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k9 Connection
1453 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
k9 Connection gives a second chance to at-risk youth and shelter dogs. The nonprofit program provides counseling,More guidance, and ongoing mentoring to youth, ages 14 to 18, by bonding them with homeless animals. Each teen is invited to participate in the program at the request of their counselor. After the youths are bonded with a dog, the teen trains the dog in basic obedience, nurtures the dog until it becomes suitable for adoption, participates in a graduation ceremony, sees the dog placed in a permanent home and has monthly check-ins with the animal. k9 Connection classes are held over the course of three weeks, for two hours each week day. Each class is limited to eight teen-and-dog pairs. The program, which serves the greater Los Angeles area, is part of Santa Monica's OPCC network.
Olympic High School
721 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Olympic High School provides an alternative education that includes standards-based curriculum, intensiveMore guidance/counseling and project-based learning. Students are tended to individually and have a significant support system of educators. They are instructed to take many elective courses prior to graduation.

The "Olympic CARES" acronym, which in part defines the school, stands for "Communicators, Analytical Thinkers, Responsible Individuals, Ethical Citizens and Scholars."

The school's curriculum includes the following (some subjects have multiple courses): 20th-Century History in Film; Advanced Art; Algebra; APEX Learning French; APEX Learning; Art Foundation; Biological Science; CAHSEE Math; Career Exploration; Consumer Math; Counseling; Creative Writing; Criminal Justice; Digital Design; Drama; Drums; Economics; English; Essentials for Algebra; Geometry; Government; Guitar; Healthy Living; Intensive Literacy Support; K9; PAL Digital Design; PAL Fitness; Photography; Physical Education; Physical Science; Science Elective; Sober Living; Statistics; Teacher Assistant; Tutorial; US History; Venice Arts Photography; Work Experience ROP; and World History.

The student body is 58 percent Latino, 26 percent white and 12 percent black.

Olympic High School is currently undergoing construction but remains open.

OPCC
1453 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Located within the Mark Taper Foundation Building, OPCC - formerly called the Ocean Park Community Center - is aMore nonprofit network of shelters and services geared toward individuals who are homeless or have low-income status. The organization is critical to many social-outreach efforts in the City of Santa Monica.

The OPCC network includes:

  • The Access Center, which provides basic services to an average of 275 homeless individuals each day
  • The Campion Mental Health Center and Daybreak, the only program on the Westside of Los Angeles that is specifically tailored to helping homeless women who suffer from long-term debilitating mental illness
  • The k9 Connection, which bonds high-risk youth with shelter dogs as part of its mentoring and counseling efforts
  • Night Light Youth Outreach Services, which help homeless youth and runaways
  • Safe Haven, which aims to permanently transition chronically homeless individuals off the streets
  • Samoshel, which provides an array of services to homeless individuals
  • SHWASHLOCK, which stands for "SHowers, WASHers and LOCKers" and also provides basic services
  • Sojourn, which services battered women and children
  • Turning Point, a transitional-housing center that accommodates up to 55 individuals

All residential programs operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People who seek services at OPCC range from children and families to battered women to those suffering from a mental illnesses. With the economic downturn, people who face home foreclosures, job loss and exorbitant medical bills are also seeking services through the network. OPCC provides short-term services such as clothing and showers as well as long-term services such as case-management and outreach.