LOS ANGELES, January 12, 2016 — Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles will celebrate the groundbreaking of its new headquarters on January 19 at 10:00 a.m., at 1550 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, the day after we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Continuing the anti-poverty work that Dr. King was doing at the time of his death, we seek to honor his legacy of service to the poor and his vision of a just society.
To celebrate this milestone occasion, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti will attend. The building will be called the Ron Olson Justice Center, named after one of the founding partners of law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson. Olson has a long history of public service. He served as board president for LAFLA from 1984-1985 and was honored by LAFLA in 1992 with the Maynard Toll Award for Distinguished Public Service. LAFLA is proud to have Olson’s name associated with its work.
The headquarters will sit on a LAFLA-owned lot at 8th Street and Union Avenue. “Place matters and the new headquarters means that our clients, staff and community can feel welcome in a dignified environment,” said Silvia R. Argueta, executive director of LAFLA. “LAFLA’s poverty experts provide services in the communities where our clients live and work. This building represents our continued commitment to serve and enhance our surrounding communities.”
The new facility will have several features that will help LAFLA serve clients, including a bright and inviting reception area, intake rooms that allow potential clients to speak privately with advocates while still being able to watch their children, accessibility to people with disabilities, including veterans, and a Self-Help Resource Center with legal resources and materials. On the top floor, a state of the art conference room/center will be available not only for LAFLA meetings but also for gatherings of community organizations.
The structure’s exterior will feature a mural and a garden full of beautiful art displays. LAFLA is working with local artists to create both of these features.
“Every day, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles works to protect the most vulnerable people in our city,” Garcetti said. “By helping underserved residents navigate a complex legal system, assisting veterans who are looking to access benefits they’ve earned, and protecting tenants from wrongful evictions, this organization fights tirelessly to ensure that justice is available to all — not just those with the financial resources to put up a fight in court. The new headquarters will enable LAFLA’s dedicated staff to do even more for Angelenos with the greatest need for their services.”
Heading the campaign are co-chairs Brad Brian and Glenn Pomerantz of Munger, Tolles & Olson and Jim Hornstein of Moldex-Metric, Inc. To fund the construction, more than $10.6 million has been raised from private donors and foundations and $4.6 million in New Markets Tax Credits through New Markets Community Capital LLC, a TELACU Company, Genesis LA and Chase, with bridge funding provided by Raza Development Fund.
The architect is House & Robertson Architects, Inc. and the construction company is MATT Construction with project management from S.L. Leonard & Associates. The building is expected to be completed in spring 2017.