We are a fishing school.
Most people have heard the story about teaching people to fish. Basically, it is if you give a person a fish, they will not be hungry but teach a person to fish and they will never be hungry. We at Family Assistance Program pride ourselves on teaching people to fish. Our housing program is a partnership with the people we serve. They secure employment, learn life skills, and develop a productive life, and we compensate them by providing them with housing and other necessities. It is hard to look for a job when you are hungry and do not know where you will sleep tonight. We empower and support our clients by treating them as humans who have a right to food and housing.
Sometimes it is challenging to stay focused on the goal. Just as raising a child, it is easier to tie their shoes than to teach them how to tie shoes (or just buy Velcro shoes). Rather than give them food, we teach them to apply for food stamps, develop a menu, create a shopping list, and learn to live within their budget. Many of the people we serve do not know how to enroll in these programs. They do not know how to create a menu or develop a well-balanced meal. They do not know how to shop for groceries. This is just one example of how we “teach people to fish”. We also teach people how to find a place to live, how to apply for a job, how to keep a job, how to fix their credit, and a long list of other life skills. In all of these areas, it is easier to do it for them, but the goal is to make our services unnecessary.
Every time I meet someone who was in our program and is now on their own and totally self-sufficient, I get excited. If we do our jobs correctly, we will run out of people to help. We have a long way to go before that happens, but it is exciting to see the progress we are making.
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 Family Assistance Program partnered with San Bernardino Valley College and the San Bernardino County Youth Advisory Board to host the inaugural Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 16th from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. The goal of the summit was to provide a forum for youth who are interested in building their leadership skills and tools. The philosophy of the lead agency, Family Assistance Program, is that it is both important and necessary to make sure that youth were given the same respect that any professional attending a conference would receive, namely, reimbursing them for their time.
Our grant from the Sierra Health Foundation allowed us:
· to pay each youth participating $100 and
· to feed the youth throughout the day
· to provide quality speakers for the youth to build their skills
As a result, we achieved our intended goal of 100 youth. Due to interest, we increased our registration to 120 individuals.
The Summit was planned collaboratively with the Family Assistance Program, members of the San Bernardino Youth Advisory Board, and participants from San Bernardino Valley College’s Mental Health Association.
The input from youth insured that discussion themes and workshop topics were realistically applicable to youth participants. As a result, the Summit was broken into 4 aspects:
· Learning from Community Leaders (Keynote Speakers)
· Discussing Leadership in Areas of Concern for Youth (Roundtables)
· Participating in Leadership Skill Development (Workshops)
· Peer Networking and Resource Identification (Full Summit).
We asked the youth that attended this question: “What are you going to do with the information you shared and learned.” Here are some of the responses:
· “I want to create a change by continually including everyone in all school activities, and around the community by creating close knit community to hear each other’s voices.”
· “Help LGBTQ youth find a secure housing and jobs and create networks and community support for lgbtq youth”
· “I hope to create positive changes in my community by using my voice to share my thoughts and giving my time to others”
· “I want to be a good example and be able to help those who are younger than me by giving proper resources, support or other means.”
· “Make mental health and housing programs and resources more available to our youth”
· “I want to create a culture where folks in the community feel comfortable and safe reaching out for help when they need it. I want to be able to provide resources that are LGBTQ friendly to let folks in the community feel more confident and secure in reaching out.
· “I want to know which resources are available to youth who are housing insecure or unhoused that help them get their basic needs met on a daily basis. I want to address the intersectionalities between being housing insecure, substance use, and mental health and which resources are available that address these intersectionalities rather than individually.”
· “Bring more options to my community for youths. Their is no place where youths can express themselves or have outlets to express themselves and would like to change that.”
· “In my community, it’s very common for those in high schools and middle schools to be led astray and go down bad paths. By helping in my local youth center, I believe I could create more opportunities for other teenagers to get involved with the city. This would give them something productive and beneficial to do with their time, which would prevent them from getting distracted from school and working towards their future. Overall, I find it very important for there to be opportunities to help the community and I will work with my local youth center to ensure this.”
· “What I would want to do to create a positive change would be trying to communicate better with people to understand their reasonings and for them to listen to mine. I’d try to participate in any way that I could to make people feel heard.”
· “I want to start my own foundation to help youth that ages out of the foster care system. I’ve seen it first hand and I’m outraged what goes on right here where I live within the foster care system”
· “Provide the same kind of motivation and dedication that I used to help me get to where I am at to other people.”
· “Help increase the number of resources and services available for youth outside of school hours.”
· “I want to help youth (queer, disabled, and/or those with mental health struggles) understand and utilize the resources available to them when seeking accommodations, when becoming involved with their community, and when seeking employment. Queer and disabled people have some of the highest rates of unemployment because of biases against or lack of information available to them.”
· “I am especially passionate about advancing mental health access, LGBTQ+ rights, and women’s rights with regards to reproductive justice on the local level in the Inland Empire. Given that I was born and raised in the Inland Empire my whole life, I would love to give back to my community by becoming more involved in civic engagement. Additionally, I would love to see how grassroots organizations can work together to bring forth change at the state level in CA.”
· “Participating in my local youth coalition to advocate for, help, and advise at-risk youth in order for the homeless youth and the general homeless population to have better chance of stability and success in life. Being a local policy advocate.”
· “I believe that a community operates at its peak once everyone supports and wishes well amongst one another. We can encourage selflessness as well as kindness to fulfill that need in our community.”
· “I want to possibly create a group for foster and homeless youth to feel like they belong, where they get to talk about their experiences with other kids that can relate to them and empathize.”
· “Changes in guardianship for youth 16 and older – allowing them to initiate it if they left an abusive home or were kicked out of a home. The youth at age 16 should be able to speak for themselves. Also, dental care for homeless youth”
· “I want to learn how I can make a change instead of expecting it to happen. I want voices like mine to be heard instead of used for think pieces with no actual progress from people above that hear our concerns. Furthermore, I’d like to educate my self and stay active so I am speaking with individual who take in the gravity of these situations and want to do something about it.”
· “I would like to see more equitable access to health care, housing assistance, mental health services, and substance use services for my LGBTQ+ community here in the Inland Empire. This includes care that is welcoming and safe to gender and sexual minority community members.”
· “As teenagers, our generation struggles in silence. By participating in this Summit I was to bring comfort to my community. I want to give kids, teenagers, adults, or anyone to participate in organized discussions in which they would be comfortable speaking their truth.”
The Community Center was able to assist over 2,000 individuals last month…how awesome is that? Whether it’s hygiene items, clothing, a bus pass, computer usage, restraining order paperwork preparation, or just a friendly ear to listen; the Community Center Staff is here and ready to help! Last week, we were able to assist two young ladies with clothes for job interviews they had scheduled, and one of them got the job! The Community Center is so happy to be a part of her success.
Remember Samantha and her owner that we shared with you all in our previous newsletter? We are proud to announce that they now have a home to call their own! Samantha and her owner “Mr. Mann”, came to tell us about their new place and just how happy they are to have a safe place to lay their heads. In conversation we learned that “Mr. Mann” didn’t have a lot or much of anything to go into their new apartment so the Community Center helped him out with some dishes, cookware, utensils, some toilet tissue, and a few blankets that we had received from donations. “Mr. Mann” was over the moon and so appreciative of the items we gave to him and Samantha, and we in turn were so happy to be able to assist them. Good luck “Mr. Mann” and Samantha!
We are looking forward to working closely with R.O.O.T. (Revive Our Old Town) to plan another Oktoberfest in Old Town this year! Last year was a great success and enjoyed by many. We can’t wait to have another one! Stay tuned for dates, times and how to sign up as a vendor.
August 2nd was National Night Out for the City of Hesperia at Civic Plaza Park. Hope House has participated in this event for many years now and Lori, Laura, and Tracey attended this year. Every year the City of Hesperia has expanded this event every year. There were many vendors in attendance along with many characters. The park was packed with residents with their children all enjoying themselves.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We will have our annual Break the Silence Walk on October 5th beginning at 10 AM and ending at 3 PM. This will be at our Administration office at 15075 Seventh Street. We are inviting everyone to join us. Please wear Purple to support Domestic Violence. If you are not up for the walk come and hang out with us for the day.
We are inviting organizations who would like to have an information booth with Community Services at the event. Water and snack donations will be appreciated.
Please contact Tracey or Sylvia at 760-223-7787 or by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Door will be having our next 40-Hour Human Trafficking Advocacy Training starting September 13th. If anyone is interested in our next 40 HR Human Trafficking Training, please contact Bernadette@familyassist.org
At My Place Youth Shelter we are focused on helping youth from the ages of 11-17 years old. This month we have been able to reunite two youth with their families after hitting hard times. We have also provided shelter for CFS youth. The youth have been participating in trips to Hesperia Lake, pet shops, and the park. We have had barbecues, movie nights, and game nights. In the last month, we started a garden in our backyard to provide therapy to our clients. There has been a donation of several books to start a library, so kids can check out and enjoy some stories. We have been helping youth with resumes and applying to jobs. Two of our youth recently have interviewed to work at Olive Garden and Denny’s. We are planning a beach trip for August and creating more groups for our youth. With school starting back up we will be bringing back our study groups to help with homework and tests. If anyone knows of any youth in need, please refer them to our program.
The Next Step Reentry Team would like to give praise to one of its own: Barbara C.! Barbara is one of our Rental Assistance Advocates and has been working hard not only in her position on the Next Step Reentry Team but also in her off-time. Barbara is a champion for the rights of those affected by their prior criminal background and who are seeking to improve their lives. She was recently interviewed by Senator Sydney K. Kamlager’s office, who represents U.S. senate District 30, to share her personal story of challenge, adversity, as well as triumph over her past and the success she continues to have following her release from incarceration. Barbara will even be traveling to Los Angeles in person to share her story in a recorded interview.
In addition to this, Barbara will be traveling to Sacramento this month to attend the second annual Drop LWOP (Life Without Parole) Rally in Sacramento to speak to the California legislature in person to share her story and provide awareness of the issues concerning the Drop LWOP initiative in California. Drop LWOP’s mission is to end Life Without Parole sentencing in California. Excellent work Barbara!
As you may remember from last month’s newsletter, we shared the story of one of our graduating housing participants Alicia, who was referred to us last August. She has triumphed through the adversity of fighting cancer, fought and earned back custody of her son Christopher, graduated from our housing program successfully, and completed her supervised probation commitment. If you recall, Alicia had successfully obtained a section 8 housing voucher, however, was having much difficulty finding housing that would accept the voucher. As of this month, Alicia has found an apartment to live in and will be moving in at the end of the month with her son Christopher. Congratulations Alicia!
Fam Spot is excited to say that we provided 80 backpacks with school supplies to youth in need. It was great seeing the youth excited to have new supplies for school. We also have several hiking trips coming up, along with BBQ days. Please see the calendar attached. Our LGBTQIA+ support group is here every other Tuesday so please come join us for a safe place to get support. We are in need of art supplies of any kind for art groups the youth are wanting. Please email Rudy at email@example.com with any questions regarding art supply.
We are currently hiring full and part-time for many open positions.
Click here to see all of the open positions at Family Assistance Program:
If you are interested in applying for any of our open positions, email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to help the most at-risk members of your community, you can donate to Family Assistance Program:
If you are interested in donating items or anything other than a monetary donation you can email email@example.com
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.