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St. Joseph Center was founded in 1976 in a small Venice storefront by two Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who began by providing low-income families and individuals with clothing, food, housing referrals and advocacy. In 1987, SJC became an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency. From its founding, respect for the inherent dignity of each person has been the cornerstone of the Center's approach; all programs have always been open to those in need, regardless of gender, religious affiliation, or race.
The Center's mission is to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community. Today St. Joseph Center serves approximately 6,000 people annually. As it has from the time it was founded, the agency endeavors to address the root causes of poverty by providing services that both meet immediate needs and empower clients to achieve lasting self-sufficiency.