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Transforming LA Through Partnership (TLA)

  • Contact Name: Patti Sanchez
  • Partners: Los Angeles County, Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)
  • Capacities: Community Outreach, Cohort Selection, Coaching and Technical Assistance, Grants Management

Status: Active


Transforming LA Through Partnership (TLA) is a pilot-project incubation academy designed to provide mentorship, training, and technical assistance to small and mid-sized grassroots community-based organizations (CBOs) that provide prevention services to the County’s most vulnerable residents. Through Transforming LA, the Department of Mental Health aims to increase community access to needed services by building the capacity of trusted, smaller organizations to compete for and obtain DMH contracts.

Due to the onset and uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were delays and readjustments to the original Transforming LA timeline, resulting in a 17-month grant cycle. From February 2021 – June 30, 2022, over $4.4 million was regranted to the 29 CBOs participating in the TLA cohort. Transforming LA was extended for another year (TLA 2.0) from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023, resulting in another $4.4 million granted to 29 CBOs delivering prevention-related mental health activities and programs across all five Supervisorial Districts in Los Angeles County. TLA 2.0 is focused on providing learning opportunities and resources through the Mental Health Incubation Academy trainings, to equip the cohort with the capacity needed to compete for and manage LACDMH contracts and/or other funding opportunities within the County.

Community Partners’ Role:

Working with LACDMH, Community Partners led the outreach, cohort selection, launch of the TLA program. It oversees the implementation of Transforming LA by providing 1:1 coaching and technical assistance to each CBO; coordinating logistics and facilitation for all required and optional meetings (including MHIA trainings, quarterly meetings, brown bag sessions, and in-person events); managing grants through MOUs with each CBO, ensuring fiscal and programmatic compliance; collecting and aggregating quarterly performance reports; conducting performance-based evaluations; and serving as the primary liaison between the Department of Mental Health and all organizations participating in the TLA cohort.

Given the vastness and complexity that are characteristic of County contracts, Community Partners aids the TLA cohort in assessing its organizational readiness, navigating County funding systems, and gaining a deeper understanding of the interconnections between County, State, and Federal funding requirements.

Expertise in Action:

As intermediary partner, Community Partners acts as a bridge between the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and small to mid-size community-based organizations across the County. As a County Contractor, Community Partners adheres to DMH’s in-depth monitoring and compliance standards, while offering a flexible structure and customized guidance in its grant administration to the TLA cohort, which is comprised of organizations that are often less-resourced and with limited capacity.

The investments made through Transforming LA through Partnership are showing a positive impact on many levels, including building organizational capacity in nonprofits, increasing leadership development in the social sector, elevating the important role of grassroots organizations in strengthening our communities, and expanding preventative mental health activities and services to our most vulnerable neighbors.

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