NEED TO KNOW
Your Social Impact Team will be predominately based at the Watts Empowerment Center. Your impact will far-exceed even the days you are here. Every dollar that comes in from your Social Impact Team will further impact lives here at the Watts Empowerment Center. This center was closed down on Halloween of 2017 due to nationwide budget cuts. Since our non-profit Red Eye has been in the community weekly for 13 years providing mentorship, the locals asked for our help and unanimously voted for our charity to take over the community center. After months of negotiations, the City of Los Angeles approved. In 2018 we took over the 12,900 sq ft. Watts Empowerment Center and the 3.3 acres sports field and have been working tirelessly to provide facilities, services and programming that these local children deserve but have never been provided. We are in charge of all the After School Tutoring, Music, Arts, Dance, Theater, STEM Media Classes, Computer Training and Sports Teams! Feel free to read more about this HERE or watch a little video that told of the need HERE.
Watts Housing Projects Statistics:
Average age is 21
Largest age demographic is those 10 years of age and younger
Over 50% drop out of school
Only 2.9% make it to college
7,000 gang members are within a 2 mile radius of the Watts Empowerment Center according to LAPD statistics
Watts has the highest concentration of single parent households in California
Although, a majority of your time will be spent at the Watts Empowerment Center, Opportunities for Impact will be presented as options to your Social Impact Team. You can also potentially be involved with the homeless on Skid Row and/or working with one of our close local partners at an orphanage in Mexico that is overlooking the ocean and just a 3 hour drive from Los Angeles (a person does not need a passport to return as long as they provide both a Birth Certificate and a License or Gov’t Issued ID).
Watts Empowerment Center
Orphanage in Mexico
OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT
length of stay / RATES
Our Social Impact Trips are designed to be flexible around your Team’s unique schedule.
We highly recommend each Social Impact Team to stay at least over one of our Saturday’s YouthMentor.org community impact focus (Saturdays btwn 11.30am - 3pm).
On-Site Housing Is Provided.
Spring & Summer Rates (March-August) $60 per person per night:
• 4-night stay: $240
• 5-night stay: $300
• 6-night stay: $360
Fall & Winter Rates (September – February) $50 per person per night:
• 4-night stay: $200
• 5-night stay: $250
• 6-night stay: $300
During your stay at the Watts Empowerment Center, you will be staying on-site with sleeping bags (provided) and multiple blow-up mattresses (provided upon request). We also have around 10 couches available on-site. Some Social Impact Teams have preferred to bring their own bedding which is completely great as well. We aren’t trying to be the Ritz here but we do pride ourselves in the love the community provides to the Social Impact Teams! Teams have always utilized a couple showers within the local community that we organize. Not only do Teams love it so they can see first hand the housing conditions but it is a way that we provide some income to the locals that enable use of their shower. We are having a shower installed on-site in the first quarter of 2019 for anyone that would prefer use of such. This is made possible due to the generosity of other Teams that have come. Unfortunately, we do not offer couple housing or private individual rooms.
• 24-Hour Security (28 security cameras recording 24/7 that are accessible to Social Impact Team Leaders and the Watts Empowerment Center Staff via an App)
• Continental Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included
• Private Industrial Kitchen (stove, microwave and refrigeration available, within measure)
• Free Parking
• Workout Gym ($10 per week at Planet Fitness just down the road)
• Commons Game Room (Few Arcade Games and Microwave Available)
• Full Outdoor Basketball Court just built by Adidas and the Kardashian and Jenner Family with Stadium Lighting
• State-of-the-Art Futsal (Soccer) Court just built by Adidas, US Soccer Foundation and L.A.F.C. (MLS: Los Angeles Football Club)
• Full Indoor Basketball Court just built by NBA 2K Foundations
• Outdoor Skate Park Built by NIKE
• Outdoor Baseball Field
• Age Restriction
• No Smoking
• No Alcohol
• No Weapons
• No Drugs (REALLLLY do we have to say this?!)
HOW DO I BOOK A TRIP
First, contact our Educational Program Director: Edna@RedEye.org or at +1.714.931.1069 to check availability on dates, have any questions answered and then fill out the application. If you fill out the application before calling us to check availability, you’ll need to wait for a phone call/email from us to confirm the dates you are requesting. As soon as everything is confirmed we can complete your booking. We will send you a contract agreement that must be signed and sent back to us along with a first deposit of $100.00 by the requested date on the contract. As soon as we’ve received this, your booking is confirmed, and your Social Impact Team is locked in!
Due to the nature of the program, we must stress that no one under the age of 15 is allowed to attend unless one of their parents is in attendance. Younger youth are often not ready for the challenges of the Watts Empowerment Center environment and outreaches. If coming as an individual, you must be at least 18 years of age. Please respect our age-limit – it is there for your safety.
We feel tremendously blessed to have teams come that range from teens to fraternities and sororities on their College Spring Break to Young Adult Groups to groups mixed in age assortment! We even hosted 290 Adidas Staff over 3 days! We are still waiting (and sincerely excited) to someday host a group of senior citizens for a week long trip! We look forward to hosting you as long as you are ready to work hard and sincerely give of your heart to the local community that will so graciously be welcoming you!
We ask that you provide your own transportation while you’re here in LA. Some teams prefer using UBER/LYFT You will need transportation to travel to outreaches on Skid Row and places you may want to go on your free day. A leader can provide a list of hot spots and tourist attractions to see in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Malibu.
While you are here, you are representing the organization/group you came with with as well as the Watts Empowerment Center. We do not have a list of “Do’s and Don’t.” Sorry. We are sure you have had enough of those in your life over the years. Just realize you are in THE housing projects. What you project and want to be seen WILL be noticed. Do not get upset if locals make comments about what you are openly revealing and advertising. We request that anytime you are inside, do not be barefooted. Wear at least socks or flip-flops at minimum. Outside, we recommend that you wear shoes and keep your toes covered because your Social Impact Team may also be doing outreach in areas such as the streets of Skid Row.
HOW SAFE IS THE AREA???
We are truly grateful that we were “adopted” years ago by the local community. We have come to realize this blessing of the local community is nothing to be taken lightly and we are forever grateful. We have not have one person injured in over 13 years of weekly involvement in Watts! Beyond our 28 indoor security cameras that are recording 24/7, the LAPD has 11 cops assigned to protect the Watts Empowerment Center. So between all of that and your granny’s prayers, we feel you are safer here than on the streets of Beverly Hills!
do you or we pick what we will be doing???
Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books?! Do not fear! We are here to facilitate the best Social Impact Trip for your Team! If you have a preference of things you would like to do, please let us know! We have some pretty good ideas of what people have enjoyed and made the greatest impact on lives over the 13 years of us serving the local community. Together, we will make this trip a memorable one like no other!
WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE MEALS LIKE???
We have never had even one complaint about the meals from any Team (don’t make yourself the first! haha). These may not be some Gucci Bed-&-Breakfast service, but they are pretty good. The breakfast is pretty simple. Whereas the lunches and dinners every day can range from pasta to a wide range of things. We try to often employ some of the locals (that have the best “street cred” of their cooking amongst all the locals). We also sometimes have “celeb chefs and nutritionists” that make guest appearances to prepare a meal or two that love serving the Watts Empowerment Center and those that empower it (YOU!). Some Social Impact Teams prefer preparing or bringing their own meals or eating out. That is completely great and we try to make our brand new kitchen that the Kardashian/Jenner Family just donated to the center to be YOUR kitchen while you are here.
So sorry, but your decision to eat out, prepare your own meals, etc. does not cause any price adjustment. Remember the funds we raise from your Social Impact Team coming and serving help keep the Watts Empowerment Center open and bringing sustainable impact year-round!
On Saturdays, we only serve two meals: breakfast and dinner. We try our best to accommodate people with basic food/diet requests when provided to us at least 5 days before your arrival. But the moment you think you are back at the Ritz, is the moment we will give you an address to a nearby grocery store! haha
DO WE GET ANY FREE TIME???
1000% YES!!! We used to slam schedules so full that people were crawling and begging for their airplane flight when their trip came to a close. We have realized though that many people have never been to Los Angeles before so we try to be flexible with teams if they want to spend 1/3 of their trip exploring up and down California’s sunny PCH!
We try to schedule in time for you to relax and sightsee to your heart’s desire:
Santa Monica Pier
Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive
Malibu’s Surfer’s Paradise
Venice Boardwalk or Abbot Kinney
Hollywood’s Star-Filled Walk of Honor or Runyon Canyon
Griffith Park’s Observatory
#2 Cultural Site in all of California, THE Watts Towers!
Yes, you will have free time: in the mornings between breakfast and ministry assignments, as well as Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. On Saturdays, we focus all our energy into creating a fun creative YouthMentor.org outreach. In this time local creatives from Hollywood come and volunteer in their skillsets of film, fashion, sports, and simply hang out with the kids. This takes place from around 11am - 3pm. We have seen that often Teams like going to Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica or a Runyon Canyon Hike after YouthMentor.org on Saturday!
ARE THERE CERTAIN DATES YOU DON’T ACCEPT SOCIAL IMPACT TEAMS???
We always try to be accommodating, but we do things based upon a first-come, first serve basis. There is a chance that we may be hosting another group while you are here, but we never allow it to exceed 3 Social Impact Teams at once. In these instances, Teams have really enjoyed making friends with people from around the globe. We also limit the amounts of Teams that come at once, because we work so hard to make sure each Social Impact Team is provided with an incredible and memorable experience.
We 99% of the time do not accept teams during Thanksgiving week nor anyone beyond the 20th of December. We really like to give our Team and Volunteers time to travel to be with their families. We often have events that take place around holidays. Many times these happen a week before the actual holiday itself. Feel free to ask about if we can accommodate you differently, but typically we try to hold firm regarding these dates. If you happen to be here on a date such as 4th of July, we give our Team the day off, but don’t worry there is plenty that Los Angeles has to offer! haha
PLEASE NOTICE – For those desiring to come on Spring or Summer Social Impact Trips, we recommend you contacting us at least 6 months in advance. These dates tend to fill up and we limit those we allow to come so we can create the most memorable experience for each Social Impact Team. Feel free to give us a call even if it is closer to that date. We will try our best to facilitate your amazing Team!
what about PLACES OF WORSHIP???
Each team/individual is welcome to attend services while staying in town. Whether you want to get involved with experiencing timeless heritage of a local soul-filled service or attend another house of worship that you have heard about, options are endless in Los Angeles.