2022 September Newsletter

september 2022 newsletter
orange butterfly

Direct from Darryl

This month, I was able to experience Covid. I have run 3 marathons this year. I am not overweight (well maybe a little), I do not have any health problems, and I am fully vaccinated. Covid knocked me out. I spent three days laying on the couch with a fever, headache, muscle aches, and unable to even think. It has been over 10 days, and I still have the headache and struggle with thinking clearly. I have a new respect for people who have had to struggle with this virus. As the newest booster becomes available over the next few weeks, I highly recommend everyone get it.

Fortunately, the agency moves along without me. We have a wonderful group of people who make sure that the needs of our clients are met. We have an accounting department and a grants department that can keep the agency moving along. We have program managers that can make decisions and handle any problems that pop up. When I am unable to think straight, it is nice to know that we have people who can.

While Covid was an effective weight loss tool, more importantly, it reinforced the value of our team. It is comforting to know that when I am not working, our systems and our teams are working.

Darryl Evey
Executive Director

The Gala is Coming

Sara KruzmanWe are so happy to announce that our keynote speaker for the annual Dreams Come True Gala coming up next month on October 15, 2022 is Sara Kruzan.

Sara was a victim of child sex trafficking who at the age of 16 through an act of trauma violence killed George Howard. George was a child sex trafficker, 20 years Saras’ senior, who began the indoctrination process of child sex slavery upon Sara when she was 11 years old. This was during the early 1990’s, the “Tough on Crime” phase of California, and Riverside County wanted to be the toughest. They prosecuted her as an adult, she was her only witness allowed to testify and no expert witness where able to talk about her previous PTSD diagnosis. She was sentenced to life without parole plus 4 years indeterminate. Ordered to pay a 10,000-restitution victim fine and graduated a year early form high school while housed and Riverside juvenile hall. She kept her hope alive, hope for freedom, and continued to fight for her case. Her legal team filed many petitions and over years was able to have a resentencing, a commutation and chance before the California parole board June of 2013. In October 2013, Sara was released from prison. In July of 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsome pardoned her.

She is going to speak about the importance of not giving up on your dream. Even if judges and society members of the state of California try to take away your hope and faith, your dreams can still come true, if you just hold with hope and curious courage.

Huge thank you to Wild Hair Company for your Cocktail Sponsorship and Molina Healthcare for your Music Sponsorship. Thank you to our table sponsors: Waterfountains.com, Southwest Gas, Stewart’s United Insurance Agencies, Cali Auto Glass, Majestic Land, Victorville Chevrolet, PRMG, ERNA Enterprises, Desert Community Bank, Life’s Essentials, John Perring-Mulligan, and Excelsior Charter Schools. Thank you to Steeno Design and Howard’s for your Centerpiece Sponsorship and Stephen Dhillon Law and Coldwell Banker for your sponsorship in the program. Your donations are what we need to make these events happen!

This is our annual fundraiser and all proceeds will go towards down payment assistance for Family Assistance Program clients and staff. The money raised at the gala will empower Family Assistance Program to transform people’s lives with home ownership.

Join us for a fun masquerade ball at the Hilton Garden Inn with a cocktail hour from 4:30 – 5:30pm and dinner starting at 6pm. Enjoy music from the amazing BOK Band, dancing, photo booth fun, and a silent auction.


Sponsorship opportunities are available and silent auction items are needed, email Angela if you are interested.


gala sponsorship infoSponsorship flyer

Community Center

kids in front of whiteboard carnival mask

The Community Center was excited to host the family friendly event, “Mom’s Who Mask and Dad’s in Disguise”. Moms and Dads were encouraged to bring the kiddos out last Tuesday, September 6th, for a fun few hours of masquerade mask decorating and snacks!

For those who didn’t have any littles to decorate a mask with or missed the first event, we had a Mask and Mingle event at Viva Marias in Apple Valley on Thursday, September 15th. All proceeds went towards the Dreams Come True Masquerade Gala Fundraiser.

carnival masks

mask and mingle

Hope House

break the silence flyerOctober 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, snack and monetary donations will be appreciated. Please contact Tracey or Sylvia at 760-223-7787 or by email tracey@familyassist.org or sylvia@familyassist.org

Open Door

human trafficking flyerOpen Door is having our 40 Hour Human Trafficking Training this month. This training is exciting since we have some new presenters. Thank you to all that registered, contact Bernadette@familyassist.org to get on the waiting list for the next one.

Open Door would also like to say goodbye to one of our beloved Empowerment Advocates Myeesha. When I joined open door and they told me I was going to shadow Myeesha, she took me to the Sheriff’s Academy. As I sat there and listened to her tell her story and how she was training the new cadets on how to handle a human trafficking victim. I was blown away on how she had them hanging on every single word. With that being said here is a letter that Myeesha wrote herself.

My Final love letter:

As most of you are aware my name is Myeesha from The Open Door’s Family Assistance Program. With bittersweet sentiments, I close out a chapter here as a human trafficking Empowerment.
During the last 5 years that I have worked with Family Assistance Program, I have learned so much about myself professionally and personally. As you all know I am a survivor. But what many of you all don’t know is that I was a survivor who did not know I was a survivor until participating in the Open Door’s 40 Hour human trafficking training. That training was an answer to a lot of unresolved questions I didn’t know I even had. From then on coming to work for the Open Door. A program propelled and entrenched with survivor voices and leadership. A program that was the most unconventional kind that I had ever heard. While I have been at Open Door there was a saying I would say. There’s never a dull day at The Open Door. Every day has taught me something and allowed me the opportunity to learn and refine parts of myself. It is here where I have discovered the meaning of trauma-informed care, empathy, and personal boundaries. It is here where I have been allowed to train and work alongside law enforcement and reconcile parts of my trust with them. But It is also here where I have had to rediscover self-care and it is also here that I have had to learn that even though I am a survivor I am still more than just a survivor.
I have been blessed to work alongside many great team members past present and future. Team members who have allowed me the support opportunity and encouragement to be the best version of myself I could possibly be. I sincerely thank them and honor them for all they have done and continue to do. It has made the ride that much more memorable.
To Dianne who has constantly and consistently been there throughout my survivor journey all these years. Who has supported me and given me the opportunity to do more with my story. Who has taught me that we should not allow ourselves to feel inferior and that we are the experts? It is through your strength and resolve that has helped nurture and strengthen mine. I especially thank you.
Moving forward I wish nothing but the best for my team as well as The Family Assistance Program. Continue to lead the way in supportive services and care. Always remembering that our agency is only as good as the people who support it. Continue to invest in them. As I go I hope I’ve been able to leave everyone that I’ve encountered better than when we first met. I wish you all nothing but continued success, peace, and love.
Warm Regards,
Myeesha Arranaga

My Place

my place logoThis month has been full of new outings and activities for our youth. Outings to the pet shop, grocery store, the lake and the park have taken place. The youth have been participating in art groups, music groups, self care groups and a boxing group. Our youth have been going to Fam Spot and participating in a few groups including young visionaries and LGBTQIA groups. We have been fortunate to help a youth get enrolled in school and to help another youth reunite with family. We have a beach trip planned for this month and we are excited for more to come.

Next Step

next step logoThis job puts us in a position to help people. Although we have to keep a professional distance between us and our participants in order to stay objective with the care we are able to provide them, we begin to care for them as we would those in our personal lives. We aren’t always able to help our participants to the extent to which we would like to help them, but it’s great when we are able to assist their progress.

Recently one our Rental Assistance Advocates, Adriana Z. successfully advocated for her participant, MV, to be accepted into a new mobile home of her very own. This will be the first home, of her own, MV has had since she was released from incarceration. The landlord was reluctant to approve MV for the home due to her background and circumstances, but after explaining the program and how it would benefit them, Adriana successfully advocated for the housing approval. MV will be moving into her mobile home in the next few weeks.

Congratulations to Case Manager Claudia Z’s housing participants for making progress towards their exit goals. One of her participants AB had a rough start that ended with her back in custody, but after successfully advocating for her return to our housing program, AB has turned her situation around and has gained employment at a local car wash, is attending out-patient classes, and continues to add to her savings. Another of her participants JS continues to maintain her sobriety, and has hit her one-year mark.

Keep up the important work team Next Step, it is so greatly appreciated!

Open Arms

open arms logoOur Mask and Mingle event had a great turnout with the participation of our partners from Operation New Hope. We are looking forward to posting our calendar for the month of October including Halloween activities and a Fall resource event. Our group calendar now includes three different group opportunities a day, with substance and health groups now being available up to four times a week. For the month of September, participants are able to join a cooking class or art activity every Saturday at 12pm.

Our House

our house logoThe well-being of our youth is the top priority at Our House! We look forward to getting our clients back into a routine with the school semester approaching. Staff came together in the past month to create a welcoming environment for the youth by giving each bedroom its own personal touch. Additionally, our shelves are newly stocked with board games and art supplies. We’ve incorporated more activities and groups for the clients to enjoy! We’ll be closing out the Summer with visits to the park, book clubs, and movie nights. It’s important to us that both staff and clients enjoy their time together while also building social skills and team building. The future at Our House is as bright as the youth who reside here.

Funds in Action

jbay logoThis year, JBAY’s Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund will assist around 1,000 young people who have been in foster care or homeless. One of our youth clients was one of the recipients.

“The assistance helped me purchase my textbooks to further my education, without it I don’t know what I would have done.” Eunice

Eunice received $347.24 through the Burton Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund so that she could purchase textbooks for her Administration of Justice classes.

Rental Assistance

for rent sign


Martha called requesting rental assistance. She stated it is just her and her 20-year old son Jerry and she fell behind in her rent due to her having a stroke and she is unable to work right now. Jerry is working; however, they are having a hard time catching up from being behind 2 months. Because Jerry is 20 years old, he qualifies for our ESG program that assists youth between the ages of 18-24. Because of this program, we were able to keep Jerry and Martha housed with assisting them with their back rent to prevent homelessness.

Hesperia Days Parade

paraders on truck hesperia days paradeFamily Assistance Program participated in the 2022 Hesperia Days Parade on Saturday 9/17. The staff and our youth participants decorated the truck and had banners to display to the thousands of parade watchers sharing about all the great things that Family Assistance Program is doing in the community. They all had a blast and represented in their purple shirts. Great job team, you looked fabulous!


now hiringWe 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


give jarIf 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 angela@familyassist.org

Thank Your to Our Community Partners

community partner logos

Join Our Team

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.

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