Claretians have been serving the historic San Gabriel Mission Parish in San Gabriel, California, since 1908. Located in the suburbs of Los Angeles, the parish community includes San Gabriel and surrounding towns, such as Rosemead. The area served by San Gabriel Mission is very diverse; 64% of the community is Asian and 28% is Hispanic.
The community has a median household income of only $47,368, compared to $61,000 statewide, and many residents struggle with poverty. In nearby Rosemead, for example, 20% of the total population and 29% of children under the age of 18 are living below the poverty level compared to national levels of only 15.4% and 21.6%, respectively. Though poverty presents significant universal obstacles, suburban poverty presents unique challenges, including inadequate or nonexistent access to transportation, housing, and other services.
The San Gabriel community also faces a low educational grade-level completion rate. Without positive role models to show them what is possible, youth in the community risk succumbing to this same trend. Only 73.7% of adults in the area have finished high school, compared to 81.2% in the state of California, and only 24.3% have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30.7% statewide. In nearby Rosemead, those numbers drop to only 64.7% with high school diplomas and 15.8% with bachelor’s degrees.
Many in the area surrounding the San Gabriel Mission Parish speak English as a second language; 78.8% speak a language other than English, as opposed to only 20.7% nationally, and the majority of those do not speak English very well. Lack of English-language skills can lead to community members feeling isolated and unable to access needed services. Those with poor English-language skills have fewer employment opportunities and a decreased chance of advancing in the workplace. Having community support can be instrumental in bridging the gap.
tCI programs at San Gabriel Mission work hard to meet the needs of the community as they come up and change. Programs like the San Gabriel Marimba Ensemble are making a positive difference for the community, but there is more work to be done. Consider making a donation to tCI to help Claretians in San Gabriel continue to respond to the needs of the people they serve. As always, 95% of your donation goes directly to the programs.