SIPA enriches and empowers generations of Pilipino Americans and others by providing health and human services, community economic development, arts and culture, and a place where people of all backgrounds come together to strengthen community.
From awa (compassion) and gawa (action), refers to charity, “a kind act” or “deed of mercy.” Based on notion of pakikipagkapwa, or shared humanity.
From damay (to involve, implicate, draw in), refers to the involvement / engagement aspect of service and community development.
From tulong (help), refers to peer to peer assistance and in an egalitarian spirit of mutual self-help.
Founded in 1972, the mission of Search To Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) is to enhance the quality of life in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown and for Pilipino Americans throughout Los Angeles County. As such, SIPA provides a wide range of health and human services and community economic development programs aimed at improving economic self-sufficiency, educational attainment, cultural awareness and civic engagement. Youth and family services (counseling and case management, afterschool programs, etc.) are the core of SIPA’s programs, but in the 1990’s housing, small business and consumer assistance and civic engagement and advocacy were added to more comprehensively address the needs of our clients. Additionally, SIPA has expanded its capacity to serve a diverse population and currently provides services in English, Tagalog (Filipino), and Spanish.
In the next few years, SIPA’s goals include leading cultural tourism and revitalization projects, supporting community-based entrepreneurs and redeveloping its own 23,000 sq, ft. property into a state of the art community, recreational, social service and arts/cultural center.