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Hoover Intergenerational Care, Inc. (HIC) Historical Perspective By

Levi Kingston, HIC Founding Member and Chairman, Board of Directors



HIC, Inc. (Child Development Center) was conceived in the urban arena of ideas, specifically, advocacy of the view that the major institutions and agencies (i.e. the University of Southern California and the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of the City of Los Angeles responded to the needs of people that both lived and worked in what we now designate as the Hoover / Exposition area of South Los Angeles.


Under the supervision of Eugene Brooks, A.I.A., Executive Director of the Urban Workshop, I worked as Program Coordinator to promote the concept of community development. In the early 1970's, the mission of the Urban Workshop was to consult, advocate and generate low and moderate income housing in the Hoover Redevelopment Project Area. It was our view that "four walls and a roof' did not fully constitute the provision of supportive service for the families from this area. The need to establish a child care facility was a priority concern for residents of this community.


In 1976, my dream with support from other community members, was to start a child care center for the CRA Hoover Redevelopment Project area where there were few available child care facilities providing before and after school services. This dream evolved later into a vision of a first class child care facility serving preschool and school age children involving seniors and other adults who worked or volunteered.


As a community based program concerned with housing and development, the Urban Workshop received assistance from the Office of Special Community Affairs at USC in the first phases of the development of Parcel D2 in the Hoover Redevelopment area. This Parcel, located between Vermont Avenue and McClintock on Jefferson Boulevard was designated, initially, as the site for the HIC child care facility which was to be part of the proposed 150 apartment complex to provide housing to low and moderate income families. In order to determine the housing and child care needs of these families, a survey focusing on the families of 32nd Street Elementary School was conducted by a Planning Committee. This committee was spearheaded by myself, Levi Kingston and included members such as: Dr. Thomas Kilgore, John Mutlow, AIA,

Richard Foos, John Heine, Esq., Eric Yamamoto, Esq., Brenda Ruffin (parent), Nancy Lee (parent), Linda Meier (teacher). Pamela Harris, a graduate student from the USC Andrus School of Gerontology, who wrote a thesis on

intergenerational child care, was also a member of the committee.

The Parcel D2 site was later designated for USC student housing, which was known as the University Century Apartments, instead of the proposed 150 apartment complex and the HIC Child Care Facility. In July 1976, HIC planning committee members submitted a proposal to the Mayor's Office of Urban Development, now known as the Community Development Department, to fund the construction of HIC.


Also in August 1976, another proposal was submitted to the State Department of Education, Child Development Division for monies to fund child care services. A new parcel K-2B in the Hoover Project Area was later designated for the site of HIC. In October 1976, the State approved HIC's proposal for the provision of child care services. While awaiting funding for the construction of its proposed facility, HIC opened for business in January 1977 in the Social Hall of the Roger Williams True Love Missionary Baptist Church located at 1342 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles.


Executive Director Hired

Our search for an Executive Director was spearheaded by Delia Johnson, one of our Board Members. After an intensive recruitment process, Ms. Johnson identified qualified candidates one of which was Mrs. Wilma S. Kiel. Ms. Kiel's educational background includes a: Bachelor and Masters of Science Degree in Early Child Care Education from Cal State Northridge. She has extensive childcare management experience. The Board of Directors unanimously selected Mrs. Kiel to serve as Executive Director and  served in this capacity for 37 years until she retired in 2016.


Incorporation of H.I.C.

Attorney John Heine and his mother, Carolyn Heine were responsible for incorporating HIC. Start-up funding was made possible by Mrs. Heine who was serving as the Executive Director of the Legislative arm of the California Commission on the Status of Women. Mrs. Heine had been appointed to this position by Ronald Reagan who was the Governor of California during this time. Effective October 1977, HIC was designated as a 501 C 3 non-profit organization. Later in 1978, HIC moved to a new site at 1672 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles.


Mission and Philosophy

Since the inception of HIC, our mission has been to provide intergenerational child care services involving seniors at all levels of our preschool and school age programs. Initially the Center involved senior citizens from the Foster Grandparents Program at USC. Unfortunately, the focus of service provision for the Foster Grandparents Program changed and HIC lost its invaluable resource



Fortunately, Julia Carpenter, a senior volunteer and member of The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc., Beta Theta Chapter started the senior reading program for our preschool children in1978. Her sorority continued her legacy for more than 3 decades.


Through the collaborative efforts and viable partnerships established with some of the following: the University of Southern California's Andrus School of Gerontology and Office of Special Community Affairs, 32nd Street Elementary School, State Department of Education, the Community Development Department, Community Redevelopment Agency, Mayor Tom Bradley, Councilman Robert Farrell of the 8tl:1 District who was responsible for approving the monies to build the new HIC facility at 3216 S. Hoover Street, Los Angeles. We opened our doors on October 7, 1988.



A special acknowledgement is extended to our architect, John Mutlow, AIA who worked tirelessly with us and the design/construction site team to completion of HIC's state-of-the art licensed child care facility that we have occupied for 26 years.


We especially appreciate the support by members of the community such as: parents, teachers, institutional and business representatives, the HIC Board of Directors and all of our dedicated volunteers. HIC's successful accomplishments would not have been possible without the ongoing support of our state, county and local elected officials. Donation of funds and in-kind contributions by our ongoing sponsors has allowed HIC to continue operating many of its programs and services especially during these challenging economic times. We thank all of our sponsors and contributors.


For additional information regarding HIC, please contact HIC Staff, at: 213.748.3700,  or by email to:

Levi Kingston, founder of  Hoover Intergenerational Care, Inc.

Levi Kingston, founder of

Hoover Intergenerational Care, Inc.

LA times article on Levi Kingston, founder of  Hoover Intergenerational Care, Inc.
Community award for Levi Kingston, founder of  Hoover Intergenerational Care, Inc.

Community Award

Mr. Kingston & Cher at HIC

Mr. Kingston & Cher at HIC

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