History

For more than 50 years, Hillview Mental Health Center has provided comprehensive mental health services to individuals most in need.

Carl C. McCraven

At the heart of Hillview’s founding was Carl McCraven, who came to Los Angeles in 1955 as one of the first African American engineers to work on the early space program. Mr. McCraven settled in the East San Fernando Valley, one of only a few communities open to him because of segregation.

Alarmed by the area’s lack of essential human services, he and other local leaders vowed to improve conditions. They founded East San Fernando Valley’s first hospital in 1957. In 1966, they created the community mental health center that evolved into Hillview. Mr. McCraven went on to earn a master’s degree in health administration. Beginning in 1972 and for the next 40 years, he served at Hillview in a variety of leadership positions. Mr. McCraven passed away in 2013.

Hillview has attained many milestones over the years. In the 1970s, we became one of the first mental health facilities to treat mentally ill individuals who have previously been incarcerated.

Hillview Mental Health Center ExteriorIn 1994, we opened Hillview Village. This inviting complex of buildings adjacent to our Mental Health Center provides supportive housing to low-income or homeless adults with mental illness. Hillview was the first adult mental health agency to provide this type of facility. We were also the first such agency to develop specialized community housing for transition age youth with special needs.

Throughout our history, we have helped our clients deal with the issues that come with living in a high poverty area. We believe in an integrated approach that addresses the full range of clients’ needs, such as medical care, housing, employment and transportation. We work closely with other agencies to meet these needs, and in 2014 we spearheaded formation of the Northeast Valley Health Neighborhood Coalition to help facilitate this process.