One of the biggest challenges facing communities in these tough economic times is just paying for basic services. Things we used to take for granted like a city baseball program for kids suddenly become unaffordable. It’s that or closing a fire station, etc.
That’s where the public/private/nonprofit partnerships really come in handy. The Lynwood Sports Association (LSA) is an all-volunteer organization that started off as a baseball program and evolved into a sort of adjunct parks and rec department, offering a full menu of academic, social and sports activities for 15,000 kids a year, who somehow manage to share the one large and four smaller neighborhood parks in Lynwood.
For instance, the organization partnered with the city to field a “mobile recreation team” that roams the city offering drop in programs for kids who live to far away to walk to the main city recreation/community center. Typically, these are what we often refer to as the “underserved” neighborhoods, some of the toughest, lowest income most crime ridden streets of Los Angeles County.
LSA is an important part of the community’s successful efforts to reduce crime and gang activity in the area.