After a year-long process of meetings, due diligence, license acquisitions and contract consolidations, Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services and Pacific Lodge Youth Services are now a single organization. As the surviving entity, Optimist, will operate Pacific Lodge as a division of our agency. Euna Ra-Smith, LCSW, formerly Optimist’s director of community based group homes, has been appointed as the director of the Pacific Lodge facility, reporting to our CEO Sil Orlando.
Pacific Lodge shares a similar history to Optimist having opened its doors to probation youth in 1923. The beautiful 10-acre campus in Woodland Hills houses up to 51 boys in the residential program referred from various departments of probation. In addition, there are mental health services offered to boys and their families in the residential program and to outpatient children and families as well, including a wrap-around program. Pacific Lodge has been well known throughout the professional community as a provider of excellence.
With the acquisition of Pacific Lodge, OYHFS is now the largest provider of residential services exclusively serving probation youth in the State of California.
As part of the merger agreement, Optimist agreed to maintain the Pacific Lodge name by making it a division of OYHFS. The assets were transferred to OYHFS with the exception of the land itself which will remain with that organization for now. In addition, three former board members from Pacific Lodge have joined the Optimist board, one as a vice-president.
Administrative functions such as finance, human resources, development, and quality improvement have been consolidated making for greater consistency and efficiency. Treatment programs maintain their independence on both campuses although philosophies and approaches are being integrated. Natural voluntary staff turnover throughout the process resulted in only two staff members (one from each organization) out of a total of over 400 having to be laid off. The remaining staff have been hired by OYHFS with their seniority maintained. HR policies and benefits were combined so that the same will apply to all staff.
As part of the process our executive team worked with the boards of both Pacific Lodge and OYHFS to complete a three year strategic plan with specific goals that will drive our development over the next three years. The plan also includes a revised administrative structure for the overall agency which has already been put in place.
Join us this November for our Annual Fundraising Luncheon benefiting the boys at Pacific Lodge. This fun event will be held at our gymnasium and will feature music, delicious food, great raffle prizes, silent auction items, boutique vendors and more!!!
To purchase tickets online, click on the following link: http://plys.org/donate-form.
- Indicate the “Gift Amount” which can be lunch tickets and donations combined under pledge or single gift.
- Under “Designation” box, select “2017 Autumn Lunch” from the drop-down menu.
- In the “Comment Box” list the names of the attendees. If applicable, list donation amount and any instructions.
Our holiday party with Temple Aliyah was an absolute delight. Special thanks to volunteers for performing the most beautiful Christmas carols. They sounded beautiful and added a unique touch to our celebration. The boys sang along and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to A.L.L. – Acceptance.Love.Leadership and their volunteers and supporters for the many years of kindness to us. Every year, A.L.L. makes the holiday season a bright one for our young men, and this year was no exception. Our boys were thrilled with all the gifts they received this Saturday including blankets, pillows, warm weather wear, games, gift cards, cottage supplies, and other basic necessities. We’re delighted by your generous spirit and grateful to you for putting smiles on our boys’ faces!
Our friends at Allheart shared the warmth of the holidays with the boys yesterday. Thank you so much for the amazing gifts! Our holiday season is much happier because of your generosity and kindness!
We extend a sincere thanks to everyone who participated in our 5th Annual Autumn Lunch! With your support, we were able to raise funds to provide crucial services to Pacific Lodge children and families. A special thank you to our sponsors, auction donors, volunteers, event committee, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Huntington Culinary, guest speakers, and musicians who gave our attendees a fun-filled day to remember. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
We absolutely love the delicious cakes donated by Kirk O’The Valley Church every month!
Thank you Danny Trejo and Mario Castillo for coming out last week to speak to our boys. It was clear that you were able to connect with everyone in the room. The residents were greatly inspired by your message!
Pacific Lodge had the honor of celebrating the amazing support and service of PLYS volunteers on Wednesday, September 28. We are truly grateful to all of our volunteers for donating their precious time, talents and life experiences to help us build productive lives. A huge thank you to our outstanding supporters, guest speakers, staff and residents for making this event possible!