2022 May Newsletter

2022 May Newsletter
Direct from Darryl

Direct from Darryl

Advocacy

We use the term advocacy loosely and this sometimes dilutes the meaning. Advocacy is important when we work for people who are disenfranchised. In our democratic form of government, we need our elected officials to understand the needs of all people, not just the ones who can afford to attend their political fundraisers. Sometimes we forget that advocacy goes deeper than this. Foundations need advocates to help them prioritize their work. Government staff need advocates to help them prioritize funding allocations. Our team are constantly working with people in positions of power or authority to consider the families we serve when making decisions.
 
Many of the decisions are difficult. Should the police department buy a new helicopter, or should the funds go to the fire department for a new fire truck? Should infrastructure funding pay for a new traffic light that can improve traffic flow, or should they pave the roads? Should social service funding go to prioritize housing a person with a severe mental health problem, a senior citizen, or a homeless teenager? It feels like a Kobayashi Maru every day.
 
This is why we have advocacy. Did you know that people who are homeless are able to receive a free ID card from the DMV? This is because several of us brought clients who were formerly homeless to Sacramento to meet with elected officials. They each told their story and explained that they could not find employment without an ID and could not get an ID without money and could not get money without employment. Each legislator understood how this simple bill could change the lives of real people. Once they understood how the bill helped people, it was easy to secure their support.
 
Last week, Shelly, Jose, and a few of the youth from Fam Spot were able to share their personal stories with the Victorville Planning Commission. The commissioners were in a tough place on how to make a decision. Should they side with the “Not in my back yard” group, or should they side with the people who actually live in the neighborhood. When our team were able to make the argument personal and how this will change the lives of young people in our community, the commissioners were able to support the project.
 
Advocacy is a powerful tool. We advocate for our clients every day. Somedays we are able to secure big wins. Other times, we just hope to come back another day. As long as people in our community need our help, we WILL come back another day.

 

Darryl Evey
Executive Director

Open Door

the open door logoOpen Door received the following recognition from one of our interns, Tiffany Acklin, from Cal State San Bernardino. Tiffany is in the Social Work Masters Program.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to intern at The Open Door this past year. It’s been a pleasure working with all of the staff and I will always treasure the things I’ve experienced and learned during my time here. Including volunteering with the ladies, going out to the meeting location with Marcelis to meet a hostile participant, going on outreach, to crisis intervention with a participant thinking of surrendering her child, just to name a few. But most of all I really enjoyed talking with all the women and staff members about their stories and journeys of their experiences in the life. I want to give a special thanks to the ladies who have put an effort into including me on the life and activities of the home as well as case management. I’ve appreciated it very much. Haydee (who always whispers), you are goal-oriented, scheduled and organized, and amazing at what you do. Jackie, your attention to detail about case management is so important and shows that you really care about these ladies. There’s never been a time I asked a question about a participant that you didn’t know the details of. Rachel, you bring so much life to the house. Although you’ve had your challenges with some of the participants, you have a special gift of being with people and making them feel connected and important. Rosa and Monica, you have an extraordinary ability to help all of these ladies with the daily tasks that so many of them struggle with because no one invested in them and took the time to teach them. This is vital to their journey in self-sufficiency and empowers them for the rest of their life. Don’t forget that or minimize it. Alyssa, you are incredibly strength-based when it comes to the ladies and their struggles. You are also a “doer” and never have idle hands. I’ve never seen you be afraid to roll your sleeves up, clean or fix things that many women wouldn’t attempt to fix (you go girl). You would make an amazing social worker. To Dianne, Emily, Myesha, Bernadette, and Vanessa, thank you so much for sharing your stories and allowing me to come along at outreach, trainings and groups. The work you do takes an incredible amount of strength and bravery. It truly changes people and benefits the community as well. I am grateful to everyone so please forgive me if I didn’t mention you. The women I’ve met here, not only staff, but some of the participants as well, are by far some of the strongest women I’ve known and are the true definition of a survivor. I don’t know who named this organization but it was named well because I’ve seen the door opened wide for all who need help. Everyone who has come into the program for help has been treated with kindness and respect and given every opportunity for growth. Two of the key social work ethical principles are respect for the inherent dignity and worth of a person, and recognizing the central importance of human relationships-two things I have seen practiced on a daily basis at Open Door. Keep up the good work! The Open Doors you create for people are truly life-changing and it has been an honor to be a part of it for even a little while. Till we meet again.”
– Tiffany Acklin

Open Door will miss Tiffany and all the care and support she gave our participants. Good luck Tiffany!

Want to support a survivor but don’t know how? Here is your chance. Please visit this WEBSITE to view and purchase all-natural products, handmade, from this Native American survivor to thriver!

Hope House

Hope House celebrated ‘Cinco de Mayo’ this past week. The participants helped create a delicious and savory meal for the home. One of our participants made a traditional Mexican meal called ‘Carne en su Jugo’ which was paired with rice and homemade tortillas that Margarita helped make and for dessert, we had Pan Dulce and Mosaic Gelatin. During this time, Angel helped pass out the Mother’s Day books that she made with the children. We are so glad to have been able to celebrate this small holiday with our participants.

Also, this past Sunday we handed out our Mother’s Day gift bags and our participants were extremely grateful to have received them. They had a small Mother’s Day breakfast as well. It is important to celebrate the Mother’s that are doing everything they can to give their children a better life away from.

happy mother's day

Next Step

david wearing a suit and tieNext Step would like to highlight one of our probation participants David. He came to us last year after just having been released from incarceration with no family to ask for help or place to sleep. David found himself in one of the lowest points of his life. When we first met him, David seemed very rough around the edges with his scruffy looking beard and very worn from his experience being incarcerated. Within a few weeks of beginning his program with Next Step he jumped into action, cleaned himself up, got a clean shave and a haircut; and wow, the difference was amazing, there was a handsome man under that scruffy beard. With his case manager’s guidance David used the shelter’s computer center to create a resume for himself and to apply for jobs.

David’s case manager coordinated with the Probation Department and arranged for him to obtain a suit for his first interview, which was the very next week. David expressed that he was very nervous and unsure of himself, so his case manager encouraged and assisted to prepare him for the interview to help him gain confidence in himself. And he landed the job!

He passed his 90-day Probation Department Housing Review and was extended another 90 days in our program. He is still working full-time, has been offered a better position within his company, and has successfully adopted the budgeting practices taught to him by his case manager; the Next Step for David is searching for self-pay housing. The end of David’s time in our program is in sight and with the tools David has acquired in program, his successful budgeting plan, and the job he continues to work, he now has a solid foundation to plan his exit strategy.

A big part of David’s success in our program is due to the resources we are able to provide participants such as the new Computer Centers that were graciously set up, at two separate shelters, for us by our Information Technology Expert Gary Martin. The Next Step team is extremely appreciative of the donations and funding that has made it possible to provide these resources and the expertise it takes to apply them to our program.

Community Center

advocacy training flyerAnother tax season has come and gone, and WOW, what a rush!?! C Street is happy to have reached over 200 individuals with CalEITC information, and other tax tip flyers. Jobi assisted over 100 individuals with self-preparation of their Federal and State taxes; 100 individuals that did not pay fees to file their taxes this year which adds up to about $19,000.00 saved in the community.

Don’t forget, you can still file your taxes until October 17, 2022!

We are excited to announce our Domestic Violence Advocacy Training will be taking place next month!! Spread the word and save the date!!

vendors wanted flyerDon’t forget to come out and Walk the Block in Old Town Victorville! Support your local business and spend sometime on good old Route 66!

FAM Spot

resource fair flyerFam Spot is excited to announce we are adding hikes to our monthly calendar. Several youth have asked for more outside activities and we listened. Twice a month we will be taking the youth out on a hike and having a picnic. We are also continuing our monthly BBQs with the youth. With summer rapidly approaching, we are working on getting more activities added to our calendar to keep the youth busy and having fun.

We have a resource fair coming up on May 21st for families to come to get resources.

My Place

two people playing boxingThis month at My Place, we are still growing stronger as a team, as we continue to welcome new team members to help support our at-risk youth. We continue to see a rise in youth attending school, group participation in life skills, and peer counseling. A big support for our youth has been our advocate who always goes above and beyond, Sean! Boxing has been an enormous success to help youth with coping skills. Boxing has been a major source of motivation and a sense of relief for our youth. It has been an amazing part of our shelter and the youth look forward to this group every day that he is here.

Rental Assistance

residential elements clip artWe had an applicant with emergency housing vouchers from the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino. When they pulled up her application she had already started her own business cleaning. She was denied assistance due to her income. She came to us again. She had an apartment lined up to rent. With our other rental assistance funding, we were able to assist her with the funds to move in. At the time she asked for help we were not aware she was sleeping in her car. Then she was contacted to let her know that the checks to help her move in were released. When she came to pick up the checks she started crying and stated we are a blessing to the community. As she walked out of the office we could still hear her cries. The staff on shift just wanted to hug her and let her know everything was going to be all right.

Housing & Homeless Youth

people meeting at a park On Friday, May 6 Family Assistance Program held a tour of the planned “Tiny Home Village” in Old Town Victorville with regional legislative leaders. Following the tour, the group gathered for a round table discussion on the local housing needs of High Desert residents and Transitional Age Youth (TAY) population.

In attendance were Assemblymember Thurston “Smitty” Smith (33rd Assembly District, Assemblymember James Ramos (40th Assembly District), Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (23rd Senate District), Apple Valley Mayor Pro Tem Art Bishop, Chief Deputy and SoCal Regional Director for Governor Gavin Newsom Molly Wiltshire, Housing Authority of San Bernardino County Executive Director Maria Razo, Family Assistance Program Executive Director Darryl Evey, Youth Advocate and Case Manager Jose Chavez and other community housing leaders.

man displaying a board to people at the meetingOur local leaders discussed the importance of going upstream and investing in housing for youth in order to end homelessness. Regional solutions to aid in the development of emergency shelters, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing were shared amongst the group. The diverse mix of representatives from the local level to the state allowed for the identification of intersectional solutions that can be applied across the region. Youth homelessness and housing for youth need to be prioritized at the local and state level. From our city’s general plan to the funds coming down to address the state’s housing crisis need to support this priority. This will ensure that our young people have access to safe and affordable housing and will help prevent the next generation of homelessness.

Youth Advisory Board

youth advisory board flyerThere’s A LOT happening at YAB in San Bernardino County!

We’re doing:

  • Social Media Planning
  • Legislative Research
  • Practice Telling Your Story to help your advocacy
  • Prepping for a Virtual Hill Day educating Legislators in DC!

Not much homework, but a LOT of opportunities to get involved!!

Tell your friends to register and join us!

Come check it out!

SB County Youth Advisory Board:
Wednesday afternoons at 4:30p (Get paid $15/meeting)

For more info email JIM

Hiring

Employment Flyer

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:

Open Positions

If you are interested in applying for any of our open positions, email your resume to hr@familyassist.org

COVID-19 Vaccine Conversation

covid vaccine flyerWhy did you get vaccinated? People have many different reasons why they got the shot. Share your story on your social media and get paid for it. We are looking for volunteers to start the conversation about COVID-19 Vaccine. Earn up to $400 when people engage with your post.

If you are interested in becoming a COVID Champion or have any questions you can email charity@familyassist.org

Give

give donation jarIf you want to help the most at-risk members of your community, you can donate to Family Assistance Program:

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If you are interested in donating items or anything other than a monetary donation you can email angela@familyassist.org

Thank Your to Our Community Partners

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Check Out Our Open Positions

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.