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Assemblywoman Luz Rivas Presents $1 Million to Cross-Cultural Friendship Center for Mental Health Services

For immediate release:

SAN FERNANDO – Today, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) presented $1 million to El Centro de Amistad (ECDA), a bilingual, cross-cultural nonprofit serving low-income individuals and families in the 43rdAssembly District. This funding will expand ECDA’s existing facilities to increase access to mental health, family, and legal services from 2,500 people to 5,000 community members annually.

“El Centro de Amistad, also known as the Friendship Center, has played a vital role in reducing the stigma of accessing mental health services in our community. ECDA’s staff have an understanding of the various cultures in the area and provide services in English and Spanish. ECDA’s holistic approach to care has transformed the lives of community members, and the positive effects of this ripples out into the district,” stated Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “This $1 million state investment is more than a facility expansion; it is about acquiring the necessary space to listen to community members in need of help.”

"El Centro de Amistad is deeply grateful to Assemblywoman Luz Rivas for delivering funds that will impact our ability to grow bilingual mental health services in the San Fernando Valley. These funds will enable our agency to accommodate growth by increasing the use of space for our therapists and team," stated Luis Cervantes, ECDA Executive Director.

ECDA was recently awarded funding from the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health to hire ten additional mental health therapists with cultural and linguistic competency. This expansion and improvement to ECDA’s facilities will accommodate for more staff, and create a safe, comfortable, and understanding shared space in our community.


Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 43rd Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sun Valley, Sylmar, North Hollywood, Valley Glen, and the City of San Fernando.