When it comes to poverty, 4 of 10 Californians are living near the poverty line, that’s 13.3% of California’s population according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

With the pandemic adding challenges for organizations, here’s how a local group is evolving with the community to keep everyone safe, but still provide knowledge, resources and empowerment to keep progressing.


   Youth Xplosion (YXP) is a community engagement non-profit organization that provides many outlets and resources in combination with everyday necessities such as canned goods, fresh foods, and toiletries. The leadership and mentor programs for youth through YXP and community engagements include Hoops for Health which creates a safe space for youth to engage in recreational activities every Saturday at the Oak Park Community Center from 8am-9pm.


“We provide lots of resources by way of tangible products, but our goal is to draw people to our program and introduce them to other things that will help develop themselves so they may not become so dependent on society. So they can stand on their own two feet,” says Mark Jacobs, CEO of YXP.


The best example of this comes from YXP’s program titled Breaking the Cycle of Poverty(BCP). BCP was curated to help bridge the gap between community members and business owners, info and supplies provided to families and individuals to empower and encourage them to take the next step forward in progression.


“I could give a box of food or resources to someone that would last them a week, but after that week they are right back where they started. The goal is to get them out of that cycle, we try to help people realize the power within and inturn give them an opportunity and platform to share it with others,” says Mark.


YXP is still providing community engagement opportunities during this time such as Nutrition info sessions, Sunrise Engagement and Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. For more information please visit their website on how to volunteer if interested in helping the community or seeking selfcare.