2021 July Newsletter
Direct from Darryl
The unemployment rates continue to fall, employers are struggling to find new hires, and yet many people still cannot find work. Over the last few weeks, I have spoken to several people who have been actively looking for a job but have not been successful. These are highly skilled, very employable people. When asked about the many job openings I see, they have expressed concerns about the pay rate. Someone who made $80k per year before the pandemic is not willing to go back to work for a job paying $40k. They prefer to continue looking to find the “right” job rather than “any” job. I believe this is good for employers as well as employees and is a sign that our safety net is working.
Before the pandemic, in February 2020, the unemployment rate in our county was 3.7%, very near the lowest rate in the history for our county. By April, it had risen to 14.2%, a rate we had only seen once in history, during the great recession of 2009. The rate has steadily fallen every month and is now at 7.3%. We are finding that our clients looking for an entry level job are finding employment. We are also finding that people with skills are not willing to work at the rates, and sometimes conditions, that are being offered. People seeking jobs are less likely to accept what they consider to be exploitive wages. Employers are struggling to change their budgeting to accommodate these new demands for higher wages.
At Family Assistance Program, we currently have 14 job openings. This is mostly due to our recent growth but some of this is due to staff leaving for new opportunities. For our entry level positions, we are sad to see people leave but excited to see them grow into new career paths. For our more experienced positions, we are forced to make difficult decisions. As all businesses, we need to balance what we pay our staff with how we achieve our mission. We could give everyone a 20% raise, but that would require we have 20% fewer staff and help 20% fewer people. We work towards balancing how to help the most people while still respecting our staff with a livable wage.
But, these are good problems to have. As we see other companies go bankrupt or struggle to just maintain, we are continuing to grow. As long as people in our community need help, we will continue to do everything we can to address the need.
The Community Center has been working alongside ROOT to organize the reopening of the Old Town Victorville Street Fair; our anticipated first street fair will start up again in September.
We are starting our annual domestic violence 40-hour advocacy training today, Monday, July 12, 2021. We have over 100 people registered for our virtual training.
We are still having our walk-in STI clinic at the Community Center every Wednesday.
We serviced 1,448 individuals in June and provided clothing to 138 individuals during our weekly hygiene and clothing giveaway. We assisted 47 individuals with replacement ID vouchers and offered 119 bus passes to individuals to attend their court hearings, job interviews, and appointments. We have received 142 bags and 44 boxes of donations from our community. As the weather is getting hotter, we have provided clients with sunscreen and cold water to stay cool. July is going to be a hot one, stay cool and stay safe!
The staff at Hope House are always willing to do whatever it takes to help anyone or any animal. There was an older dog who was lost and needed help. Looking at him you could tell that he belonged to someone and they must be looking for him. Instead of taking him to the animal shelter, he was kept at Hope House while we blasted social media with his pictures. He did not want to eat and was very sad. The staff began feeding him baby food which he loved. He had a hard time getting up also. With the help from Diley at the High Desert Animal Connection we were able to take him to the vet. After getting him the medication, he needed and feeding him baby food he began to feel a bit better. All of Hope House staff during their shifts would walk him around the yard.
Last night we received a message from the owner. She said the dog has a bad tooth and cannot eat well and also described him. This morning he was picked up by the owner and is home with his family after been missing for 9 days. Kudos to all the staff at Hope House for making sure he was safe till he was found.
Open Door is excited to announce that our 40-hr Human Trafficking Advocacy Training will begin next month on August 2nd, 2021, and end on August 30th, 2021. Our 40-hr training will take place via zoom every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6pm-9pm. We will have presentations from San Bernardino Human Trafficking Task Force, Planned Parenthood and many more. Sign up today by visiting this link: opens in a new windowtinyurl.com/2w67f9wp
Open Door would like to thank Brenda Findley-Sutton and Lupe Castaneda for their generous donations of purses which included goodby bags inside for our participants. We greatly appreciate your donation and look forward to working with you in the future.
The Fourth of July is a national holiday favored by everyone, especially kids. We at Family Assistance thought there was no better way to spend it then at a rugby game! There was food, laughter, fun, and best of all FIREWORKS! The kids had a blast learning about the game in the famous LA Coliseum and saw the most amazing firework display on the same grass the players were on. They received pictures and autographs and finished the night off with a nice meal at In-N-Out, home to the best hamburgers. While the Fourth of July comes every year, it was our goal to make sure this was one the kids and staff remember forever.
Next Step would like to Celebrate one of our participants. She is 4 years clean, sober and determined to succeed.
The heat is on and so was the grill. Thanks to our donors for purchasing all the fixings for our BBQ fun gathering. Conversations surrounding recovery and healthy new beginnings were had. We are so very grateful, thank you!
In the upcoming weeks we will be offering life coaching to all residence in Next Step Housing. One on one coaching sessions and group dynamic interactions. Please stay tuned and we will share more as the life coaching program grows.
With Family Assistance Program participating in the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, we are able to provide hope to families heavily impacted by the pandemic. Qualifying renters and landlords are now eligible for 100% of rent and utilities owed. We have assisted average families, small business owners, and even our employees to fill out the application. We are continuing to fulfill our roll of assisting families within our program. Click the link below to apply for rental or utility assistance:
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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.