2021 May Newsletter
Direct from Darryl
As the world opens back up we are excited to begin outreach and engagement activities again. We have already had a couple of outings with our clients and are planning even more. We will begin hosting a weekly BBQ with the young people at the Fam Spot. We are also planning to begin our monthly street fairs. It is wonderful to be able to interact with people again. There are so many ways we can help people; it is hard to get this information to people while we are isolated.
Most everyone heard about the federal stimulus, but most people do not know about the state support. There is a $600 stimulus payment for everyone making less than $75,000 with an additional $500 for each child. This is in addition to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Historically, people that did not make much money did not bother to file taxes. Now, it is even more important for them to file. If you need help, or if you know someone who needs help, let us know. Everyone could use a little extra money.
Hope House showed its support to end sexual assault by participating in Denim Day, all staff showed support by wearing their denim jeans and purple shirts on April 28th to protest the unjust Supreme Court ruling in Italy that held a victim responsible for her rape. Hope House and Family Assistance Program is proud to stand in solidarity with those who may be suffering in silence and wants to acknowledge survivor’s strength in their healing process.
Hope House would also like to give big thanks to Kasey Rosales and Sylvia Romo for putting together the “Purses with Purpose Event”! The purses were donated by the community and were filled with essential toiletries and makeup for our participants in Hope Houses and transitional to enjoy. Laura and Lizzeth made the deliveries and were happy to see all the surprised looks on everyone’s faces when they received all their unexpected gifts!
We are happy to announce our first annual fundraiser Purses with Purpose. 138 purses were donated, some new and slightly used. We were able to provide the purses filled with female hygiene products, makeup and so much more to the women in our shelters and transitional housing for Mother’s Day. All items and purses were donated by our community and community partners. We are grateful for all the support. We had a great turned out and looking forward to doing it again.
Happy Spring! We had a wonderful Easter here at Open Door and are looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with all the mothers in our housing programs.
Open Door’s transitional home is full and our participants are all doing great. All of our participants are working, and one is going to school thanks to the generous donation from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department graduating class 202! Thank you again for making this possible. One of our Safehouse participants regained custody of her children and is moving forward with her life. And we are excited about opening another residential home in late May due of the increased demand for safe housing options in San Bernardino County, for victims of human trafficking.
We also have a need for new baby girl items for one of our participants. We are currently looking for the following items: bottles, diapers, wipes, blankets, baby body wash, baby bathtub, breast pump and bassinette or co-sleeper. If you can donate any of these items, please contact her Advocate Aimee Jones at email@example.com
We are currently looking for an Outreach Coordinator who will be responsible for all our trainings, recruiting volunteers and working with the community. If you have the skills and the desire to fill this position, please check out the job posting on our website and send your resume to Dianne Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Step has been continuing to provide excellent services for our re-entry community. We have done a lot of moving as we find new properties that give us more space for our participants. Our team is currently looking to bring on more case managers as our program grows and have been going through the interview process which has been a great learning opportunity for our participants as they participate in the interviews. This gives participants ownership over the program and we get valuable input from them that leads to hiring better staff. We have been successful with our parole rental assistance and have been able to help over 25 individuals remain in housing or sign new leases. It has been challenging to find new properties and landlords willing to work with our participants. The connections we have made are crucial and we really appreciate everyone serving this population.
Next Step Morongo Basin
This month at Next Step Morongo Basin we are happy to share that we have three new participants that came into our program. One of the participants is a returning participant that was just not quite ready for our program last year and with the help from Family Assistance Program staff was accepted into a voluntary six-month program to work on his struggle with addiction and after successfully completing his six-month program, he is eager to make lots of positive life changes and is demonstrating that daily. Our program here in the Morongo Basin has been working towards building an even greater partnership with community partners and empowering our participants and linking them to services they are requiring.
Because of the generous donations that continue to come in through our doors, we can continue providing clothing and hygiene to our community members on Wednesdays. Frances from Judicial Council notified Evelyn of an opportunity for program participants who identify as survivors of domestic violence to provide feedback regarding some changes to forms; in return, participants would receive a gift card. After sharing this information with Hope House, we were able to get two program participants to participate. This opportunity allows participants to use their voices to make a change.
Ms. Lee is one of our regular clients, she is unable to walk, and we could provide her with a new walker. We had received the walker from the community’s donations, and Cristina was able to give it to Ms. Lee. Ms. Lee was thrilled and thankful.
We will have a walk-in STI clinic at the Community Center every Wednesday. We look forward to working with San Bernardino Public Health!
Transition Age Youth
The transition age youth in the High Desert have been busy this month with some maintaining work and saving money, while others are planning to move into their own places. One of our participants moved into her very own apartment from her extended foster care. We were able to assist her with moving and provide her the encouragement she needed to continue to be self-sufficient and brave on her journey ahead. Multiple youth have had job interviews for second jobs or to seek a better opportunity. One of our participants started therapy for the first time in her life. After an extensive history of child abuse, she was afraid to re-visit old wounds. By providing her the support and encouragement she needed, she chose to take the first step in her healing process. We couldn’t be prouder of watching these young people turn their lives around and become the self-sufficient young adults of the future generation.
We came in contact with a client who has unfortunately been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is in need of rental assistance. He has been behind on his rent since February of 2020. This client reached out to us looking for assistance; he has had a difficult time finding someone to assist him with filling out the application due to his disability, he is blind. We provided phone appointments with him assisting him with the eligibility process. Once he was deemed eligible to submit an application, we let him know what documents were required and then set up an in-person meeting and were able to assist him with filling out the application and coach him through these tough times. We were able to successfully submit the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief application and now we are waiting to hear from the program to see if they are able to assist my client.
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.