach worker from Community Health Councils on site to help families apply for low-cost and free health insurance programs. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • Vision Screening: Free eye exams provided quarterly by the U.C.L.A./Jules Stein Mobile Eye Clinic.

  • Mammograms: Free mammograms for low-income, uninsured women over 40. Every other month, provided by Mobile Mammography Screening, Inc.

  • Utility Assistance: Payment up to $150 for Gas and Edison bills in the winter months.

  • Mailing Address: For homeless persons, use of the Center for their mailing address, and the Center's telephone and FAX machines for important calls/business (e.g., for employment, medical and legal needs).

  • Immigration Processing: Low-cost immigration processing every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, by appointment. (Currently, citizenship processing is free for most zip codes, and consultations are free).

  • ESLClasses: Small intensive classes, Monday through Friday, designed to provide beginning level English language fluency, provided by Centinela Valley Adult School.

  • Citizenship Classes: Classes Monday through Thursday afternoons for those who are preparing for their citizenship interview, provided by Centinela Valley Adult School and Southwest College.

  • Educational Workshops: Community workshops are held periodically with topics of interest for low-income families, e.g., health, nutrition, employment, money management, public benefits, etc.

  • Christmas Program: Day-long party with new toys for children, food for 450 families.

  • Thrift Store: Low-cost clothing and household goods. Vouchers for free clothing. 10513 Hawthorne Bl., (310) 674-9652. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A community center such as St. Margaret's offers a natural avenue to provide a range of services to poverty-level families. Over the past 20 years persons with multiple needs have come to the Center for services and referrals for food, shelter, legal, medical, employment, housing, education and social services. Currently, between 400-500 persons come into St. Margaret's Center each week for one or more of its programs. They are all low- income, with the majority living below the federal poverty level.

One of the Center’s objectives for 2008-2009 is to re-locate the Center to a more adequate facility Additional space is desperately needed in order to expand programs to continue to meet the needs of the community.

St. Margaret’s Center

10505 Hawthorne Bl., Lennox CA 90304

Phone: 310.672.2208 - Fax: 310.672.1841


Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tax I.D.#: 95-1690973

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