Ivelise Markovits (Ive) founded Penny Lane in 1969. Upon graduating from high school in her native Puerto Rico, Ive (E-vay) and her family moved to Southern California. In college, Ive was a feminist, socio-political activist and a peace marcher. Her sense of justice was already very strong. After graduating from college, Ive began her career as a placement officer for the Los Angeles County Probation Department. She was responsible for finding residential treatment facilities for female wards of the court. In a very short period of time, Ive became frustrated and disillusioned with the near void of adequate treatment facilities available to girls, especially those who were a bit more challenging than others. Ive’s personal values could not let her ignore this gross injustice. Thus began the dream.
Over the next few months, while still working for the Probation Department, Ive began to pull together the pieces that would go into developing a strong residential treatment program for teen aged girls. Despite enough hurdles, obstacles and challenges to discourage all but the most completely dedicated, Ive stood fast and prevailed. On December 15th, 1969, Penny Lane became a functioning reality.
The foundation’s nickname, Penny Lane, was taken from the upbeat, cheerful Beatles tune that celebrates the simple joys of life. What began as a group home for a handful of adolescent girls has grown into a multi-service organization that serves 5000 children, youth and families and employs over 500 full time social service providers and support staff. Penny Lane’s main campus is located in North Hills, where we provide Residential Care, Transitional/Permanent Housing for former foster youth, Foster Care and Adoption Services, Family Preservation and Wraparound Services as well as a Mental Health Services. Penny Lane has additional offices in San Gabriel and Antelope Valleys.