Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday!

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Donate to Victor Valley Family Resource Center This #GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday. It is our mission to be #THESolution4Homelessness. Since its inception in 2008, Victor Valley Family Resource Center has hosted many guests under our transitional housing program. Safe housing is one of the most basic needs, right next to food, water and clothing. But, for many vulnerable populations, like survivors of abuse, recovering addicts, and ex-prisoners, providing transitional and emergency housing often requires more than just four walls and a roof. Our work might start with providing shelter, but to be successful, transitional housing programs need secure and sustainable funding so they can provide both beds and program support.

““I love knowing that my family is safe. My children have beds to sleep on and food in the refrigerator.”

A meaningful way to partner with VVFRC is through financial contributions, in-kind donations and corporate sponsorships. Gifts of all sizes contribute to new housing and supportive services to homeless and low-income individuals and families who want to improve their lives. Your financial contribution will be leveraged with other philanthropic dollars and resources we raise in order to make a more significant impact to the community we serve.

After living in their home for three years, a sudden rent increase forced Greg, Jessica and their ten children out of their home and into a back garage to avoid living on the streets. After ten straight days of temperatures above 105 degrees, living in a hot garage, which lacked air conditioning and proper water, the family sought out structured emergency housing with VVFRC. This allowed them to participate in case management and financial literacy training. Within 6 months the family was able to restructure payments, pay off debt, and ultimately move into a house moving their family from homelessness into housing. (continue reading stories such as this…)

 

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Governor Signs Fair Chance Hiring Bill

Governor Signs Fair Chance Hiring Bill

Governor Signs Fair Chance Hiring Bill

San Bernardino, CA – Today Governor Brown signed AB 1008 into law, The California Fair Chance Act that ends employment discrimination during the hiring process for job applicants with a conviction history. This makes California the tenth state to “ban the box” to private employers. The bill was co-sponsored by Time for Change Foundation, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, All of Us or None, and the National Employment Law Project.
 
For years Melissa tried to apply for jobs to support herself and family of five and every time she reached the dreaded question on the application: have you ever been convicted of a crime, her stomach turned into knots. She wasn’t proud of her past, but she already served the time for her mistakes and was trying to forge a new life by getting a job and becoming a contributing member of society. Yet, society still marked her with a scarlet letter and would pass her over before her skills and qualifications were ever considered.
 
Since she wasn’t able to obtain work, Melissa was forced to seek shelter and support at Time for Change Foundation where she met other women who also faced the same discrimination. It was then that she decided she would use her voice and speak out against the injustices she faced during the hiring process. Like Melissa, there are far too many individuals and families who are impacted by background checks and inquiries into their conviction records. According to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), there are an estimated 70 million U.S. adults with arrests or convictions.
 
“At TFCF, we witness firsthand the barriers women face by not having access to employment opportunities and when children are involved they often suffer the most consequences,” expressed Vanessa Perez, Associate Director for Time for Change Foundation. “Thank you, Governor Brown, for giving millions of Californians a fair chance at employment.”
 
The Fair-chance reform allows job searchers like Melissa to have a fighting chance at securing employment without their past being used as weapons against them. Not only does AB 1008 remove job barriers but it helps the economy as well. With more people in the workforce there will be an increase in tax contributions, boosts in sales tax, and the opportunity to save money by keeping people of out the criminal justice system reported NELP. With one less barrier in her path, Melissa is closer to providing for her family and reaching self-sufficiency.
 
AB 1008 delays background screenings until an official offer has been made and allows the applicant to request a copy of their records in the event they would like to provide additional information regarding their history.
 
AB 1008 was authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) as well as Assemblymembers Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), Mike Gipson (D-Carson), Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino), and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).
 
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The mission of TFCF is to empower disenfranchised low-income individuals and families by building leadership through evidence-based programs and housing to create self-sufficiency and thriving communities. To learn more about Time for Change Foundation or to make a donation visit their website at www.TimeForChangeFoundation.org or call them at 909-886-2994.

 

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In The Seat of Homelessness

In The Seat of Homelessness

In The Seat of Homelessness

by LaTaneisha Wilkes

The makeshift closet runs across the roof of a compact car masked by curtains. A handful of newly washed clothes hangs on the rod that is used to dry off a weeks worth of outfits, while the rest of what used to be is an entire wardrobe compressed inside a car trunk. This has now become the fort for living on the streets.

For some individuals a car is all they can depend on and have to rely on to get through to the next day. Living in a car has so many limitations due to an enclosed amount of space that makes it hard to navigate or move around as opposed to living in a home. Sometimes we’re faced with atrocities that only human nature can understand. In the pit of despair who is there to help in the time of our deepest darkest struggles. Often times, life can be pretty unpredictable with no resources to be accounted for or obtained. Having an entire family live in a car can be extremely difficult due to lack of room and accessibility to assets. Struggles are created from lack of proper shelter, food and common amenities that we use on a daily to make it through day-to-day routines. Living in a car generates fear for safety, law limitations and restricted mobility to handle what is necessary in providing any way to live comfortably.

“Never judge people who have little to nothing, as one day you may find yourself having NOTHING at all”

Family Car Living

“The longevity of homelessness continues to rise, so people are running out of resources. The unemployment runs out. Their savings run out. The family that lent them money does not have it anymore ‘cause they’re looking at economic hardship. And before you know it they find themselves living in their car because they ran out of all options” (Hard Times Generation: Families Living in Cars)”. A car wasn’t built or designed to live in but to get from one destination to another. However, when challenged with life and its hardships we have to do what is best for ourselves as well as our family. The real question is how can these problems be prevented or escaped from? There should never be an individual, let alone a family living in a car under no circumstance. Even though, you may be entitled to free will and some may be comfortable, but it is not ideal or acceptable. How do you have proper hygiene or a cooked meal? Surviving in the world is a challenge itself. Take a moment, would you want your loved one or someone you care for living with minimal necessities just to get by. If the answer is no, why would you be comfortable and seeing someone else suffer. Society must collectively ensure the safety of everyone and protect all to the best of their ability. A lending help or a simple gesture of kindness to those who are a part of their community can make a difference in the lives of many who have fallen.

Related Video: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/81163869/more-than-1000-sleep-in-cars-to-highlight-homelessness-in-auckland?playlistVideoId=5495165391001

News, C. (2012, June 04). Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars. Retrieved July 07, 2017, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hard-times-generation-families-living-in-cars-04-06-2012/3/

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LaTaneisha Wilkes

LaTaneisha Wilkes

Get to know LaTaneisha, she enjoys making an impact for her community

LaTaneisha Wilkes works at the Victor Valley Family Resource Center, as the Editor in Chief. Currently, she resides in Hesperia, California where she was born and raised. She attended Sultana High School and went off to college at the University of California, Riverside to receive her Bachelors in Media and Cultural Studies in 2013 as well as a Master’s Degree in 2015 in Public Relations from Cal Baptist University.

 “it gives me a purpose and has value to those individuals in obtaining happiness through stability.”

community-impact-lataneisha-wilkes-working

Her passion is driven by hard-work, dedication, commitment and having the capabilities to improve the lives of others by illustrating a healthy environment that they can seek security provided with our resources. She enjoys being able to help those in need with compassion for making a difference in the life of someone else’s. She says “it gives me a purpose and has value to those individuals in obtaining happiness through stability.”

At Victor Valley Family Resource Center, it is our obligation to offer quality customer service. Furthermore at Victor Valley Family Resource Center, we strive to make a difference in the lives of many by providing them with resources and assistance. We value the time and effort put forth by our staff in ensuring those who are in need are accommodated. She has come in hot handling a handful of tasks in the media and customer service department. You can learn pretty quickly that the company lives on the mission, “To eradicate homelessness through housing, education, Socio-Economic and mental health Services” (VVFRC.org).

The services provided by Victor Valley Family Resource Center consists of transitional housing, educational programs, transportation and safety. We value those we aid by supplying alternative options that are strategic in accomplishing their goals. She is inspired by he work because she believes that writing articles for VVFRC makes it possible for those to be heard, informed and engaged while gaining useful resources for them to apply to themselves or share with others. In addition, with our services as a non-profit organization, we advocate community involvement to participate or make donations for our program. We help thousands yearly find resources and we want to continue developing the expansion as well as growth of Victor Valley Family Resource Center.

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Help Get Our “Ban The Box” Bill Out Of The Final Committee

Help Get Our “Ban The Box” Bill Out Of The Final Committee

Help Get Our “Ban The Box” Bill Out Of The Final Committee

AB 1008 (McCarty) passed out of the California State Assembly and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. We need your help to pass AB 1008 out of this final committee by calling the seven members on the Senate Judiciary Committee listed below and have them tally your support for the bill.

AB 1008 will extend Ban the Box / Fair Chance Hiring policy to private employers, removing the “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” question from employment applications and prohibiting employers from performing a background check until after they extend a conditional job offer. Removing this barrier to employment allows formerly incarcerated and convicted people a chance to interview in person and be evaluated according to skills and experience relative to the job.

Please call the Judiciary Committee Members by end of day Monday, July 10:
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (Chair) – (916) 651-4019
(If you make only one call, make it to Senator Jackson!)
Senator John M. W. Moorlach (Vice Chair) – (916) 651-4037
Senator Joel Anderson – (916) 651-4038
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg – (916) 651-4018
Senator Bill Monning – (916) 651-4017
Senator Henry I. Stern – (916) 651-4027
Senator Bob Wieckowski – (916) 651-4010

Feel free to use this sample script:

Hello, my name is __________ from [town in CA].

I am calling in support of AB 1008, the Fair Chance Hiring bill.

Formerly incarcerated people already face many barriers to re-entry, and they/we need access to meaningful employment to take care of families and contribute positively to the community.

Please extend California’s “Ban the Box” policy to private employers and give formerly incarcerated and convicted people a chance to show employers their skills and potential.

[Share personal experience here, if applicable or possible-keep it short!]

True public safety is created through employment, housing, and community.

Please pass AB 1008 and add me to the support tally you keep for your Member.

Thank you,

(Your Name)
(Company Name)

[Bonus: if one of the members represents your district, let them know!]

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