WHITTIER (CBSLA) — The Bezos Day One Families Fund awarded $98.5 million in grants to nonprofits nationwide tackling homelessness Thursday, with a Whittier-based organization receiving $5 million to assist its efforts on behalf of families experiencing homelessness.

The Whole Child will use the grant to fund employment, education and training services and help build much-needed specialized shelter beds for families experiencing homelessness, CEO Constanza Pachon said.

“This grant comes at a critical point in the fight against homelessness in Los Angeles County,” Pachon said. “It will enable us to serve many more families with children experiencing homelessness.”

The Whole child is a 62-year-old nonprofit organization that provides mental health, family housing, parent enrichment and nutrition education services to some of the most vulnerable families in Los Angeles County.

The Bezos Day One Fund also awarded grants to St. Joseph Center in Venice, Upward Bound House in Santa Monica and Pathways of Hope in Fullerton. The organizations were chosen by a board of homelessness advocates and experts who identified and invited nonprofits to submit grant proposals that would support their efforts to address the homelessness crisis.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos founded the Day One Fund in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on funding nonprofit organizations that help homeless families and creating a network of nonprofit preschools in low-income communities.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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