2020 Fennie Community Fund
Legal-name: Disabled Resources Center, Inc.
Address: 2750 East Spring Street, Suite 100
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Officer-title: Executive Director
Mission: The Mission Statement of Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) is: “To empower people with disabilities to live independently in the community, to make their own decisions about their lives and to advocate on their own behalf.”
ContactTitle: Executive Director
Grant-purpose: Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) seeks funding from the Long Beach Community Foundation’s “Fennie Community Fund” to provide education in Independent Living Skills to transition young people in Long Beach, who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, into independent community living.
How-many-individuals: 55 young people
What-is-project: Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) seeks $10,000.00 from the Fennie Community Fund, to provide education in Independent Living (IL) skills to children in Long Beach who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Because of COVID-19, IL skills education is especially important for children. Now, many children come from homes where one or both parents have lost their jobs, which can plunge families into homelessness or place them one paycheck away from homelessness. In these unstable times, children could feel that any hope of normalcy has vanished.
The project incorporates DRC’s full resources and experience from our long-running educational curriculum program teaching youth with IL skills. Since 2017, DRC has delivered year-round IL skills training for youth with all disabilities, including middle school children, at various Long Beach Unified School District sites, in person and via ZOOM. The program, “Get Organized—Leadership Beyond the Classroom” (GO LBC) began with seed money from the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and a Memorandum of Understanding between DRC and LBUSD. With COVID-19, DRC’s GO LBC team conducts live daily ZOOM sessions.
Core project methods encompass concepts crossing all program activities: explaining to students what they are to learn; emphasizing engaged time; providing continuous feedback, using lessons of appropriate difficulty; and accentuating active teaching. Beyond these methods, the project draws on the full resources of DRC’s varied menu of programs and services, all free of charge, such as:
Assistive Technology Device Lending Library: Loans equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, ramps, talking watches, talking clocks, etc., to youth needing these tools to maintain and enhance their independence. Loans can be short-term or long-term, by individual need and circumstances.
Housing Program: Places homeless youth in temporary housing while more permanent arrangements are sought.
Covered California and CalFresh programs: Helps youth get health insurance and funds for food.
Independent Living Skills training: Teaches youth budgeting, handling money, grocery shopping, and job searching.
Travel Training Program: Teaches youth about planning and making trips on public transportation, thus enabling them to travel independently, to where they need or want to go, without reliance on other sources for rides.
Toastmasters Gavel Club: Teaches youth public speaking skills for success in job interviews to secure employment.
Employment Services Program: By DOR referral, helps youth with disabilities find permanent, meaningful employment.
Peer Counseling/Stepping Stones to Employment: The 8-week class gives youth interpersonal and human relations skills, plus eligibility for volunteering at DRC and the Long Beach Public Library, thus gaining experience for paid work.
Please partner with us to change the futures of young people who are homeless or facing homelessness, through IL Skills education.
How-will-you-succeed: How will you know you have succeeded?
• Learning Independent Living (IL) skills constitutes the core goal of the program. DRC measures program success by the number of young people, ages 12-17, who successfully traverse the program and accomplish the goals set forth in their personal ILP. At DRC we use the term “consumer” to refer to the individuals receiving services. Each new consumer participates in an Intake and Orientation and completes an ILP with DRC staff assistance. ILPs include:
o Definitions of goals;
o Related activities, time lines, and techniques for meeting objectives;
o Individuals and agencies whose role it is to provide services or trainings; and
o Desired outcomes.
How will you sustain the program after grant funding is expended?
When Fennie Fund moneys are expended, DRC will seek more grant funding to continue the program. DRC’s structured, tested GO LBC Program provides a viable success story poised for positive outcomes in locating other program funding sources. Between awards of sought grants, DRC can draw on the Center’s reserve funds to keep this valuable program going.
Explain how you will measure the results of your work:
• Anticipated outcomes include:
o 87% of enrollees will successfully learn IL skills to navigate their lives.
o Each enrollee will complete their respective individual goals as stated on their ILP.
o Each enrollee will stay with DRC as a lifetime resource for themselves and their families.
• Measurable outcomes include:
o Number of enrollees who are stabilized, enroll in the program and complete an ILP.
o Number of enrollees who complete their respective individual goals as stated on their ILP.
Explain how you will communicate the results of your work:
• The Center will communicate the results of our work via internal recordkeeping and external reporting. Physical files, and electronic files from CFAL, DRC’s in-house database, documenting progress towards fulfilling ILP goals of respective consumers’ ILP goals. Each program consumer receives an individual evaluation every 90 days, to determine whether new goals should be added to their personal ILP, or if steps towards their existing goals need changing. Quarterly and annually, DRC provides program-specific reports to DOR, compiled from data in CFAL.
Explain how you will continue the program in the future:
• The Center will continue the program as a GO LBC component via the MOU with LBUSD. Since 2017, DRC has presented GO LBC year-round at LBUSD sites. With the growth of virtual learning response to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, DRC switched to presenting GO LBC via ZOOM in March 2020 and continues the program uninterrupted daily through summer session, which will carry into the coming academic year.
Who-are-you: Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) is Long Beach’s very own Independent Living Center (ILC), Following the definition in Section 702 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, an Independent Living Center is: “A consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.” DRC was founded in 1976, exemplifying the aims of the Independent Living Movement and the focus of the first ILC, opened in Berkeley, California, in 1972. Now DRC is only one of 28 such ILCs located geographically throughout California, under the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). DRC serves people with all disabilities, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or type of disability. In line with DRC’s mission, most of the Board of Directors and staff are persons with disabilities.
DRC is the right nonprofit to carry forward the 2020 impact grant focus by addressing the IL educational needs of children and youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Long Beach. We have the experience and the passion for the mission. One of DRC’s most crucial services involves educating young people with the Independent Living (IL) skills vital for transitioning into self-reliant maturity. Through a longstanding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), DRC already teaches programs addressing the IL skills educational needs of young people, via the ongoing, successful “Get Organized—Leadership Beyond the Classroom” (GO LBC). Since GO LBC started in 2017, with DOR seed money, DRC and LBUSD have partnered to present year-round programs at several LBUSD sites, such as Tucker School, Millikan High School, and Franklin Middle School.
DRC’s experienced, multicultural, multilingual staff and variety of community partners enhance the Center’s ability to stabilize and transform the lives of young people through IL skills training. Since joining DRC in 1992, the Executive Director has played a vital role in extending the Center’s services to groups and individuals who are at risk, unserved or underserved. The Youth Programs Facilitator has coached and trained young people in classrooms and sports for over 30 years. Interpretive services available from on-site staff include Khmer, Spanish, and American Sign Language. DRC’s ongoing community partnerships and collaborations include: LBUSD, Long Beach Transit, Los Angeles Access Services, Los Angeles Metro, Long Beach Multi-Service Center, Disabled Student Services at Long Beach City College, and the Bob Murphy Access Center at California State University Long Beach.