When riots tore through the East Los Angeles barrios in the 1970s, they reflected the despair and frustration of many young people in the area. Poverty, the lack of opportunity, and the need for respect and acceptance
led many down the path of gangs and drugs. A group of business people from the East Los Angeles community, however, wanted things to change for the better. They joined forces with the Hollenbeck Division LAPD to form the Hollenbeck Police Business Council, with a specific mission to help at-risk kids.

Since incorporating in March 1972, the Hollenbeck Police Business Council and Hollenbeck Youth Center have remained committed to the primary goal of preventing violence by deterring kids from gang and criminal activities. The Youth Center reaches thousands of children annually through innovative recreation, education and entrepreneur programs designed to decrease crime by instilling a strong sense of value and purpose in young people. The Hollenbeck Youth Center was built in 1976 entirely from private contributions (15,000 sq. feet area). At that time, the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department directed the Center, giving their time as coaches and role models. But in 1978, Proposition 13 passed and funding for police staffing ceased suddenly, for years. The local businesses came together in hopes of finding a solution to re-open the facility, putting their resources together they raised enough funds to hire one individual.

In 1981, Daniel L. Hernandez was hired to lead the Center. Hernandez’s first initiative was to create a strong relationship with the community, which he did successfully. Twenty-six years later, under the direction
of Mr. Hernandez, the center has flourished into a nationally recognized organization. In 1998, under Hernandez’s direction, the Center completed a 15,000 square-foot addition, allowing it to house educational and counseling programs, as well as to provide essential office space for permanent and volunteer personnel.

Since its creation, Hollenbeck has bettered the lives of thousands of our children, many of which have gone on
to become exceptional athletes, students, professionals and citizens. These inspired acts of commitment and dedication continues to live on as we serve today’s youth and work to better their future.