Southern California Non-profit Organizations
Working for Sustainability

Urban Environment Organizations

 Click on an organization to see a description and its hyperlink, if available.         
Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles
Eco-Home Network
Eco-Village, Los Angeles
Habitat for Humanity
Los Angeles Conservation Corps
Los Angeles Conservancy
Mothers of East Los Angeles - Santa Isabel
Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles
Contact: Melodie Dove, Environmental Organizer
Address: 4707 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90011
Phone: 213-846-2500
Fax: 213-846-2508

Concerned Citizens of South Central L.A. (CCSCLA) is a non-profit, community-based organization which works to promote social change and economic and environmental justice within the South Central community. The CCSCLA was formed in 1985 to oppose the construction of a mass-burn waste incinerator in our neighborhood. Utilizing the principles of self-help and empowerment, CCSCLA seeks to organize, train, and educate residents on how to address issues pertaining to: employment, affordable housing, decent education, a safe and clean environment and other quality of life issues that often affect economically deprived and people-of-color communities. Non-residents often view this community as a run-down industrial area, and it was not until CCSCLA began organizing that the other middle class communities in the city learned that our neighborhood concerns are not that different from their own.

Projects: Full-service print shop; computer training school; affordable housing: CCSCLA has completed the Roberta Stephens Villas (40 units), and has constructed 1 Wilkens Place (18 units) and Central Village Square (45 units). These housing developments provide job opportunities in the community. CCSCLA is also developing an after-school nanny program in which senior citizens will serve as caretakers for the children in our housing developments.

Resources: Library, including all current environmental newspaper articles; 57 organized block clubs; computer training for teachers

Volunteer Opportunities: Always need volunteers; door-to-door information campaign on lead poisoning; computer training

Eco-Home Network
Contact: Julia Russell, Director
Address: 4344 Russell Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 213-662-5207
Fax: 213-662-4744

The Eco-Home Network's mission is to create a sustainable future for our cities through demonstration, education, and building a constituency for ecological urban living. The 'Eco-Home' is an environmentally-sound, energy-efficient, economical house which can serve as a model for others to follow. On this typical city lot you will see working xeriscape, garden, orchard, composting, photovoltaic, solar hot water, recycling, plumbing and building design systems that enable ecological living in an urban environment.

Projects: Workshops and special events; The Eco-Cities Council; coordinator for the Southern California Region of the National Tour of Solar Homes.

Resources: The Eco-Home demonstration home tours; information center; library; bookstore; newsletter, "Ecolution." Publications: info packets on composting, recycling, water conservation, organic gardening, and xeriscape; "Los Angeles: A History of the Future" by Paul Glover (on ecologically re-designing LA); "Sustainable Cities: Concepts and Strategies for Eco-City Building"

Volunteer Opportunities: Helping to scan library into computer; computer entry; filing; newsletter; library

Eco-Village, Los Angeles
Contacts: Lois Arkin, Mary Maverick, or Ana Noriega
Address: 3551 White House Place, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: 213-738-1254
Fax: 213/386-8873
Web Site:

Eco-Village was founded in 1993 by the Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP) which is committed to small cooperative and ecological communities. Eco-Village demonstrates a healthy and regenerative urban community in which the ecological, economic and social systems in the neighborhood are integrated for long term health and sustainability.

Projects: Housing: CRSP purchased a 40 unit courtyard style building, built in 1922, in May, 1996. Plans are to convert the building with existing and future residents to permanently affordable cooperative housing within 2 years. Two other residential buildings are slated for acquisition by 1998. Goals: Transportation Activate an electric vehicle car co-op in Eco-Village for 20 people. Reduce the number of autos owned in Eco-Village by 15%. Energy & Water: Initiate retrofitting and incentives for reducing energy and water consumption. Waste: Install a demonstration living machine (biological waste water treatment system). Reduce landfill headed neighborhood waste by 20% of its 1995 volume. Food: Increase neighborhood organic food production to provide 10% of diet for 20 people. Livelihood: Establish new eco-business development sufficient to support 12 persons who reside in the convene an urban permaculture two-week, on-site course; establish bi-monthly public forums; Streetscape: Implement traffic calming plan; Other: develop a teen center; establish three artists in residence

Resources: Membership available; Publications: publications list or see list in latest newsletter. A variety of publications on various aspects of small cooperative ecological communities are available; Books: Sustainable Cities: Concepts and Strategies for Eco-Cities and Cooperative Housing Compendium: Resources for Collaborative Living by Lois Arkin; videos; library -- more than 2500 books and publications are available on all aspects on cooperatives, ecology and communities; small dialogue groups -- Monday nights at 7:30 pm -- reservations required; Hotline, referrals, and information clearinghouse; teleconferencing with Eco-Villages in New York and Tennessee; slideshow and talks; the Eco-Village Experience event is held on Saturdays

Volunteer Opportunities: Apprenticeship, internship; residency: from short term to permanent

Habitat for Humanity
Contact: Mary Hagarty, Director of Communications and Development
Phone: 213-975-9757 or 1-800-Habitat: affiliate organizations and phone numbers
Fax: 213-975-9733
Address: 1138 Wilshire Boulevard, Ste. 100, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Web Site:

Habitat for Humanity - Los Angeles is one of 1,300 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International working in partnership with God, the community, and people in need by building and rehabilitating homes to make affordable housing a matter of conscience and action. Using volunteer labor and donated funds and materials, we build simple, decent homes and require that our partner homeowners contribute 500 hours each toward the construction of their own homes. These homes are then sold to low-income families at cost, with no profit or interest added.

Projects: Thirty-nine homes have been completed (35 in Central and South Central LA and 4 in East LA). Plans are to build 27 new homes in 1997 and to increase productivity 100% each year thereafter.

Resources: Newsletter

Volunteer Opportunities: Construction, administration, fundraising, P.R.

Los Angeles Conservation Corps
Contact: Phil Matero, Education Director
Address: 2824 So. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011
Phone: 213-749-8739
Fax: 213-749-3331

The Los Angeles Conservation Corps employs young men and women to work in and improve the environment and at the same time receive work experience, training, and continue their education. The Conservation Corps works with and serves communities in and around the Los Angeles area by tree planting and developing parks, implementing and delivering conservation and environmental projects, and working with youths to educate them about the environment, conservation and recycling.

Projects: Greening project along the Exposition Corridor from Alameda to La Brea; recycling projects throughout the City of Los Angeles; the Clean and Green program, beginning its ninth year, employs and works with 13-17 year olds during their off-track and also while they're in school; extensive trail construction work in Santa Monica and nearby mountains

Resources: Specific project funding information as well as information about Americorps/Building Up Los Angeles, the President's national service program; Youthbuild/YES; and other collaborating community-based organizations

Volunteer Opportunities: Variety of opportunities in wide range of fields such as tree plantings and community clean-ups; tutoring and education assistance; internships and similar learning or service opportunities

Los Angeles Conservancy
Contact: Alan Barasorda
Address: 727 West 7th St., #955, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213-623-2489
Fax: 213-623-3909

The Los Angeles Conservancy is an organization dedicated to the recognition, preservation and revitalization of the historic architectural resources of Greater L.A.

Projects: Weekly downtown walking tours; annual classics film series; film and theater preservation; preservation of historic structures by fighting demolition; restoration of many historic buildings; Preservation Network Program Workshops--e.g. "Identifying and Documenting Resources In Your Community"

Resources: Restoration Resources Directory; lectures, forums, workshops; library; newsletter

Volunteer Opportunities: Docents, office aides, special events, committees, task forces

Mothers of East Los Angeles - Santa Isabel
Contacts: Juana Beatriz Gutierrez, President
Elsa Lopez, Environmental Director
Address: 924 S. Mott Street, Los Angeles, CA 90023-1412
Phone: 213-269-9898
Fax: 213-269-2446
Web Site:

Founded in 1985, the M.E.L.A.-Santa Isabel is a community-based woman's group. The organization is committed to organizing, educating and mobilizing our community for the benefit of our children. Community empowerment is the founding and guiding principle of our socially-consc