This month we have a great group of success stories. Sometimes, we become overwhelmed by all of the setbacks and challenges our clients face. We feel that we are not accomplishing anything and that everything we do is a waste of time. Why does it matter? This is why we need to focus on our successes and share them with the other people in our programs.
Over the last year, we have helped thousands of people. The young people in our transitional housing program have just reached 100% employment! Most of these young people have never had a job. They have never received a paycheck, never created a budget, and never taken care of themselves. Another of our transitional housing clients purchased their first home. These are types of successes that reminds us of the importance of the work we are doing.
Also, I would like to give a big thank you to the county Community Development and Housing department and the advocacy of Supervisor Paul Cook. The county had to decide whether to participate in the state run rental assistance program, or create their own. The state program would require landlords to forgive 20% of the back rent that is owed to them. The county decided to take on the monumental task of creating their own program because the recognized asking landlords to take this financial loss was not necessary and not fair. These funds will be available to landlords and renters beginning in mid-April. It is exciting to know that every renter in our region will soon be current on their rent.
March is National Women’s History Month and Hope House would like to honor its participants by celebrating womanhood, the women who have inspired them most, and celebrate the women that they are today! Our participants were asked what womanhood meant to them and here are some responses:
Frida states, “I believe womanhood is a responsibility to empower one another, teach and learn from one another and pass down family values, it is a responsibility to teach younger women through our stories of survival about strength and the blessings that come from it.”
Angela states, “The strength I have is from my femininity, as a woman I have always been prepared for whatever life hands me by feeding my spirit with prayer and gaining strength through my family.”
When asked about the women that inspired them, it was their mothers who stood out the most in ways such as teaching them life skills and how to be good mothers themselves. Also, their sisters inspired them in ways such as learning how to be a true friend.
The accomplishments that our participants at Hope House were able to achieve themselves were discovered to be the most powerful. Ruth says that her biggest accomplishments this far have been able to go to college, raise kids, and travel on her own. Angela has been able to lose 100 pounds and win her battle with cancer. Frida states her biggest accomplishments are being able to raise amazing self-sufficient children who are on their way to becoming college students and creating a new path for themselves. Overall, working with these women is inspiring to us, and we hope this inspires you to reach out to the women in your lives and learn from them as well.
The Open Door has completed its first 40 Hour Human Trafficking Advocacy training of 2021! We are so excited that 90 people committed their time to learning about human trafficking and how they can assist victims on their journey from victim to survivor. We also are in the process of on-boarding many new volunteers who decided after the training they want to commit to making a change in San Bernardino County.
If you missed the first round of the 40 hour training, not to worry, registration is currently open for the upcoming 40 hour Human Trafficking Advocacy Training in April! You can register for that event by clicking here. We are switching up things for April’s training due to response from our community members and this will be the first training that we are offering during the day. The hours for this training will be every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1 pm to 5 pm. We hope to see you all there!
For questions about volunteering or training, please contact Elizabeth at email@example.com or by calling 909-838-0311
This month at Open Arms we have continued our partnership with the San Bernardino County workforce development department by hosting interns from our community. We also have administered over 40 hygiene kits and helped navigate housing for 4 youth participants. We are currently seeking donations of make up or other beauty products. We are hosting a donation drive to provide needed items to offer tutorials and makeovers for our clients. For any questions or to set up a donation please contact Chloe at firstname.lastname@example.org
At My Place we have created a family atmosphere where our clients are provided with everything they need to succeed in school and their individual plans. We focus on the goals of each Youth that stay at My Place, and help them find the skills and resources available for them to succeed. We also provide the youth with fun outings that we enjoy together such as visiting the skate park, going on hikes, and reaching out to local homeless communities.
By enrolling several of our youth clients into a school that allows them to work at a flexible pace in order to graduate early, we have given them a chance to work hard and see great results. Our youth participants have also began a job preparation training. Our goal is to prepare our youth for the next steps in their lives and to instill confidence that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. We hope that our approach with our youth clients will encourage them to work hard, stay busy, and impact their communities in a positive way.
We are happy to announce that another participant has successfully completed her time here at our program. Here is a short message from her: “I am a former participant in the Family Assistance Program- Next Step. Since being here I have gotten married and gone back to school at the University of California Sacramento (GO HORNETS!). I celebrated being 2 years clean and sober in January and I have also completed my Anger Management course which was offered through Family Assistance Program and received a certificate. I want to thank everyone at Next Step for supporting me and I am happy that I will still be receiving after care from my case manager.”
We also wanted to take the time to highlight Ms. Tammy. We are extremely proud of her and everything she has accomplished, and everything she will accomplish. We are happy to be our participant’s support system but when all is said and done, the person who completed all of these things… is them. The person who did get employment, who did buy a car, who did complete their law and ethics course, is her. Everyone has this potential and we aim to empower all of our participants.
“Hello my name is Tammy. I am currently in the Next Step Program. I have been back for 4 ½ months. Since then, I have accomplished gaining full time employment, purchasing a car, and paying my insurance for one year. I have another year of sobriety under my belt. I am working towards my Addiction Counselor Certification and have completed my 9-hour Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) Law and Ethics course. I have learned to budget my income and have a savings account. All of this was possible because of the support and encouragement I have gotten from those here at Next Step.”
This month at Next Step Morongo Basin we had a past participant find herself in a bad situation when her spouse locked her out of the home. She took what she had with her and went to the nearest hospital for help. This client gave a social worker working at the hospital her former Family Assistance Case Manager’s phone number and asked her to contact us. After speaking to the hospital case worker and the participant we were able to get her back into our program immediately.
This client now had a warm and safe bed to sleep in because of the Family Assistance Program’s culture, reputation in our community, and the participant knowing that she could reach out to our program whenever she needs us. The participant is still with us and working on her “Next Step”. Through this experience we were able to develop a professional working relationship with hospital staff to ensure that others in a similar situation could benefit from the services we provide.
We serviced 873 individuals for February and provided clothing to 122 individuals during our weekly hygiene and clothing giveaway. We assisted 65 individuals with replacement ID vouchers in obtaining their IDs and offered 69 bus passes to individuals to attend their court hearings, job interviews, and appointments. We’ve received 58 bags and 23 boxes of donations from our generous community. Because of the donations that continue to come in through our doors, we can continue providing clothing and hygiene to our community members on Wednesdays.
Raider Nation Misfits visited us at the Community Center in February. They asked to come to the Community Center to feed our homeless community. They were able to set up in the playground and make hamburgers and hotdogs to pass out. Thank you so much, Raider Nation Misfits! It is always a pleasure to have you guys at the Community Center and appreciate the work you guys do in our community!
We received this from a class participant:
“I was broken I was sad my world was crumbling down I felt so hopeless and felt that the world was against me, but all started to change gradually 5/12/2020 the day I joined Ms. Ahea’s parenting & anger management classes. She touched my heart in a way she never would imagine.
Ahea helped me heal my pain and better myself not just for myself but for my children as well, she helped me to see my flaws and how to correct my problems in a positive way. She was very transparent and actually listened to everyone’s problems/situation in our class sessions, she went the extra mile for me she helped me open up in the classes because in the beginning I was stuck in my own ways.
All my negative thoughts I had she helped me see it from a positive perspective. No matter how bad I seen my situation and felt like it would never get better. She gave me hope in the future. Even when my classes ended topics that were discussed in class would play back in the back of my mind and when I would feel a little down I’ll think about certain topics she would discuss in the group session and it would help me overcome my problem.
She might not know this but I want to say Ahea Llamas you are amazing and great. You are not only an Advocate you are a healer, a coach, a mentor & a friend as well, and I’m blessed to have had you as my advocate it may have only been 3 months but your words are with me for a lifetime!
You helped me so much more then you know, and for that you will forever be appreciated, respected, & admired for all you have helped me with and hold a spot in my heart. Thank you Ahea!”
The transitional age youth (TAY) program in the high desert has come a long way in the last few months. Dustin and Kara have teamed up and developed plans on how to turn the program around and have been quite successful. In the last three months four of the Tay-youth who were living at our all-boys home obtained full time employment.
These four men became part of the program over a year ago and have not previously had employment in that time frame. Five of the TAY youth at the co-ed house received full time employment. The other three youth clients have enrolled in the Goodwill Program and are also enrolled in school. It has taken consistent and fair authoritative figures in these youths lives to give them the extra push they have needed.
Kara has taken on that role and Dustin has been there to back her up. Dustin and Kara worked hard to build relationships with each youth and were able to gain their trust in order to push them to reach their goals. Six of the Tay-youth have exit plans in place for the months of June and July of this year.
They have successfully built savings accounts and some of them have plans to live together when they exit the program. Three of the TAY youth have purchased their first vehicles and two more have plans to do so in the next three months. It has been amazing to watch these youth clients chase their dreams and all it took was a couple of people who believe in them!
This month our Youth Advisory Board was able to use some of our funding in order to provide the move-in costs of two of our youth who were able to find their own apartment. We also continued to have our weekly meetings (which have moved to Thursdays at 4pm) and have begun to advocate on behalf of SB 234 with our elected officials. We are still accepting applications from youth interested in joining our Youth Advisory Board. If you are interested or have any questions you can email Levi at email@example.com
We received this letter from a Substance Use Disorder Class participant:
Dear Mr. Kelly or to whom it may concern,
I want to take the time to thank the family assistance program for giving me the opportunity to perceive that there is more to life than just being a knuckle head on these streets. Being able to experience that I am not the only one going through this hardship made me see that I do not have to go through my issues alone. I was able to speak about what I was going through and not have the feeling of being judged. I now have a better understanding when it comes to listening to what someone else has to say. With the little amount of time, I spent in the class it gave me the chance to get away from all the poison that was going on in my life. I now have a new outlook on life.
If you are interested in our youth or adult Substance Use Disorder Classes call 760-843-0701 to register.
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.