2021 November Newsletter

2021 November Newsletter
Direct from Darryl

Direct from Darryl

During this pandemic, Family Assistance Program has continued to grow. The needs of our community have changed, and this has required we change to meet those needs. I believe we have an ethical obligation to serve our community, which means meeting their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. The thought leader Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez said, “in times of change, companies need to be organizationally ambidextrous.” This means we need to be good at what we do, and good at new things.
 
I believe we are doing great work and changing lives. Since we are good at what we do, we have additional opportunities to make an even greater impact. At her speech to the United Nations, Emma Watson said, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” Others throughout time have made similar statements. It is easier, and more comfortable, to coast. I prefer to push us beyond our comfort zone, to develop new programs, to solve problems within our society, to make our community better. I like that I am frequently exhausted, but I am excited about the outcomes we achieve.
 
We have built a strong team, and together we will continue to grow and strengthen our community. Over the next few years, we will expand our rental assistance program and expand our housing programs. We will begin to dip into affordable housing to complement our current transitional housing and shelters. This is the logical next step for addressing the unmet needs for our clients. I would also like to see us assist more people in purchasing homes, both for our clients and staff. While doing this, we will keep our eyes open to seize additional opportunities. Two years ago, I could not have predicted where we are today, but no one could have predicted this pandemic and how it would have affected the world.
 
There is an old quote, “humans make plans and God laughs.” This does not mean we should not make plans; it only means we need to be flexible. We will make plans and work towards them, and then throw them away if necessary. I do not know where we will be two years from now, but I do know that we will be serving our community in whatever way the community needs.
Darryl Evey
Executive Director

Rental Assistance

mother holding child while reading a bookOur office has been busy with appointments for the CA COVID-19 rent and utilities relief program. We assisted one client who was behind three months in rent and utilities. The reason she is behind is due to her mother passing away from COVID-19. Her mom was part of the household income. She was trying to deal with the loss of her loved one and then her aunt also passed away a week later from complications from COVID-19. During our appointments we really get to know our clients and the difficulties they are going through during these hard times. Our client also mentions during the appointment her mother had custody of her niece and nephews which are twins. Our client took the niece and the client sister took the twin boys to help raise. Our client missed some time at work and was force to be unemployed due to covid-19. As we were finding out more about her situation we realized she was eligible for other services such as the emergency housing voucher and resources for food distribution, since she mentioned she was also a victim of domestic violence. We were able to sign her up for all of the services to help her get on the road to success.

Community Center

four people standing in a row looking at the cameraWe have finalized our second annual 40-hour State Mandated Domestic Violence Advocacy Training. We had 26 individuals participate and receive their certificate. We look forward to the work they will do in their community. A big thank you to all our presenters!
 
sti noticeThe picture below is Diana, Raymond and Jobi with Pastor Jessie Lopez from Azure Hills Church…they donated over 200 hygiene bags to be given to clients. C Street gave some to our Transitional Aged Youth programs, Fam Spot, Hope House and the DV Program, and Open Arms. Our clients appreciated these hygiene bags during the clothing give away. Thank you, Azure Hills Church, for your generous donation!
 
We are having our walk-in Free STI clinic at the Community Center every Wednesday.

FAM Spot

t-shirt with painted hand a nd stripes to look like american flagFam Spot participated in the City of Victorville’s Veteran’s Day parade; we took the liberty to do group activities with the youth to create Veteran’s Day t-shirts to show our love, support our veterans and support world peace. In the future, Fam Spot will continue to do groups with youth to educate them about anger management, communication skills, and healthy relationships. The goal is to provide self-reflection and personal growth. We want all individuals; to have awareness of self-care and self-love.
 
t-shirt with painted handprint and the word "you" Furthermore, we will be having a Thanksgiving dinner on November 23rd at Fam Spot. Other programs such as our Transitional Age Youth and My Place Shelter will attend this thanksgiving event, as well. For instance, Staff will be doing thankful activities and groups with adolescents to express their gratitude. To add, we will appreciate any food donations and gift cards to have food items purchased for thanksgiving for the youth to enjoy a traditional meal.

Open Door

the open door logo
Open Door has hired their new Community Outreach Coordinator. Bernadette Valdez came to us after working for Salvation Army and Kindred Health Care agency. She will be offering trainings on Human Trafficking and will be facilitating a new 40-hour Human Trafficking Advocate training starting in February 2021. Please contact her if you or your agency are interested in individual trainings or the next 40-hour training. Her email is bernadette@familyassit.org.

Congratulations to Advocate Vanessa Montes. She is getting married this month. Long and happy marriage to you Vanessa!

Open Door will be getting ready for the holidays with special Thanksgiving dinners for our Safehouse participants and our residential participants. Below are some of the things they are thankful for this holiday season:

“My twin boys who love me no matter what”.
“My relationship with a man who really values me and our relationship”
“Open Door for providing me with my freedom and resources to get back on my feet for my family”
“My family”
“I’m alive today”
“Waking up to another 24 hours”
“My momma”
“Loved ones and people who love me and support me”

Each month Open Door would like to feature one staff member and ask them why they do the work they do. Emily Dickson has been working with victims and survivors of human trafficking for the past 8 years. She began as an Advocate and is now the Housing Director for Open Door’s housing programming.

Here are her thoughts about why she does the work she does:

“In my experience in providing supportive services to victims of Human Trafficking, there have been times that were very rewarding and other times that have left me feeling very defeated. I must say that those feelings of reward, far outweigh the feelings of defeat. It took me quite some time to really grasp the reality that each individual that I support have their own journey to live in life. I had to understand that I was not in control of, or responsible for the decisions they made and the path that they chose/choose to take. I had to realize that I am responsible for the role that I play in supporting the individual and providing them with all the options and opportunities available to them, that maybe they weren’t aware of. I am in control of planting a seed of encouragement, motivation, education and awareness. That is what I remind myself when I do have an individual that has chosen to go down a path with several red flags. I continue to encourage, support and redirect with kindness. It also has helped me to understand that even though I may feel they have chosen the “wrong path”, it may be the “right path” for them in their journey.” – Emily Dickson

My Place

pumpkin with writing on topMy Place has a lot of fun things planned for the month of November! On November 23rd, we are hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner for our youth programs here in the High Desert. We plan to have fun games, prizes and Turkey with all the fixings included! We’ve also begun a new tradition here at My Place: The Thankful Pumpkin, where we have our youth write something they are grateful for every day until Thanksgiving.
 
Also, we are looking for gift cards for local grocery stores, so if anyone can help with that please reach out to Shelly via email shelly@familyassist.org

Our House

We here at Our House continue to encourage our clients to thrive and succeed each and every day. We have 1 client in particular who came to the shelter with the intentions to shelter hop until her 18th birthday. With our encouragement and guidance, she has re-enrolled back into high school with the hopes to graduate soon, and has even obtained employment with a nearby fast-food restaurant. We continue to make our clients feel welcome and safe. We are extremely proud of our youth who have been able to stay at Our House and continue with their participation and dedication to following their program. All our youth love participating in our wide variety of groups and outings.

Moronga Basin TAY Housing

This month at Morongo Basin TAY housing, staff was able to build a strong professional relationship and collaborate services with our community partner TAY ONE STOP youth services here in the Basin. We were able to house two youth that were facing homelessness, they now have a safe place to sleep in our housing program. Here in the Morongo Basin, we have an even greater emphasis on building community partner relationships and linking our TAY participants to services they are requiring to not face being homeless. Our youth participants have shared how very thankful, excited and are looking forward to planning and preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.  

Substance Use Education

We have partnered with Frank Kelly and No Drugs America for Substance Use Education Classes that are free to the public. If you are interested in these classes or booking a training for your school or organization email jobi@familyassist.org
substance-abuse

Street Fair

old town street fair

Join us on Saturday November 20th 11am – 3pm at the Victorville Old Town Street Fair starting on 7th Street & B Street!

Taco Tuesday

Thank you to everyone who came to join us for our 1st Taco Tuesday fundraiser on 11/2! It was a great success and a fun event! See you at the next one on December 7th.

Thank Your to Our Community Partners

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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.