When Phineas F. Bresee founded his new ministry in Los Angeles in 1895, he told his parishioners, “The poor will always have a front row seat in the Church of the Nazarene.”
Inspired by his vision and heart for the community, members of the Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene founded the P.F. Bresee Foundation in 1982 in hopes of building a community center that would support families who were struggling to break the cycle of poverty.
Just five years later, one of Bresee’s staff members, Jeff Carr, recognized that youth in the area needed a safe place and engaging activities after school as an alternative to the gang activity and destructive behaviour in the community. He headed out into the neighborhood to recruit participants in a youth basketball league, and Bresee’s youth programs were born.
Since its early days, Bresee has evolved significantly to support the continued needs of youth and families in the LA community. In 2001, our organization was able to purchase and renovate the 15,000-square-foot facility where Bresee is still housed today.
In 2008, Bresee expanded further to include family supportive services through the Wilshire FamilySource Center. Then, in 2012 Bresee joined the city-wide campaign to reduce gang violence in Los Angeles by launching a gang-prevention program through the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) initiative.
Today, Bresee is a vibrant community center serving more than 3,000 youth and family members each year. Bresee is proud to provide the Los Angeles community with numerous programs that encourage the growth of young people and their families.