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June 2015 Newsletter
6/17/2015 5:28:03 PM
June 2015
Fam Spot Awarded Grant
6/1/2015 12:32:49 AM

Family Assistance Program has been awarded a grant from The Community Foundation to offset the ticket costs of monthly excursions for under-resourced youth to experience art, culture and diversity.  The fieldtrips will allow youth to visit art galleries, ballets, museums and theaters to foster a respect for diversity and support and encourage the youths’ creativity.

March 2015 Newsletter
5/26/2015 5:33:23 PM

MARCH 2015

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Family Assistance Program Newsletter

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In This Issue

 

Call for service

Run for Awareness

Join Our Marathon Team

Cheer Station Location

Unintended Consequences of Prop 47

 

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A Call For Service

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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.

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Running to Raise Awareness

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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>.

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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.

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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> .

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April 2015 Newsletter
5/26/2015 4:53:06 PM

APRIL 2015

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Family Assistance Program Newsletter

 

In This Issue

 

Same Message, Different Avenue

Teen Dating Violence

Program List

Program Updates

Denim Day 4/22

 

Same Message, Different Avenue

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"There has been a deterioration of families in the past few decades, and anything we can do to support families at a difficult time will help society at large," says Steve Sipe, Board member at Families Assistance Program when asked why he chose our Agency to lend his expertise.

 

Steve brings with him decades of experience in radio, TV, and marketing.  He was 12 years old when he first toured a radio station and transmitter site. He knew  from that moment that he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and work in  radio.  At the age of 20, he landed his first radio gig in Ohio.  Then in 1994,  Steve moved to Apple Valley, CA to take a job in TV with KHIZ Channel 64.  He was active with High Desert Opportunity for 10 years, serving on the marketing committee and for two years as President.

 

"Marketing is marketing," says Steve, "but the avenues for marketing have changed. Knowing where to reach your target audience is key."  It is this insight he brings to the Board.

 

As Family Assistance Program is branching out to reach High Desert teens through  creation of The Fam Spot, Steve's story resonates.  The "message" is the same: Great things happen when you inspire youth.  In Steve's case, a positive experience at 12 ignited a fire that spanned decades.   However, our new "avenue" is a youth drop-in center, and it's guided by a board that knows how to get the message out.

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Teen Dating Violence Surveys Show Prevalence Locally

Agency's efforts double to reach need

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Prevention is the best chance we have to put an end to domestic violence, and DV  Advocate Melissa Woods is on the front line of defense. "We have been reaching out to high schools and community agencies to provide education on teen dating violence," states Woods who trained an estimated 2000 teens in 2014, twice the amount reached in 2013.

 

Her goal is simple: "We want to build generations of young people who practice healthy relationships free from violence and abuse."

 

This is not an easy task when considering that nearly 13% of teens surveyed from Victorville, Hesperia and Apple Valley schools report they have been a victim of teen dating violence. 19% of the teens surveyed state they have a friend who has been abused by a dating partner, and 10% stated they have a friend who was the abuser in a relationship.  On a more positive note, 90% of the students surveyed found the training to be beneficial.

 

"We have put together a powerful, educational presentation on Teen Dating Violence prevention. We would like to come to your school or agency and share this with your young adults free of charge," continued Woods.

 

The training achieves the following outcomes:

 

 

* Identify the myths and realities of sexual, physical and emotional abuse

* Identify and define types of abuse, specifically teen dating violence

* Recognize the warning signs of an abusive relationship

* Identify issues of "power" and "control"

* Define prescriptions for healthy relationships and respectful sexuality

* Learn problem-solving skills surrounding relationship (intimate or friendship) conflicts

* Learn to break the cycle and patterns of abuse

* Target roots of low self-esteem and develop measures toward building stronger esteem

* Provide an introductory, critical analysis of media's influence on gender and violence issues

* Recognize their responsibilities as bystanders and learn how to advocate for violence-free relationships

 

"This is the second year I have had the pleasure of having Melissa come and speak to my classes," stated Oak Hills High School teacher Erin Lovewell.  "Not only does Melissa speak easily with my students, but she covers material that helps students think and evaluate their relationships.  Many students have found her presentation to be life changing.  I would recommend this program to all teachers who have a comfortable classroom environment."

 

To schedule a class, contact Melissa Woods at (760) 843-0701 or Melissa@familyassist.org [mailto:Melissa@familyassist.org] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Program Updates

 

News from our Domestic Violence Shelter

 

Soroptimist of Victor Valley just completed redoing the third bedroom at our domestic violence shelter. For three years now, the club has come and decorated a bedroom  in comfort for the women and families we serve.  The first year, Soroptimist decorated the green room, the second year was the blue room and this year it is the Purple  room. The club gets together and buys the paint, bedding and accessories for the room.  The 1st Saturday in March the club gets together at the shelter and puts the room together. This year we tried something new: chalkboard paint. We have different shapes in the room with the chalkboard paint so the women and children can draw on those areas of the walls.

 

--Tracey Rick, Shelter Manager

 

News From Our House Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter

We continue to enroll clients that come into the shelter back into school.  Some of these clients have not been to school in days, weeks or even months, depending upon their situation prior to coming into Our House.   This ensures that clients do not fall behind in their studies while we are finding new and/or appropriate placements for clients to go once they leave Our House.  This benefit eases the transition to the client's new placement by making them ready and comfortable with attending school as a part of their current and everyday schedule.

 

Our House clients also did their part participating in the LA Marathon by supporting Family Assistance Program runners. They showed their support by passing out bottled waters, food and cheering on the runners once they got to the 22 mile point of the marathon. The clients truly enjoyed watching the Family Assistance Program runners overcome this tremendously difficult task of finishing this marathon.

 

-- Chad Roberts, Shelter Manager

 

Youth Human Trafficking Victim Outreach

Mentor/Youth Advocate Emily Dickson will be honored at this year's "Shine a Light" on Child Abuse Awards Breakfast, in the category of Community-based Provider on April 2, 2015. Emily has made great strides in assisting sexually exploited youth.

Congratulations Emily and thank you for your compassion and dedication.

 

 

Probation Housing

 

We would like to welcome new Probation House Manager, Becky Castillo!

 

In the past, probation housing was available only to women and their children. 

We have now opened our client intake to married couples and married couples with children at the Helena House in Victorville.

 

We are currently serving 9 clients and 7 children in our probation homes after transitioning several clients who have completed our program to personal housing.   To ensure our programs continue to help as many clients as possible, we continue to build a strong relationship with the Department of Probation and the Housing Coordinators.

 

-- Yvette Abreo, Caseworker

 

The Family Center

 

Members of our agency had the opportunity to attend the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence.  The workshops were very informative, and we learned tools that will assist us in further training health care providers to assist victims of domestic violence.  Vice President Joe Biden was the guest speaker and delivered a powerful message to encourage the fight against domestic violence. Our own Jobi Wood was recognized for the strides she has made in advocating for dv.

 

--Caroline Reyna, Program Manager

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Anything Is Possible
5/19/2015 5:42:09 PM
Meet Janet Cisneros: Broker, Owner, and self-made.  She has a strong message for the community and it didn’t start off all roses.

May 2015 Newsletter
5/13/2015 6:52:23 PM

MAY 2015

 

In This Issue

 

The Heart of the Matter

From the Hearts of Staff

 

 

The Heart of the Matter

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Dr. John Perring-Mulligan, PhD, is no stranger to compassion. With roots in teaching, counseling, psychotherapy and hospital administration, Dr. John has always reached out to help the marginalized. "Ever since I was a kid, my interest was in helping the underserved," he began. "I taught the least academically gifted kids. I counseled the under-resourced." Now, after retiring as Vice President of Mission Services at Apple Valley St. Mary's Medical Center, Dr. John lends his talent to Family Assistance Program, serving as Treasurer of the Board of Directors. Currently, he is serving on the Board of St. John of God's Healthcare Services and the Community Benefits Committee for St. Mary Medical Center.

 

"Every day I ask myself, 'Have I been loving enough today? Have I been kind and loving to the people I have interacted with?'" He continues stating blessings and gratitude are central in good mental health, and right-living. "When you understand that all is gift, then you want to share all you have. It reduces your egoism in terms of 'me, me, me' to desiring to share what you've been blessed with."

 

As a former Senior Vice President of Mission Integration, the New York native led the Affinity Health System, Menasha, Wisconsin 4200 hospital staff in achieving a common mission by motivating staff to be committed towards a shared vision. Dr. John explains that through education about an organization's history and mission, people learn what the organization is trying to accomplish. These things are important to inspiring passion or to encourage those who don't share the vision or mission to leave.

 

"The heart of the matter is: Can we find people who are passionate for our mission? Are we passionate about what we do? Do we have a desire to end domestic violence? Do we have a desire to help disconnected youth? The vision is that we have employees who are passionate about helping all of our different service areas."

 

As Family Assistance Program enters its 30th year of service, we reach out to our Board and staff to share their passion that will continue to assist the agency in helping so many families. "When you come into an office and there are people who are alive with passion, they encourage one another to be more. Passion for our mission gives meaning to life instead of working toward a paycheck. It makes you feel like you are part of something more meaningful."

 

"As a single individual, I can't make all the families in the High Desert happy and healthy, but with enough people, we can make a difference," he concluded.  Read on to see what our staff has to say about how their passion changes lives.

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In honor of Family Assistance Program's 30thAnniversary, the agency is reaching out to the county, requesting nominations for families and individuals who deserve awards and recognition in the following areas:

 

Mentorship- This award is presented to an individual or family who has worked toward the betterment and success of others in the community.

 

Service- This award is presented to a family who dedicates time and effort toward serving others and/or the community.

 

Overcoming Adversity- This award celebrates a family who has triumphed over hardship, illness, loss, or unique challenges.

 

Multi-generational Family- This award is bestowed upon a family dynamic of multiple generations thriving in the same household. Examples include, but are not limited to, three or more generations in one household, children caring for parents, grandparents caring for grandchildren, etc.

 

Extraordinary Family- Presented to a family who is extraordinary due to unique efforts, talents, or bond.

 

A committee will choose the awards recipients, and the winners will have their stories filmed for presentation at the agency's "Celebration of Families Birthday and Award Gala" Friday October 2, 2015 in Hesperia, CA.

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From the Hearts of Staff

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"Broken souls are not always alone. When they find us they find themselves." Anna Velasquez, Domestic Violence Advocate

 

"The largest challenge that we face is the ability to continue moving forward with families who are reluctant with fear and shame. Family Assistance Program focuses on the mission to provide safe shelter and a healthy environment for domestic violence victims. Family Assistance Program has done an outstanding job by ensuring the victims' safety, helping them to become independent and self-reliant, encouraging the individuals by build their self-esteem, and being aware of what domestic violence is and what it does to a individuals. I've notice a change in the victims that I assist. They want out and they are speaking out about domestic violence. It is no longer being kept a secret. They are no longer expecting to be a victim. Thanks to Family Assistance Program for hiring me to assist, teach, and encourage."

--Cheryl Molet, Domestic Violence Counselor

 

"Our mission is to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, shelters, legal aid and social change.

 

I have worked for the Family Assistance Program for two years. The staff and programs are professional, survivor centered and always reaching for excellence. They provide supportive services that increase options for survivors to choose from, helping them make informed decisions and start the healing process.

 

As an employee of the Family Assistance Program, giving my time and energy to an  organization dedicated to providing a way out of abuse for women, men, and their families is very rewarding; Rewarding because a platform exists where I can serve the interests of those who need that extra support. Every staff person's passion and dedication is evident in everything they do.

 

The effects of domestic violence on society are immense, and almost impossible to measure by a single yardstick. The cumulative effect of the menace of domestic violence affects every area of life, and its conclusion is visible to the sensitive eye: at home and in the office, in the market and restaurants, and in schools. The batterer and the battered are both conspicuous in the teeming faces of millions on the streets of every country-in bleak faces with broken spirits.

 

All victims of domestic violence should be reassured that if they fight for their freedom the struggle will be worthy and meritorious. They should be helped to understand that it is not their fault.

 

The Family Assistance Program values the history and longevity of its organization and commitment to our sustainability and growth through all forms of community involvement.

 

Our actions at all times reflect the vision, mission, and values of our organization and strive for measurable results culminating in a healthy environment for all members of our community."

--Carol Wentworth, CalWorks Advocate/Del Rosa

 

 

"I wanted to share a brief story about some of your Youth.  We have a habitual runaway at the shelter right now - a 17 year old boy.  He has been here about 5 times before and always runs within about 5 hours.  This time, he has been here 3 days which is a huge success.  Yesterday, he felt the need to run again in the afternoon and another young client, a 17 year old girl went after him.  She told me that she wanted to try and help him because they have a lot in common.  When she caught up to him, she asked him why he took off after telling her earlier he really wanted to turn  his life around.  He said he wanted to party and she said, "I like to party too, but what do you do after the party?  Where do you go?"  I thought this was such a wise question for this young lady. She was able to persuade him to return to Our House.  She also shared how much she likes it at Our House and the opportunity to connect with other young people who have experienced serious trauma and stress in their lives. It has opened her eyes to the fact that she is not alone."

--Amy Cousineau, Director of Youth Services

 

 

"Family Assistance Program has shown me how to understand domestic violence victims, and I am now more passionate than ever due to this wonderful agency.  Each time I assist a participant who is going through domestic violence I put more than 100% of dedication into their cases.  My enjoyment after every case is to see a smile or tears of joy from the family. I thank Family Assistance Program for giving me that opportunity and for providing me with the training to better assist our clients.

Thank you Family Assistance Program!"

--Gabriela Pedroza, Legal Advocate/Domestic Violence Advocate

 

 

"I have had the pleasure of working for the Family Assistance Program for the last two years. During my employment I have gotten to know so many great people and learned so much from them.  Each one of the employees at Family Assistance Program has made me into a better  leader, human being and employee. The Family Assistance Program is not just another organization. It is a group of passionately concerned citizens that deeply care about the community and the people that we service. I am excited to see what the  future holds for Family Assistance Program and for getting the opportunity to be a part of an organization that is constantly thinking of new ways to help others."

--Chad Roberts, Youth Shelter Manager

 

 

"As an employee of the Family Assistance Program I have realized the importance laid on society for services from organizations such as ours. I have watched our  organization repeatedly make leaps, and bounds in the direction of social awareness, and intervene where needed the most for persons facing, and in the midst of, social calamity."

--Michael Stoltz, Youth Advocate

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Highland Community News
12/29/2014 3:44:10 PM
http://www.highlandnews.net/community/life/article_9af060ac-7a4d-11e4-b1b6-cf6bd9257ecd.html
Fontana Herald News
12/29/2014 3:42:39 PM
http://www.fontanaheraldnews.com/business/article_6417c23e-7bea-11e4-b552-27654d34b86c.html
SB Sun article
12/29/2014 3:41:05 PM
http://www.sbsun.com/social-affairs/20141212/family-assistance-program-in-redlands-receives-a-200k-donation
Interview with Joey English
12/29/2014 3:23:52 PM
Executive Director Darryl Evey discusses Bank of America Neighborhood Builder Award with Joey English on KNEWS radio 94.3fm. Recorded December 11, 2014. Interview begins at 27 minutes.

http://joeyenglish.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/audio/20141213/hour3.mp3





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