International Institute of Los Angeles

Over a Century of Service for Citizens of the World

aka IILA   |   Los Angeles, CA   |


Founded in 1914 to help newly-arrived immigrants integrate into their new lives in Los Angeles, the International Institute of Los Angeles provides assistance to refugees and immigrants securing their first job, getting legal help, or finding child care providers so they can work outside the home. At IILA, our mission is to help families become self-sufficient and to promote cross-cultural understanding. For over a century, IILA has empowered hundreds of thousands of immigrants, refugees, and survivors of human trafficking with skills, abilities, and resources to successfully start new lives in Southern California.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Cambria Tortorelli

Main address

3845 Selig Place

Los Angeles, CA 90031 USA

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NTEE code info

Family Services (P40)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

International Institute of Los Angeles provides refugees, immigrants, and survivors of human trafficking with the skills, abilities, and resources they need to become self-sufficient and start their new lives in Southern California. When newly-arrived individuals are able to secure their first jobs, get legal help, and find child care that works for their families, they are able to fully participate in and contribute to our communities. Our dedicated staff provides a wide range of social, legal, and child care services to support the most critical needs of our communities. With a special focus on assisting limited-English proficient and low-income individuals, our staff provides free or low-cost child care, transportation to critical services, nutrition, reuniting and strengthening families, legal assistance, help navigating federal immigration policies and procedures, resettlement of refugees and asylum applicants, among other services for immigrants and refugees.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Local Integration & Family Empowerment (LIFE)

The LIFE Division works with approximately 1,500 refugees a year. We assist resilient people to restore their freedom, dignity and independence. We provide comprehensive social services and ensure access to essentials like jobs, education, and health.

Provide subsidized employment opportunities for CalWORKs participants. Typically, clients are assigned to work in public agencies or private non-profit organizations. Help overcome barriers to employment through fully supervised, paid work experience, and paid on-the-job training (OJT) to enable participants to secure unsubsidized employment after completion of their work assignment.

We help human trafficking survivors reclaim the basic human needs and rights to rebuild their lives. We provide comprehensive and trauma-informed services to survivors and their families.

Reception & Placement program helps link refugees overseas with local families or friends (called local ties) who are willing to provide help to resettle refugees. Our case managers work with local ties to let them know when the refugees will arrive, give resettlement grants to newly arrived refugees, provide orientation, and ensure that they find employment and adequate housing.

Training program teaches family skills to significantly improve parenting skills and family relationships, reduce problem behaviors, prevent delinquency, avert alcohol and drug abuse, and improve social competencies and school performance for children.

We assist new Americans to attain economic self-sufficiency through the provision of comprehensive case management and services leading to employment.

TEAM: Free-of-charge service to consumers who are not proficient in English to assist with any questions, concerns, or to resolve telephone bill complaints.

CHANGES: Free-of-charge service to consumers who are not proficient in English to assist with any questions, concerns, or to resolve gas and electric bill questions/complaints.

Population(s) Served
Refugees and displaced people
Asylum seekers
Victims and oppressed people
Unemployed people

Early childhood is a time of remarkable physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Watching a child develop new motor, cognitive, language and social skills is our goal as Early Childhood Educators working with infants and children up to 5 years old.

Administers child care services through voucher-based programs for low income families. Reimburses the cost of child care for children up to 13 yrs for low-income families through CalWORKS Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, or AP Program.

Ensures children get proper nutrition to thrive, learn, and succeed in school. Teaches children how to lead healthy lives through family-style meal service and portion control. Children’s experiences and attitudes shape their future eating habits and impact their overall health.

By modeling healthy practices and by making mealtimes a pleasurable and social time, together we can lay the groundwork for nutritional and enjoyable meals for the rest of our children’s lives.

Preschool part-day and full-day programs prepare children for success by providing high quality childcare and education using the high scope curriculum, which is based on active learning and a child’s positive interactions with adults and peers. Studies show this curriculum promotes a child’s development and provides lasting benefits into adulthood.

The Family Child Care Education Network (FCCHEN) is an educational enrichment program for children ages 3-13. Educational subsidized services are offered to eligible families for free or at low-cost quality family childcare home settings.

Our preschool curriculum is a comprehensive model that addresses all areas of development through 8 content areas and 58 key developmental indicators (KDIs) – the skills and behaviors at each stage of development that pave the way for school and adult success. Provides free or low-cost preschool education for children 2-5 years old.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The Immigration Legal Services Division (ILSD) seeks justice for all immigrants—documented and undocumented—by serving the immigrant community with programs that assist applicants to obtain available relief under the immigration laws.

We help reunite immigrant families, enabling them to become full participants in American society. We can also assist with cases involving Violence Against Women (VAWA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for first-time applicants or for renewals if a client’s existing period of DACA is expiring.

IILA offers free or low-cost services to qualified clients in the following areas:

ADULT REMOVAL DEFENSE: For immigrants facing a removal hearing in Immigration Court, IILA offers full representation to selected clients seeking asylum, cancellation of removal, or other remedies. While the bulk of our clients are asylum seekers or torture victims, we will represent other clients as our docket permits.

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS: We represent unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum before the USCIS, or in Immigration Court. We also represent those same clients seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJS) orders in either Family Court or Probate Court. Representation for unaccompanied minors is free of charge and we accept a limited number of cases.

OTHER IMMIGRATION SERVICES: IILA provides a full range of other immigration services including citizenship and naturalization, residency card renewal, family petition, adjustment of status, consular processing, U-Visa, T-Visa, VAWA, DACA renewal, TPS renewal, and other brief services. We represent a limited number of these cases free-of-charge and may charge low-cost community prices for applicants who do not qualify for our free services.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Victims and oppressed people
Children and youth
Family relationships

Where we work


Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding Committment to the South Coast Communities 2009

United States House of Representatives

Certificate of Recognition for 92 Years of Service and Dedication to the City of Los Angeles 2007

City of Los Angeles

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

While much of our funding comes from an array of government contracts, IILA is seeking private support to raise unrestricted donations that provide us with the flexibility to address the problems facing newly-arrived immigrants and low-income families.

Private support will allow our staff to serve more clients, expand our reach, and implement new programs to meet the urgent and ever-changing needs of our communities.

IILA seeks to help our most vulnerable community members overcome the obstacles they face so that they may thrive, find justice and equity, care for their families, and become contributing members of society.

International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) provides comprehensive services to immigrants, refugees and asylees through our Reception & Placement, Human Trafficking and Family Strengthening programs. We link these groups with local families or friends who work with us to find them housing and secure their first job here in the United States.

We also provide free or low cost preschool education for children. We prepare children for school readiness and success in life by providing early education and high quality services using the High Scope curriculum. We also have a commercial kitchen that prepares and delivers one million cooked breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to various child care programs throughout Los Angeles County.

The Institute employs over 130 dedicated, multicultural staff providing child care, transportation, immigration legal assistance, nutrition and refugee services in over 25 centers and offices throughout Southern California.

Founded in 1914, as a branch of the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association), the International Institute of Los Angeles aimed to help immigrant women adapt to life in the United States. The Institute offered a place for immigrants to gather for special events and holidays in the courtyard (pictured here in 1932) to foster greater cross-cultural understanding.

For over a century IILA has offered a wide range of services to assist limited-English proficient and low-income individuals achieve self-sufficiency. In the 1960s, offerings were expanded to include a wide array of legal assistance, resettlement of refugees and asylum applicants, survivors of human trafficking, and free or low-cost child care and transportation.

Established by the YWCA to serve women and girls coming from Europe and Asia

During the Depression, IILA provided relief to immigrant communities through the Family Welfare Association

Opposed forced relocation and helped more than 1,500 Japanese Americans submit applications for certificates of identity and developed programs for education and social services in the Japanese relocation camps
After World War II helped resettle Soviet refugees under the Displaced Persons Act

Resettled refugees who came to Los Angeles fleeing the Cuban Revolution

Senior Services program, funded by the California State Office on Aging, provided nutritious meals, social service information, referral and socialization for seniors in East Los Angeles
Began resettlement of South East Asian refugees in 1975

Launched Immediate Needs Transportation program in wake of 1992 civil unrest
Central Valley offices were opened to provide refugee services to newly arriving Hmong refugees from Laos

Opened Adult Respite Care Program
Purchased commercial kitchen for child nutrition and adjoining two-flat residence for refugees
Began Refugee Employment services in Glendale office–currently home to six refugee programs
Built a commercial kitchen at Selig corporate office to provide meals to increased number of children
Launched Post Placement program to assist undocumented foster children
Began Victims of Trafficking program through US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


International Institute of Los Angeles

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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International Institute of Los Angeles

Board of directors
as of 2/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Stephen Holt

Stephen Holt

Wilson Tang

John O'Malley

Louis Gordon

Thomas Lenz

Sharon Yen

Pritha Gupta


Angela Efros

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data