Family Assistance Program Newsletter
In This Issue
Call for service
Run for Awareness
Join Our Marathon Team
Cheer Station Location
Unintended Consequences of Prop 47
A Call For Service
Rob Turner's got a message, and it hasn't changed since he first presented it in 2004 after receiving the St. Mary Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year Award: People need to volunteer more. "It's what makes the pump give water," stated Turner. "It's about hard work."
Turner is no stranger to hard work. A Marine Sergeant and retired school administrator, he put himself through college working as a janitor and assisted by the GI Bill. He began teaching high school in South Central Los Angeles before ultimately relocating to Apple Valley in 1976. As a resident of Apple Valley, he served on the school board and on Town Council as Mayor.
"I've made a decent living, and it's up to me to give something back to the community," he shared. The result? Thirty-one years of service with the Rotary Club of Apple Valley, seventeen years with the St. Mary's Hospital Board, 3 years with the Victor Valley Community Services Council, and he currently sits on Family Assistance Program's Board of Directors as Past President to name just a few.
"Family Assistance Program has a special meaning to me. My dad would beat me and my brother bloody and verbally abuse my mother. He would nag her until she left the table crying. He never beat her," he remembered. "I wanted to help women like her, women who were helpless or stuck." Working with Family Assistance Program, Turner was able lead the board to assist numerous women and their families who sought domestic violence support, and continues to do so.
"I ran away at thirteen and got as far as Oregon," Turner continued. Riding the cargo trains, he was gone for about two weeks before he was found and put on a bus back home where the abuse continued. "There was no place for kids in a bad situation to go, except the street." Thankfully, that is no longer the case. In 2012, Turner helped Executive Director Darryl Evey launch his vision of a youth shelter called Our House, a place for kids to go; a place for runaways.
"All these things resonate with me. [Volunteering] is such a small requirement for us to do. It doesn't take a lot of time, but I feel like I'm making a contribution to the community," he said. "People need to volunteer more, get out in the community and get involved. You don't have to give money, just get involved in the areas in need."
Just months away from his 80th birthday, Turner is still giving back. Although, he jokes that he's getting tired and is ready to slow down: "I do all I can to support Darryl and his ideas. The program has grown and will continue to grow. He's got vision. I have a great appreciation for our [Executive Director]. There's no end to what he can do."
There are several ways to get involved and give back. Find a charity that is close to your heart. Whether your passion is for animals, the elderly, the homeless, children, or the environment there is a charity who needs someone just like you.
Visit volunteermatch.org to locate a charity, or you can volunteer at Family Assistance
Program by calling (760) 843-0701.
Running to Raise Awareness
To some, running 26.2 miles is an impossible feat. Only 1% of the population has
ever achieved it. Valerie Emick is soon to be among the 1% as she races to draw
attention to child human trafficking occurring in our own communities.
"I started running as a freshman at Mt. SAC," remembered Family Assistance Program
Board Secretary Valerie Emick. "I was 28 when I ran my first 5k with my sister and
my 8 year old daughter, but this is my first marathon." Although, Emick completed
her first half marathon in December, taking 8th place in her division at the Loma
Linda Holiday Classic.
Her love of running has continued and inspired her grandchildren to take up the
sport. "Isabella (age 8) ran her first 5k last year, and Brisa (age 10) has run
two 5ks," shared Emick. It seems only fitting that Emick uses her family's passion
to help families in need.
On March 15, 2015, Emick will run as part of Family Assistance Program's Marathon
Team, and complete the course in less than 6.5 hours. "It's my goal to cross the
finish line. I'll feel relieved, excited, and accomplished, but this is for a great
cause," stated Emick.
She makes it clear that she lives up to the team's motto: We Run Because They Have
To. "It's for something I believe in. It can help raise awareness of human trafficking.
The High Desert doesn't realize how profound it is. We have it, a lot of it, and
people aren't aware."
Emick started training for the LA Marathon last October. Her rigorous training schedule
includes running 7-8 miles three days a week and 14 miles two days a month. She
can often be spotted running to the end of Apple Valley off of Sitting Bull and back.
"We need to educate parents that runaways and human trafficking victims are children
who get caught up in bad situations. It can happen to anyone. Everyone needs to
be more aware. There is no reason for a kid to be walking on the street alone. Question
everything," urged Emick. This is especially poignant when considering the average
age of a child victim of human trafficking is 12-14.
Funds raised from Emick's run will help Family Assistance Program provide a safe
haven for sexually exploited girls. To support her efforts, donate online at <a
href="https://www.crowdrise.com/familyassistanceprogram" track="on" >www.CrowdRise.com/FamilyAssistanceProgram</a>.
LA Marathon Cheer Station
Join us in Los Angeles and support our marathon team.
Where: Mile 22 at San Vicente Blvd. and S. Canyon View
When: March 15, 2015
Time: 8:55am - 1:00pm
Bring: Signs, noise makers, water, bubbles, etc.
Click image for directions.
A Message of Hope for Women on Probation
During the 2014 election year, California voters approved a Proposition 47. This
new law reduces many low level felonies to misdemeanors. The result of this law
is that many people in jail or on probation for felony convictions have had their
convictions downgraded and are no longer in jail or on probation. This is a great
opportunities for people who will now qualify for jobs and other help that a felony
conviction would have prevented them from receiving.
There is an unintended consequence. Many jurisdictions provide a wide range of supportive
services for people on probation. San Bernardino County does a remarkable job in
helping people on probation. They provide education, job training, counseling and
even housing. All of these services have proven to be very effective in helping
people on probation become successful. Unfortunately, when the felony conviction
is reduced to a misdemeanor, they no longer qualify for these services. This puts
the probationer in a Catch-22 position.
We provide housing to woman on probation. Most of the women in our program have
had their convictions reduced to misdemeanors. For the ones who have already taken
advantage of the help, secured a job and are ready to move out on their own, this
is a tremendous opportunity. For the ones who are struggling to find employment,
this becomes a challenge. Finding employment is easier if they do not have a felony
conviction. Finding employment while homeless is extremely difficult. The housing
program is funded by the Probation Department so when they are no longer on probation,
they no longer qualify for the housing.
We at Family Assistance Program are committed to helping our clients succeed. We
allow the women to remain in our program even when we lose the funding that covers
the cost of the program. This makes funding the program tight, but it is the right
thing to do. Over the last year, this program has helped 27 women secure employment,
get their own apartment, and get off of probation. These women have gone from criminals
consuming resources to tax paying members of our society. Every person deserves
a chance to succeed. Most of these women were not given that chance and without
our help would most likely have re-offended and returned to prison.
If you would like more information about our program or would like to learn how
you can help, visit our website at <a href="http://familyassist.org/probation.php"
track="on" >http://familyassist.org/probation.php</a> .