2021 December Newsletter
Direct from Darryl
Tiny Home Village
The Family Assistance Program received $1 million donated from The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to help with a solution to end youth homelessness. This money will be used in the expansion of Family Assistance Program’s current youth drop-in and community center in Old Town Victorville, located on the corner of 6th and C Street. This expansion will add 20 beds to create an emergency shelter, a commercial kitchen, and a tiny home village with 14 tiny homes. This will be the first tiny home village created exclusively for transitional age youth that are experiencing homelessness in the state of California.
Many complain about the homeless population in our community, but The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is investing in the solution to the problem. “I am excited that the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has recognized the need for youth specific services and is supporting this innovative project. If we do not end youth homelessness, we will not stop the pipeline of people who have had their childhoods destroyed by housing insecurity. This project will set these young people up for a lifetime of successes.” says Darryl Evey, the executive director of Family Assistance Program. This project will connect homeless youth with emergency services and our other transitional programs that include wraparound care in a part of our community that truly needs it. Family Assistance Program is currently providing homeless youth services through their youth drop-in centers, youth shelters, and transitional homes. This project will provide housing to any youth experiencing homelessness aged 18 – 24.
“We are deeply honored to support the Family Assistance Program and their first ever Tiny Home Village to help combat homelessness for the young adults impacted in Victorville,” said Chairman Ken Ramirez. “Our youth are the future and no young adult should ever have to experience not having a roof over their head. Investing in infrastructure that will provide future generations with the necessary resources to thrive is a top priority for San Manuel.”
“I am incredibly excited to see the increased services and tiny home village that will assist our most vulnerable youth population at the Family Assistance Program in Victorville. Youth homelessness is a critical issue that non-profit organizations like the Family Assistance Programs are tackling head-on. The generosity of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and their commitment to bettering our community is unmatched.” – Assemblymember Thurston “Smitty” Smith.
For more information about how you can become involved in being a solution to homelessness, please visit our website or email our Director of Development and Media, Angela Sorrell – email@example.com.
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Our next Human Trafficking Advocate certified training will be held in February 2022, starting February 1st. Please watch our Facebook page for more details on how to sign up or contact our Outreach Coordinator Bernadette Valdez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we are hearing from Myeesha Arranaga, one of our HT Advocates. Myeesha has been working at Open Door for the past 2 years. She is dedicated and passionate about what she does. When asked why Myeesha works at Open Door, she responded,
“Doing this work, you understand very quickly that you are going up against the tide. Many don’t realize the work that we do can be some of the most difficult, heart-wrenching frustrating work possible. Working with marginalized and underserved populations, a population that has heavy intersectionality of years or even decades of unaddressed childhood/adult trauma, homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, social & family services, coupled with the stigmas and criminalization that comes from being trafficked. Having to prove that you were trafficked and prove to other agencies that these survivors are “worthy” of services. The majority of the time when we’re working with survivors they don’t believe that they were trafficked or victimized because they are used to every outside source judging them and telling them that this is what they choose or they ran and left their trafficker too late and because of that they’re not eligible for services and or not believed to be a victim. Many times, because of how they are presented they are not seen as victims who deserve empathy or victims who have experienced trauma and hardships but criminals or hyper-sexual individuals. Can you imagine the frustrations to prove that you were a victim even when your head hasn’t reconciled the fact that you were vulnerable at some point and this thing that they are feeling isn’t love but a trauma bond. That at some point because of those vulnerabilities you were sought after, hunted down, conditioned, and then eventually found yourself caught up deeper than you imagined. Only to be told that this is what they wanted all along! They need to be validated, to be seen, heard and believed. Many times, as an Advocate of the Open Door or as an ambassador of Family Assistance Program we hear “Oh you’re with that program?” “You take everyone!”. Or “You guys are too nice or too lenient”. “Too soft too understanding,”. I choose to believe that Open Door is a soft and safe place to land when they are ready. Someone to believe them, encourage them, support them, empower them, help them reach new heights, ground them and open their eyes to new things! Just like we would hope someone would do or could have done for us. Is it hard? At times, absolutely. But it’s worth it and our participants are worthy of the effort. Even if it is for a brief moment while we are in contact with them. Hopefully, at some point, there has been a seed planted along the way and they can look back days, months, or years later and see that those little seeds produced a tree far greater and maybe just maybe bear fruit to help those who come after us.” – Myeesha Arranaga
The month of December is a tough one for a lot of the youth in our shelter with the holidays approaching. The staff at My Place try to make it as joyful as possible for them and decorate for the holidays with the supplies we have. This month we could use your help and are looking for Christmas decorations to help decorate the shelter. We are also asking for donations of gift cards so we can provide gifts for our youth under the tree. Thank you to the amazing couple that donated a Christmas tree with lights. Together we can make this holiday season merry and bright for the youth experiencing homelessness.
The Community Center staff and The Fam Spot staff and kids participated in the 74th annual Victorville Christmas parade. The Grinch joined us and put smiles on everyone’s faces. The community did a great job ensuring that everyone felt the Christmas spirit. We enjoyed being a part of this event and are already looking forward to next year.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still affecting our community, luckily, the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program makes a difference in people’s lives. Most of our applicants are not familiar with today’s technology. We help ease the stress of 112 people a month by assisting them with the application process. The state program promises to pay 100% of rent owed. We have participants who have received payment and have one less worry this holiday season. They are extremely grateful for Family Assistance Program staff for providing them support every step of the way.
Join us on Tuesday, January 4th from 6-8pm for our monthly Taco Tuesday fundraiser! Thank you to the Steven Dhillon Law Firm for sponsoring this event! Join us at Viva Maria for Taco Tuesday and raise some money for a great cause! We will have raffle prizes to win. Viva Maria has a variety of street tacos for us to enjoy, as well as a full menu and bar. See you there in the new year!
If you have a raffle prize to donate email email@example.com
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Family Assistance Program envisions a community where each person has a loving, nurturing home life. We provide the tools necessary to create healthy interpersonal relationships, economic empowerment, and stable housing.