2019 Strategic Grant
Legal-name: Conservation Corps of Long Beach
Address: 340 Nieto Avenue
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Dan Knapp, Executive Director/CEO
Budget: $ 5,680,101
First-name: Dan Knapp
Title: Executive Director/CEO
Tel-952: (714) 783-6080
Textarea-499: The Conservation Corps of Long Beach (CCLB) will provide support services for homeless CCLB corpsmembers (cms) to fulfill their housing needs and related basic living needs.
Total-cost: $ 307,708
Grant-amount: $ 20,000.
What-is-project: CCLB’s project is to serve an often overlooked niche of the homeless population; 18-25 year old young adults. Each year, CCLB employs and trains over 200 Long Beach area young adults for CCLB’s Young Adult Program (YAP). CCLB’s YAP provides paid work experience, job-training, a charter high school, work certifications, and support services for CCLB cms to earn a high school diploma, get a job, and/or pursue advanced training/college. This project will provide the services CCLB’s homeless cms and those at-risk of being homeless need to fulfill their housing and basic needs to remain in and complete CCLB’s program.
CCLB cms are out-of-school, unemployed young adults needing to support themselves and/or their children. Many cms struggle with meeting their basic needs, maintaining stable housing or being homeless. In a recent cms survey, 44% reported housing and related basic needs (i.e. food, clothing, hygiene products) as the areas cms need the most help. Cms are highly at-risk, often difficult to employ young adults of color that present a wide range of issues that have delayed them getting a high school diploma, pursuing advanced training or college and/or fully participating in the workforce.
CCLB’s staff provides the services cms need to: 1) fulfill their basic needs; 2) complete CCLB’s program; and, 3) transition to post-CCLB employment, advanced training and/or college. Cms demonstrate the full range of social issues that inhibit young adults from reaching their full potential. Staff provide the mentoring and services cms need to remain in and complete CCLB’s program. Staff guide cms to overcome the poor choices they’ve made and provide the support to resolve the multiple issues that have caused them to be unsuccessful in obtaining the education and training needed to pursue long-term employment. Staff refer cms to community resources to help cms manage the many issues they face on a daily basis – parenting, housing, transportation, substance abuse, domestic violence, legal/health/mental health issues, anger management, and dysfunctional family dynamics. Without interventions, their issues and struggles lead to interaction with the courts, incarceration, recidivism, unemployment and a life of unskilled jobs that perpetuates poverty and being homeless. Without interventions, cms that don’t fulfill their basic needs will leave CCLB’s program without addressing the behaviors and poor decisions that caused them to be homeless or at-risk of being homeless. CCLB provides the necessary interventions that open pathways to community resources and viable education and career options needed to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for cms to become contributing members of our communities.
Homeless issues are now getting the attention and funding needed to address this issue. CCLB has always served homeless cms. The added attention and support for homeless issues will improve CCLB’s ability to serve homeless cms from Long Beach.
How-will-you-succeed: Under the leadership of a new Executive Director/CEO hired in December 2016, CCLB developed a 2017-2020 Strategic Plan (Plan) to provide the direction, goals, metrics and timeline to build on CCLB’s successful history and help focus the organization’s immediate future. The Plan outlines several goals for three key strategic outcomes. One key strategic outcome goal is to improve and expand cms support services with the following metrics to achieve by June 2020:
• Improve transition services – 90% of cms transition to post-CCLB employment, advanced training and/or college;
• Improve case management services – 80% of cms receive support services/case management;
• Improve education and training tracks – 80% of cms receive a high school diploma and/or workplace certificate.
Addressing housing issues and basic needs for homeless cms or those at-risk of being homeless will be an important part of achieving CCLB’s 2020 Plan outcomes. Addressing homeless issues for CCLB cms is synonymous with cms who are at-risk of being homeless as many cms “couch surf” with friends to fulfill their housing needs.
CCLB will measure and communicate results of this project as follows:
• Number of homeless/at-risk of being homeless cms served;
• Types and number of homeless barriers identified;
• Types and number of referrals and supportive services provided;
• Types and number of training certificates earned;
• Number of high school graduates and program completions; and,
• Number of cms transitioning to work, advanced training and/or college.
CCLB is aware of the need to address homeless issues not only for CCLB cms but for 18-25 year old young adults in general. More information and attention is being paid to homelessness among this age group. “ In California, the term ”homeless youth” generally refers to unaccompanied minors ages 12 through 17 who are living apart from their parents or legal guardians – and young adults ages 18 through 24 who are economically and/or emotionally detached from their families – and are experiencing homelessness or living in unstable or inadequate living situations. Such living situations include sleeping on friends’ couches, staying in shelters, and living under bridges, in abandoned buildings, and on the streets. Based on the national survey estimates and California’s youth population, it is likely that 200,000 youth under the age of 18, and thousands of 18-24 year olds, are homeless for one or more days during a year.” (California Youth Homeless Project: Youth Homeless in California: A Quick Overview).
To continue this project, CCLB has been funded and will continue to pursue additional foundation funding to provide support services for cms, including homeless cms. In addition, CCLB is in discussion with other private/public organizations to develop projects for homeless young adults. One such project is to address homeless issues among young adults attending local community colleges.
Who-are-you: CCLB is the right group for this project as CCLB has a 31-year history of serving the needs of Long Beach young adults. CCLB is a youth and workforce development organization founded in 1987 to serve the workforce, education and environmental concerns of the greater Long Beach area. CCLB’s mission is to support youth and young adults to achieve their full potential through work, service, conservation and education. CCLB programs address the needs of youth (K-8) and young adults (ages 18-25). CCLB serves K-8 youth through its after-school program at two LBUSD schools. However, CCLB’s programs and services mainly focus on CCLB’s Young Adult Program (YAP) that employs and trains economically disadvantaged, low-income young adults- CCLB’s cms.
CCLB’s YAP provides the following four ongoing, concurrent programs:
● Conservation and Community Services Department: CCLB work projects that provide paid work experience, paid job-training, industry recognized work certifications, environmental service projects, recycling services, and community education projects that develop soft/hard job skills and provide a variety of work experiences for cms;
● Education: CCLB partners with a WASC accredited alternative classroom based high school designed to serve high school drop-outs that need to work while attending high school;
● Corpsmember Development/Training Department (CDD): CDD staff provide the case management, support and connections to local safety net providers cms need to earn their high school diploma, complete CCLB’s job-training programs and transition to post-CCLB goals; and,
● CCLB Scholarships: CCLB privately funded scholarships and AmeriCorps Education Awards for cms to continue their post-CCLB training and educational goals.
CCLB has served more than 10,000 youth and young adults. Each year CCLB’s YAP employs and trains over 200 cms from the greater Long Beach area that complete over 75 environmental work projects throughout Southeastern LA County. Cms without a high school diploma must co-enroll in CCLB’s charter high school and maintain satisfactory academic progress as a condition of employment while working for CCLB. Cms who earn or have their high school diploma at CCLB work to improve their job skills, complete additional job training, earn industry recognized certifications and establish post-CCLB career and/or education goals. CCLB partners with many city/county, public/private agencies to develop CCLB work projects and for cms support services. CDD support staff attend to the human service needs and social-emotional issues cms have and provide the mentoring, case management and community referrals cms need to complete CCLB’s program and improve their overall quality of life. Thereby achieving CCLB’s mission to support youth and young adults to achieve their full potential through work, service, conservation and education.