2022-2023 IMPACT REPORT
Flourishing began when someone knew they belong to a loving community, realized their power to make a difference, and embraced their unique purpose.
[Download the 2023 End of Year Letter & Report here]
Serving Former-Foster Young Adults and Resource Adoptive Families
A SEASON OF CELEBRATION: Happy goodbye’s, happy hello’s, and everything in-between
In 2022, we saw several of our young men and women in the THRIVE Program reach significant life milestones. Five graduated from Cal State Universities, two from vocational/trade schools, and one earned their high school diploma. In addition, seven secured independent housing, and the majority secured employment in their fields of choice.
This year, we welcomed four young ladies, three single moms, and four young children into THRIVE housing. Through our relational case management and program services, we work towards vocational training, life skill development, and interpersonal health. We are so proud of each of our young adults as they pursue goals and dreams for their future. It is a joy to be a part of their journey and to watch them step into the fullness of who they are.
Additionally, we offer support opportunities for foster, adoptive, and kinship parents. We hosted Caregiver Night Out on three different occasions where 25 parents enjoyed respite, while 27 kids were cared for by a free, trauma-informed childcare team. We relaunched in-person support groups providing connection and community for 15 foster and adoptive parents.
- 2 housing locations
- 19 adults and 7 children housed
- 8 adults launched
- 8 completed an academic milestone
- 45 foster families served
Jobs for Life
HOMELESSNESS and what happens after.
We designed a 3-tiered approach: Initial Engagement and Outreach for the unsheltered. Jobs for Life at the shelters, and Next Steps for ongoing connection and empowerment. We foster friendship and trust with those on the street outside businesses, on bus benches, in alleys, vehicles or parks as they seek safety, purpose, and direction for their lives.
Jobs for Life continued with 3 shelter locations bringing about 7 graduates, 4 who found employment, and 2 who secured permanent housing.
In Next Steps, JfL grads shared some of the unforeseen difficulties moving from shelter to housing. Some of those who secured permanent housing go home to an empty refrigerator, in an empty room, which contributed to a deeper sense of isolation. They went from being in a crowded and noisy shelter to a quiet and empty room. This led to lengthy discussions about the importance of community and health in all areas of self, home, purpose, and relationships. Next Steps revealed opportunities for life coaching and community building as they move from homelessness to wholeness together.
- 3 shelter locations for JfL Classes
- 52 individuals reached (street level homelessness)
- 28 participants in JfL and Next Steps
- 21 ongoing mentors in JfL and Next Steps
United Kids & Teens
TK-12th Grade After-School Programs
Our after-school programs this year expanded to provide programming 5 days a week for our elementary students! Our kids and teens gain the tools and skill sot regain personal power in their relationships by naming their emotions and setting boundaries. They learn about their inherent value through safe relationships with staff and volunteers and engage in intentionally designed activities within a culture of empowerment. To use the words of one of our Jr Highers, “We’ve learned to set boundaries in our relationships through safe words, speaking up for ourselves, and treating each other with respect. We’ve learned to know our worth and that we deserve to be treated right.”
United kids and teens experience their collective power by identifying issues that directly impact them and then taking action. As a result, our elementary kids made a change in the after-school program meals provided by their district for students all across the City of Fullerton. Our middle schoolers voiced the need for transportation from school to the community center and they secured a bus stop for our Gilbert Community Center! This change, driven by kids and teens, for kids and teens, impacts not just themselves, but children all across Fullerton. We are so grateful for our relationship with the Fullerton School District, who hears and empowers our students in this way.
- 51 children in United Kids (TK-6th Grade)
- 46 teens enrolled in United Teens in 2022
- 111 mentorship hours 1-on-1 with staff
- 20 teens volunteers at SOLFul and United Kids
Voces Unidas / United Voices
Voces Unidas is a place for residents of the Valencia Park and Gilbert Park regions of Fullerton to discover how to be a part of their neighborhood, advocate and gain knowledge to be good citizens, and realize their unique potential and identity. This year, 20 participants developed community, provided resources for their neighbors, and received support for their families. Some highlights from this year include ESL classes, Health & Wellness workshops, Reading Club, Juvenile Crime Advocacy, and a partnership with the Fullerton School District.
Our Core Team is working with the Fullerton School District to implement allocated funds toward it’s reclassification program so that Spanish-speaking children transitioning from elementary school to middle school receive proper class schedules for their education levels.
This year, we added ESL classes at the Gilbert Community Center. Some families in attendance are from Guatemala, Colombia, and Nicaragua! The Community Center is a safe place for all families to come and learn English while building community. It is amazing to see our residents discover their own unique value, support each other, and contribute to improving the conditions of their neighborhoods.
- 20 parents in Voces Unidas’ Core Team
- 15 families learned to cook healthy food
- 112 Bilingual Workshops and trainings offered
- 185 families received tangible relief
SUPPORT GROUP FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS
We are incredibly grateful for the healing and hope that happened within our domestic abuse support groups. This year, 25-30 women per week participated in in-person and virtual support groups in English. Our team provided an average of 20 hours per week of phone call support and court visits adding up to over 1000 hours.
Our support group feels like triage at the hospital. When people experience abuse, the innermost part of who they are is wounded. This group often is the first time that they have an opportunity to feel safe, understood, and begin to heal.
What does the journey to healing look like? It’s in the subtle changes in their demeanor from week to week and revealed in comments like, “I went out the other day and didn’t need to be worried,” and “I’m wearing the clothes that I like again!” or “I’m going out with my friends again” and “I’m reconnecting with my family.”
SUPPORT GROUP FOR SPANISH SPEAKERS
The women in the Spanish speaking support groups continue to heal and grow. This group is stronger and more open to make changes in their lives as a result of the mutual support they have experienced. Many ladies who were isolated are now part of ESL classes, Health and Wellness classes, and are organizing holiday events for their neighborhood through Voces Unidas. They desire to belong and give back to their community. This is the result of connection, empowerment, and acceptance that they have received over the years.
- 2 languages offered english and spanish support groups
- 30+ women per week attended support group
- 1000+ hours of support via phone & court visits
City-Wide Volunteer Day + Projects throughout the Year
CITY-WIDE VOLUNTEER DAY (APRIL 23, 2022)
In 2022, Love Fullerton emerged from COVID and had its first, full, in-person gathering since the pandemic began. Over 1900 volunteers served in 84 projects across the city of Fullerton. We beautified 20 schools in the Fullerton School District, served 11 non=profit organizations, cleaned up 13 city parks, spread joy in 8 retirement homes, restored the exterior of 2 homes, detailed 25 police vehicles, cared for 4 Boys & Girls Club facilities, used 73 gallons of paint, 76 yards of mulch, and planted 500 plants.
The best thing about Love Fullerton is the serving doesn’t stop after the event. All of our volunteers are encouraged to love Fullerotn throughout the year. We are so grateful for the individuals who took time out of their weekends to serve their neighbors. Thank you also to the donors who generously make this event possible every year.
SCOTT AND THE MOBILE HOME PARK
This year we partnered with 3 mobile home parks, focusing on bringing love and volunteers to these communities that need a little extra TLC. We had 20 volunteers working on 10 homes at the Cedar Hills Estate Mobile Home Park. After all of the work was completed, Scott (the project leader) offered his handyman services to any units that needed assistance throughout the year. He continues to love this community of 282 mobile homes. In addition, Fullerton Troop 1201 returned to the site to offer service hours. This is what Love Fullerton is all about: loving your community all year long.
- 1900 volunteers
- 84 projects
- 20 elementary schools beautified
- $170,715 value added to city
2021-2022 IMPACT REPORT
This year, we partnered in the healing and prevention of trauma through restorative relationships & whole-person care.
Former-foster youth received affordable housing & a dedicated support system.
We are so proud of the young adults in our THRIVE Program. We believe that every young adult deserves a chance to be successful and known. Young adults exiting the foster care system often navigate school, work, and life completely on their own. We are continually proud of the work our young adults put into each area of their lives.
Less than 20% of former-foster youth are employed at the age of 21, less than 3% graduate higher education, and only 40% are safely housed. Our young adults maintained a 95% employment rate, 10 graduated, and 4 more are graduating from a university in 2021. Most importantly, they are healing and building relationships. Former-foster youth often come to us wondering if they are loveable, but our goal is that they will never have to question their worth again.
THRIVE Impact ’21-22
- 2 housing locations
- 18 young adults housed
- 5 residents launched
- 33 additional young adults served
RAF & TraumaWise
Equipping and supporting children from hard places, their families, and the communities around them for healing.
TraumaWise and RAF are the new names for the RESPITE Program! This year, we re-branded these programs as well as strategically split them up between (1) Resource Adoptive Families – continuing RESPITE’s resourcing and support for foster, adoptive, and kinship families, and (2) TraumaWise – our “new” initiative dedicated to trauma-informed education.
We saw and met the needs of 427 resource, foster, adoptive, and kinship families. We also provided trainings, tools, resources, and classroom interventions to the greater community in both Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
RAF & TW Impact ’21-22
- 11 workshop / training topics offered year-round
- 5 care communities
- 427 fost/adopt/kinship families served
Jobs for Life
Serving those experiencing homelessness in our local transitional shelters.
In 2021, our Jobs for Life team created a virtual hybrid model, allowing us to serve multiple transitional homeless shelters simultaneously. We worked at 4 sites this year and saw 24 men and women graduate from the program. 12 students secured employment during or following classes. We also established a 4-week online training program for JfL grads called “Next Steps” to continue the relationships built during class.
Jobs for Life + Workforce Development. We hope to equip program participants within our other initiatives to flourish in the workplace as well. We are creating multiple new training options to prepare them for greater success and fulfillment in their lives inspired by Jobs for Life.
JfL Impact ’21-22
- 4 shelter locations
- 50 students
- 24 graduates
- 12 employed graduates
United Kids & Teens
Safety, connection, and home for kids and teens in South Fullerton.
This year, we launched United Teens – a 3 days / week after-school program serving 40 teens monthly. This program is a continuation of relationship from those who have graduated from United Kids. It empowers the teens to refine and use their unique voices by integrating their input into the program’s planning and through participating in special community organizing events (like City Hall meetings).
United Kids refined its programming and our team grew. Every day, our kids are having meaningful conversations with our staff. For example, September was about safe people and places, October was about celebrating family narratives and culture, and November was about how to healthily express love.
United Kids & Teens Impact ’21-22
- 2 after-school programs (teens & kids)
- 5 staff who live in / are from the community
- 35 children in United Kids
- 40 teenagers served monthly
Voces Unidas / United Voices
Advocating, empowering, and implementing positive change for families and the community in South Fullerton.
This year, we saw incredible transformation within the Valencia Park, Gilbert, and Orangethorpe neighborhoods. We opened the doors to the Gilbert Community Center! Every week, families find connection through bilingual domestic abuse support groups, parenting classes, trauma-informed trainings, and community building events.
The adults in Voces Unidas are not only receiving care themselves but also giving care by serving their neighbors. Over 325 families received tangible relief such as food support, referrals to financial aid, and household goods. Behind this effort are 20 community leaders who meet weekly alongside city, law enforcement, and school personnel to bring about their vision for the community.
Voces Unidas Impact ’21-22
- 1 new community center
- 20 community leaders activated
- 5 bilingual workshops & trainings
- 325 families provided with tangible relief
Hope, community, and vision for the future.
This year, the domestic abuse support groups grew as we continued to offer in-person and virtual support groups. On average, 30 women per week participated in-person and virtually in the English speaking domestic abuse support groups. In addition, because Donna Mroz’s book “Overcoming Domestic Violence: There is Hope!” was translated into Spanish, support groups were offered to around 20 Spanish speakers at the Gilbert Community Center every week.
We partnered with BIOLA’s Center for Marriage & Relationships by providing interpersonal relationships workshops and self-defense courses with their team including Dr. Tim Muelhoff and Dr. Chris Grace.
Domestic Abuse Impact ’21-22
- 50 weekly support group participants
- 3 support groups
- 15 women left abusive relationships