Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, 6th from left, with staff and clients of Sanctuary of Hope. (Courtesy photo)

Assemblymember Isaac G. Bryan selected Sanctuary of Hope (SOH) as a 2023 California Nonprofit of the Year for the organization’s outstanding contributions to the community.

Sanctuary of Hope is a youth development organization that serves young people ages, 16-25, who are child welfare or juvenile justice impacted, housing and economic insecure, trafficking and domestic survivors, expectant and parenting youth, and low-income.

Annually, more than 1,100 youth and families in Los Angeles County benefit from prevention and stabilization services and activism and advocacy activities that include basic needs, housing, counseling, system navigation, education and employment assistance, leadership development, family support and reunification, and mental well-being.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized as Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblymember Bryan. He has visited several times to check in and meet with young people in our programs – giving them direct proximity to influence and power,” said Janet Denise Kelly, executive director of Sanctuary of Hope. “Our young people are thriving because our safe and affirming spaces embody hope and bolsters resilience; and they connect with people who care about them.”

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“When anyone talks about delivering meals to seniors, inspiring with music, protecting fresh water, educating children, championing the disadvantaged, speaking out for human rights, caring for animals . . . they are talking about work that nonprofits do,” noted Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), which serves as a partner for this awards program.

“California Nonprofit of the Year gives elected leaders the opportunity to shine a light on what nonprofits are accomplishing for the people in their districts and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits across our state.”

Janet Denise Kelly, center, with young people who benefitted from the group’s services. (Courtesy photo)

Now in its eighth year, the Nonprofit of the Year initiative provides the opportunity for each California state legislator to choose a nonprofit organization doing outstanding work in their district. The program culminates with a celebratory luncheon at Capitol Hill on California Nonprofits Day, which this year is June 7.

“Sanctuary of Hope is everything the name suggests,” shared Assemblymember Isaac Byran who represents California’s 55th Assembly District.

“This place offers relief for those who are houseless or hungry. It gives these young people a path forward and the promise of a future where they can be happy, healthy, and whole. You start to feel that hope lift you up as soon as you step through their doors.”

According to “Causes Count,” a 2019 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in the state, employing more than 1.2 million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate more than $273 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 330,000 full-time jobs every year.