Congressman Tony Cárdenas giving a $1 million ceremonial check to New Directions for Youth at North Hollywood, which provides services to at-risk youth. (Photos Courtesy of Melissa Esparza)

Congressman Tony Cárdenas presented a ceremonial check for $1 million Tuesday, Aug. 1, to New Directions for Youth (NDY) to increase mental health services for at-risk youth.

The funding will allow the North Hollywood facility to add renovations, including adding an elevator for ADA access. The funding will also increase NDY’s ability to provide youth and families with mental health therapy and counseling, expand more life skills training, add more anger management workshops and provide resources to prevent homelessness.

“The work that NDY does is extremely important for at-risk youth who are struggling to overcome trauma, community violence, substance abuse, gang involvement, academic failure, unemployment, and medical issues,” said Cárdenas. “This project will have lasting impacts on future generations and teach youth key life lessons. As someone who grew up in a working-class community, I understand the crucial roles organizations like NDY play in our community.”

The facility currently offers a variety of programs for at-risk youth and their families, including literacy programs, anti-graffiti and environmental programs, the GED preparation pilot program and gang prevention and intervention programs.

NDY is the latest to receive a ceremonial check from Cárdenas after he secured more than $26 million in community project funding from Congress last year. The funding has been going towards programs and initiatives throughout the northeast San Fernando Valley, including $2 million to Los Angeles Mission College to expand its STEM workforce programs and $800,000 for the City of San Fernando to hire mental health clinicians and to support 988 cases — the phone number for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.