The Catalyst Foundation was founded in 1992 by Dr. Lawrence in the despairing depths of the HIV/AIDS crisis to provide critically needed supportive services to those suffering from HIV/AIDS. These members of our community were also dealing with discrimination and exclusion from much of society. From the beginning, we aimed to be of service to those most marginalized and excluded within our communities. We also believed and acted on the belief that the experience of being traumatized, and living with the aftereffects of trauma, played a powerful role in the lives of individuals and in the world at large.
In 1998, when the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study (www.acestudy.org; www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ace/) was released, we saw the intuitive understanding of our work supported by firm objective analysis. Over the past decades, this fundamental truth has informed our mission, programs, and services.
The Catalyst Foundation (TCF) has implemented numerous innovative trauma-informed supportive services programs (case management, food programs, nutritional education/counseling, housing assistance, eviction prevention grants, temporary financial assistance, assisting with clients accessing SSI/SSDI and Veterans benefits, and asset building/workforce development programs, among others), as well as outreach, HIV testing/counseling, and innovative health education programs focusing on the impact of childhood abuse on adult health and well-being.
TCF also recognized that the experiences of people incarcerated in prisons and jails, and those same community members coming home from incarceration, involved tremendous amounts of trauma and exclusion. In response to this, we have implemented numerous award-winning programs, including the Creating a Healing Society Program, which has been provided to thousands of people inside state prisons. We also provide high-quality intensive case management and housing navigation services specifically aimed at supporting the formerly incarcerated in their successful reentry.
In 2013, David W. Mashore was appointed the new CEO of The Catalyst Foundation. Dave has been with The Catalyst Foundation since 2003. During his tenure, he has implemented numerous innovative programs including the Creating a Healing Society Program which is still taught today. Dave himself has taught this program weekly since early 2004 and has developed lasting relationships within the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated communities. Some of these men who have come home have directly contributed this program to their rehabilitation, and identify this as key to their return, and being productive members of our communities.
Dave established the first community garden in the Antelope Valley- The Elm Avenue Community Garden which has provided thousands of pounds of healthy, organic foods to our community members in need, as well as hosted a number of community events that sponsored emerging artists, and provided food and free education for our most vulnerable community members. The Elm Avenue Community Garden became host every year to volunteers for the City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, as well as a space where people were introduced to organic gardening, healthy eating, and cooking classes; among others.
Dave and his leadership team also developed a cutting-edge credible messenger-style curriculum for justice-impacted transition-aged youth and incarcerated populations that is being taught throughout Los Angeles County. Dave has served on city commissions, including the Mayor’s Health and Wellness Commission and the City Neighborhood Vitalization Commission for the City of Lancaster, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff Captain’s Advisory Committee (Lancaster Station). Through his leadership, The Catalyst Foundation has grown nearly 1,000% in the past decade!
We have been privileged to be awarded substantial federal, state, and local funding to serve people experiencing homelessness, low-income, currently or formerly incarcerated, and other marginalized populations. TCF employs the guiding principles of trauma-informed care in all that we do: safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, empowerment, and cultural/linguistic competency. These values allow us to address the root causes of the health and psychosocial problems of those we serve, rather than simply providing treatment for the consequences.
The Catalyst Foundation is a client-centered organization. We are here to serve our fellow community members, and we always keep their needs at the forefront of our intentions and our actions.
The Catalyst Foundation's Mission is to Create a Healing Society
547 West Lancaster Blvd. Lancaster, CA 93534
P (661) 948-8559 F (661) 942-0738