Friends of the Family is located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, a large urbanized area located in the northwestern section of Los Angeles that is home to nearly two million residents. From its central location, Friends of the Family provides services throughout the San Fernando Valley and other parts of Los Angeles. The agency is able to reach such a wide area by providing the majority of its services at a wide range of easily accessible community locations, including more than 50 elementary, middle and high schools, community centers, hospitals, parks, temples, and churches. Since it is often an insurmountable task to bring the community to the agency, Friends of the Family brings the agency to the community and delivers programs and services to community members where they are located.
Friends of the Family concentrates its vital work in the central and northeast San Fernando Valley, an area at high risk for negative outcomes for children and families. Once known for its relaxed suburban lifestyles, these neighborhoods have given way to large apartment complexes along major thoroughfares, with the resulting population explosion giving rise to high rates of crime, gang activity, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, and teen pregnancy.
The area is rich in diversity, but limited in financial resources. Median household income is significantly lower than in the greater San Fernando Valley or LA County. Nearly 25% of households fall below Federal poverty guidelines and one in four children lives in poverty. Many parents work multiple low-wage jobs resulting in limited time and energy to be with their children, and a large number of single parents bear sole responsibility for child rearing.
Friends of the Family serves over 5,000 family members annually, of which approximately 22% are children under 12 and 16% are adolescents. Approximately 51% of the center's clients are Latino, 32% are Caucasian, 11% are African-American, 1% are Asian-Pacific Islander, and 5% are Multi-Ethnic. Friends of the Family provides culturally competent services in a manner respectful of the diverse community's cultures, languages and protocols. Services are provided by a multi-ethnic, culturally diverse, multi-lingual staff and volunteer team.