2020 Fennie Community Fund
Legal-name: Conservation Corps of Long Beach
Address: 340 Nieto Avenue
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Executive Director/CEO
Mission: CCLB’s mission is to support youth and young adults to achieve their full potential through work, service, conservation and education.
ContactTitle: Executive Director/CEO
Grant-purpose: The Conservation Corps of Long Beach (CCLB) will provide a program for homeless CCLB corpsmembers (cms) to fulfill their educational needs and further their career goals.
What-is-project: CCLB’s project is to serve a specific group of the homeless population; 18-25 year old young adults in CCLB’s Young Adult Program (YAP). CCLB’s YAP provides paid work experience and job-training, a charter high school, work certifications, and support services for CCLB corpsmembers (cms) to earn a high school diploma, get a job, and/or pursue advanced training/college post-CCLB. This project will provide the education program and support services CCLB’s homeless cms need to fulfill their immediate educational needs and advance their post-CCLB education and career goals.
CCLB cms are typically out-of-school, unemployed young adults needing to support themselves and possibly their children. Cms demonstrate the full range of social issues that inhibit young adults from reaching their full potential. Many cms struggle with meeting their basic needs and being homeless. 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 fully participating in the workforce. CCLB has always served homeless youth; those detached from their families, those that have aged out of the foster care system and those released from the juvenile justice system. For FY18/19, CCLB served 81 homeless cms, while 63 cms earned at least one or more job certifications. 47 cms who previously were high school dropouts graduated CCLB’s charter school with a high school diploma.
While working for CCLB, staff provide the services cms need to: 1) fulfill their basic needs; 2) earn a high school diploma; 3) complete CCLB’s program; and, 4) transition to post-CCLB employment, advanced training and/or college. Staff provide the mentoring and services cms need to remain working for CCLB and complete CCLB’s program. Staff guide cms to overcome the poor choices they’ve made and provide the support to resolve the circumstances that caused them to be unsuccessful in obtaining the education and training needed for long-term, good paying jobs. 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/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 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.
How-will-you-succeed: Under the leadership of its new Executive Director/CEO beginning December 2016, CCLB has made great strides in formalizing and improving two of the YAP’s program elements; its Education and Corpsmember Development Department (CDD). Addressing homeless issues for CCLB cms is synonymous with cms who are at-risk of being homeless as many cms “couch surf” with friends for their housing needs. The YAP’s Education and CDD programs have been and will continue to be a major focus in helping homeless cms satisfy their educational needs and achieve their career goals.
CCLB will achieve success for addressing the educational needs of homeless cms by June 2021 by providing the following:
• An education program to remediate and improve their academic skills, earn a high school diploma and provide in-house trainings;
• Case management and support services to address their educational needs and barriers to staying in and completing CCLB’s YAP; and,
• Transition services for cms to pursue their post-CCLB education and/or employment goals.
CCLB will measure and communicate results of this project as follows:
• Number of homeless/at-risk of being homeless cms served;
• Types and numbers of homeless barriers identified and addressed;
• Types and numbers of referrals and supportive services provided;
• Number of high school graduates and program completions; and,
• Number of cms transitioning to post-CCLB jobs, advanced training and/or college.
To continue this project, CCLB has received foundation funding from the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, and the Weingart and Annenberg Foundations. CCLB will continue to pursue funding from these foundations and additional foundation funding to provide support services to address the educational needs of homeless cms. If needed, CCLB will use earned income from CCLB work projects and proceeds from CCLB’s annual fund raising event to help fund this project. CCLB’s charter school is funded with State education funds based on average daily attendance (ADA) for cms enrolled and attending the school. Therefore, it is imperative that cms receive the support services cms need to attend and stay in school to address their educational needs and also ensure education funding for this project to succeed. Fennie Community Funds will not be used to support the charter school. Fennie Community Funds will be used for CCLB’s CDD staff to provide the case management, support services, and in-house trainings homeless cms need to stay in school, address their educational and associated needs, and complete the YAP.
In addition, CCLB is in discussion with other public/private organizations and collaborations to develop and provide other services to fulfill a cms educational needs. CCLB has an existing partnership with Long Beach City College (LBCC) and is in the process of expanding the partnership to help facilitate both academic and vocational education opportunities for our cms with high school diplomas.
Who-are-you: 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 programs address the needs of youth (K-8) and young adults (ages 18-25). CCLB primarily operates from three sites; two in Long Beach and one in Seal Beach. 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 18-25 year old young adults. CCLB is the right group for this project as CCLB has a 32-year history of serving the needs of Long Beach young adults. During its history, 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 including Catalina Island.
CCLB’s YAP provides the following four ongoing, interrelated program elements:
● Conservation and Community Services Department: CCLB work projects that provide paid work experience and job-training, industry recognized work certifications, environmental service projects, recycling services, and community education projects. These projects develop the soft/hard job skills while providing a variety of on-the-job training and work experiences for cms;
● Education: CCLB partners with a WASC accredited classroom based alternative high school designed to serve high school drop-outs that need to work while attending high school. CCLB’s partner maintains seven campus sites in the LA area;
● Corpsmember Development Department (CDD): CDD staff provide the case management, support services, and connections to local safety net providers cms need to earn their high school diploma, complete CCLB’s job-training programs and in-house trainings, earn job certifications and transition to their individual 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.
Education is a key component of CCLB’s mission and a condition of employment with CCLB. All cms without a high school diploma are required to attend CCLB’s charter school provided by its education partner, the LA Education Corps. Corpsmembers with a high school diploma are required to establish post-CCLB career and/or education goals, attend all CCLB in-house trainings, i.e. life skills, resume writing, job readiness, chainsaw certification, as well as enroll and attend post-secondary academic and/or vocational classes.
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.