History of Vernon-Central

Vernon-Central is renowned for its role in jazz history from the 1920’s to 1950’s. Central Avenue is the location of nationally registered historic landmarks, such as the Historic 28th Street YMCA, the childhood home of Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Ralph Bunche, Second Baptist Church, the Florence Mills Theater, and the Dunbar Hotel (Somerville) to name a few. It is the permanent location of the City of Los Angeles’ yearly Central Avenue Jazz Festival; Lionel Hampton’s highly acclaimed “Central Avenue Breakdown” was written about “The Avenue”. Today, Vernon-Central is deeply impacted by concentrated poverty; 52% of residents are under the age of 25, 85% of residents are Latino, 13% are African American, and 20.7% of all residents are unemployed.

Mission of CRCD

To better sustain, coordinate, and improve local planning, development, and community services that address the needs of low-income residents and small businesses in South Los Angeles.

Founded in 2005, the Coalition for Responsible Community Development has a unique focus on young people in Vernon-Central (age 16-25), and collaborates with residents, businesses, community-based organizations, civic leaders, and Los Angeles Trade Technical College, to improve the quality of life in our community.

What We Do

CRCD leads initiatives to foster a safe and economically vibrant neighborhood – a place where young people can thrive and contribute to neighborhood revitalization. With effective partnerships, CRCD promotes public safety and civic pride, trains and hires unemployed youth to remove graffiti and beautify the neighborhood, engages young people in education, training, and career-building; builds permanent supportive housing for transition-age youth- including former foster youth and other low-income residents, and strengthens small businesses to promote economic growth.

CRCD serves as lead agency for the Vernon-Central Sustainable Communities initiative, which is a community-driven process to improve the quality of life over 5 years. CRCD also operates a social enterprise, CRCD Enterprises, which was launched in 2010 as a job creation engine. The Los Angeles Conservation Corps provided fiscal sponsorship from 2005 to 2006, and still serves as a mentor to CRCD.

If you would like to make a contribution to CRCD, please click on Press/Give Page or please call 213-743-6193.