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Our History

Lifting Families Since 1925

Believing that “a child cannot grow up twice,” El Nido was founded in 1925 by the National Council of Jewish Women to provide meals and respite care to undernourished and neglected girls in Los Angeles.

El Nido (the Nest) was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1954. In the 1960s, El Nido expanded to include residential shelters, and offered guidance for abused, abandoned, and runaway girls. By 1979, El Nido Family Centers became formally independent and had grown to include social services for both boys and girls. As the incidence of child abuse, school failure, youth crime, and teen pregnancy increased, El Nido’s focus evolved to community-based prevention and early intervention.

Throughout its history, El Nido has been a pioneer. It was the first or a leading local agency, to employ multicultural professionals from its target communities, deliver counseling and parent education in non-traditional settings like schools, inner-city churches, and housing projects, and offer home or school-based group services for pregnant and parenting teens.

Today, El Nido continues to build healthy families by providing community-based social services in some of the most underserved communities in Los Angeles County including; Pacoima and surrounding communities, South Los Angeles, Compton, and the Antelope Valley.

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Our History

1950 – 1970
1980 – 1990

Founded in 1925 by the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, its first endeavor was a camp in Laurel Canyon for "underprivileged and pre-tubercular girls."

Through the '50s, and '60sand '70s, El Nido, becoming independent from the NCJW in the '70s, expanded to operate residential counseling centers for girls and boys, added family counseling, joined with the L.A. Unified School District to offer school-based counseling (a revolutionary concept for its time), with the USC School of Social Work launched groundbreaking group and one-on-one counseling at inner-city churches and community centers, replaced its residential homes with a network of outreach offices to provide center-based and in-home services and developed strong relationships with Los Angeles universities and colleges for practical field training for social work and counseling students. 

In the '80s, '90s and now, El Nido grew to offer pregnancy prevention programs for teens, parenting skills education and baby health counseling for teens and older moms and dads, child abuse prevention and intervention, delinquency diversion programs, family literacy efforts, assistance and encouragement for pregnant teens to finish high school, scholarships for graduating teens to attend college and vocational schools and guidance on successful employment and community living. 

Today, El Nido's staff of 150 dedicated professionals provides family-strengthening guidance and counseling to almost 11,000 infants, children, teens and families annually through 10 locations in the San Fernando Valley, South Central Los Angeles, Compton, Carson, Santa Monica and the Antelope Valley.

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