multi-ethnic collaborative of community agencies
MECCA has always advocated that true forms of cultural competency entail much more than the mere distribution of materials or the linguistic translation of materials; culturally competent materials ensure that the content, when translated and subsequently distributed, is accessible and culturally congruent to each ethnic community. Indeed, MECCA’s member agencies specialize in providing targeted outreach to hard-to-reach and under-served community members with linguistically and culturally competent services. MECCA’s member agencies, however, are much more than just linguistic and culturally competent; MECCA’s member agencies are trailblazing community-based organizations which embody the very ethnic and cultural identity of the community members the agency purports to serve.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
- Ryunosuke Satoro
Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center
The Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center (AASCSC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1989 with the philosophy “caring for elders as if they were our own”. We established the service center office in Orange County in 1991. Our principal mission “is dedicated to increasing the awareness of the needs of the Asian American elderly, assisting their access to essential health care and social services, and promoting a dignified living in the community.” AASCSC is a leading service and advocacy organization entrusted to serve, protect, and celebrate senior citizens. We are determined to help Asian Pacific Americans (APA) lead independent, meaningful, and dignified lives by building a stronger and healthier community thorough direct services, policy advocacy, and capacity building. For many years, AASCSC has been an important resource to ensure our most vulnerable, low-income seniors, have access and equity to quality social and health programs and services available to all American senior citizens. With bilingual staff and volunteers, AASCSC works to serve and empower the diverse aging community.
ABRAZAR has provided continuous service since 1975, establishing themselves as a multigenerational and multicultural organization. ABRAZAR is committed to educating individuals on how to access existing education, social/community services, housing, transportation and health care programs in order to improve their quality of life. Interpretation and translation services are available for all programs.
ABRAZAR mission is to promote the general welfare and prosperity of very poor to medium income seniors and families in Orange County through programs that improve health, nutrition, socialization, lifelong learning and economic self-sufficiency in culturally sensitive ways. ABRAZAR has met the needs of low-income seniors and families across Orange County with special focus on the needs of those who live alone, are isolated and frail, immigrants, Hispanics and Vietnamese. ABRAZAR has earned an outstanding reputation among Orange County service providers as well as local residents. This reputation and trust has resulted in large numbers of clients using our services. Last year, the program served over four thousand (4,000) unduplicated individuals including children, youth, adults and senior citizens.
ABRAZAR currently has five separate Senior Transportation Programs: Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (SNEMT) covering central/west and north Orange County, Adult Day Health Care (ADHC), New Freedoms, Senior Mobility, and Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC). We provide SNEMT transportation Monday through Saturday.
Access California Services
Founded in 1989, Access California Services is a culturally and linguistically sensitive health and human services nonprofit organization, which provides social and economic services to local Arab- and Muslim-Americans, refugees, and immigrants; however, Access California Services is nonsectarian. Anyone who needs support in the community will receive it regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. In 2014, Access California Services served over 11,000 community members, providing close to 30,000 units of service. Services include: Vocational English training, case management and advocacy in 16 languages, citizenship and immigration services, employment and tax services, emergency financial assistance, educational services, healthcare access services, counseling and support, community service and civic engagement, refugee services, and refugee health assessments.
Korean Community Services
Korean Community Services, founded in 1975, aims to assist and empower Korean American individuals, families, and the greater immigrant community. This mission is achieved through the promotion of projects and programs that provide culturally and professionally competent human services to unserved and underserved Korean Americans.
Korean Community Services believes that healthier individuals and communities results from a combination of outreach, treatment, and prevention efforts. Korean Community Services’ focus widened as the agency began to service the general population with behavioral health services, as well as expanding locations to Orange County. At present, Korean Community Services is a multi-service agency providing an array of behavioral health, public health and social services to Korean Americans as well as the community at large.
Korean Community Services is one of the largest behavioral health providers in Orange County specializing in services to mandated populations. Through domestic violence, parenting, child abuse, substance abuse and anger management programs, Korean Community Services serves clients mandated to treatment by the Orange County Courts, Probation, Social Services and Health Care Agency. Furthermore, Korean Community Services’ expertise is in substance abuse and as such, Korean Community Services encounters many dually diagnosed clients. Korean Community Services has active 4-year contracts with HCA on Outreach and Engagement as a key member of the Asian Pacific Islander Behavioral Health Collaborative.
OMID Multicultural Institute for Development
OMID Multicultural Institute for Development is a nonprofit organization founded in 2011, with the mission to provide myriad mental health services, education, outreach, training and research to address the mental health needs of low-income families across Orange County with a special focus on the Farsi speaking families (specifically, Persians and Afghans), children, senior citizens, and immigrants. The Farsi-speaking community of Orange County has been recently recognized as a rapidly growing population in need of services. The Orange County Health Care Agency has requested that OMID Multicultural Institute for Development develop preventive interventions and programs to meet the needs of the underserved Iranian community in their primary language, Farsi. OMID Multicultural Institute for Development has been successful in reaching the diverse community of Iranian-Americans in South Orange County, and as of this year, OMID Multicultural Institute for Development is looking forward to expanding its services to Central and North Orange County’s Farsi-speaking communities.
OMID Multicultural Institute for Development has developed a multicultural, integrative, multi-level and collaborative therapeutic approach, as well as educational and training experiences, to enhance the well-being and resiliency of individuals and families, across generations and across the lifespan. OMID Multicultural Institute for Development aims to improve the quality of life for underserved and distressed families, particularly immigrant populations, by providing culturally and linguistically responsive mental health and social services.
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center is a community- based organization committed to providing access to services for all families either impacted by physical, cognitive, language, social, emotional disabilities, or that are at risk. Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center’s mission is to provide innovative, artistic, educational, and therapeutic programs that transform and inspire children, at-risk youth, and families to fulfill their highest potential in life. They have been providing services for the past 15 years to low-income families in Santa Ana and Orange County with special focus on individuals with disabilities, from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The majority of the families they serve are Latino, monolingual and low-income immigrants. Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center has been very successful in reaching out to underserved communities that are not seeking traditional therapeutic services due to cultural and linguistic factors. Their success is based on their knowledge, experience and expertise in working with Latino families. The staff is bilingual/ bicultural and it’s committed to meet the needs of the Latino community.
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center is a place where emotion is in motion. The ARTS center is the first and only organization in Orange County offering unique programming that combines the arts, academics and creative therapies to help youth realize their highest potential. Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center offers a high-quality, comprehensive and multicultural curriculum that prioritizes on empowering children and youth of limited resources, from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The foundation of the organization rests with committed and compassionate board members, staff and teachers, who are talented artists, musicians, educators and therapists. Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Art Center’s community center is a “safe-haven” for many isolated Latino families.
Southland Integrated Services, Inc.
Southland Integrated Services, formerly Vietnamese Community of Orange County (VNCOC), provides comprehensive health, human, and economic development, supporting services to Vietnamese Americans in order to enable them to become actively participating citizens in the mainstream society through empowerment and the capacity enhancement of each citizen.
Established in 1979 as a refugee resettlement support agency operating out of a makeshift storefront office in an area that now became today’s Little Saigon, Southland Integrated Services, Inc. has gradually expanded its operations to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of the local Vietnamese-American population (est. 200,000), the largest concentration of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam.
Southland Integrated Services is the only Vietnamese non-profit in Orange County that provides health and social services to culturally diverse clients ranging in age from birth to 98 with four sites located in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Westminster. Southland Integrated Services provides medical and dental assistance as a FQHC while also offering citizenship, ESL, and computer classes.
Now, with over 15 social service programs and a Community Economic Development Project provided at our headquarters in Santa Ana and the branch offices in Westminster and Garden Grove, Southland Integrated Services—the largest non-profit, community-based of its kind—has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people and has come to be regarded as a real institution in the Vietnamese-American community.
The Cambodian Family
The Cambodian Family is a grassroot, independent community-based organization that was formed in 1980 when Cambodian refugees first settled in America after escaping the horrors of war and genocide. Feeling compelled to address the desperate needs of their community, a small group of the more skilled and knowledgeable Cambodian refugees rented a small apartment and volunteered their time teaching English and providing other critical resettlement services to help their fellow community members overcome their recent trauma, learn new skills, and move forward with their lives. Over the years, our services have expanded to immigrants and refugees from all over the world. In 2010, The Cambodian Family moved from a warehouse into a new facility now called The Cambodian Family Community Center, purchased through the award of a $2.1 million grant from the City of Santa Ana. Our mission is to provide opportunities for refugee and immigrant families to develop the knowledge, skills, and desires for creating health and well-being in their lives. The Cambodian Family has provided services to our community for over 37 years.
Viet Rainbow of Orange County
VROC’s story began when five LGBTQ+ Vietnamese Americans came together to apply to be a part of the annual Tet (Lunar New Year) Parade. When the group submitted their application in January 2013, they were met with rejection. The organizers of the parade, the Federation of Southern California Vietnamese said, “LGBT is not part of Vietnamese culture.” In response to this blatant discriminatory decision, VROC was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to empower LGBTQ+ Vietnamese communities through advocacy, engagement, education, and supportive services. We envision a world where ALL individuals are treated equally, enlightened to the reality of human diversity, and empowered to reach their full potential. VROC uses a multi-pronged approach to educate and bring visibility to the Orange County and broader Southern California community about LGBTQ+ issues. LGBTQ+ Vietnamese youth and Vietnamese mothers of LGBTQ+ children have presented their stories to ethnic and mainstream media channels. Additionally, VROC has garnered support from local and state politicians around the issue of being denied the right to march in the Tet parade. In doing so, VROC has gained the support of more than 25 local, state, and national organizations including the ACLU, LAMBDA Legal, and Equality California. Currently, VROC remains the only LGBTQ+ Vietnamese 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States and is also a member organization of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.