2020 Community Impact Grant
Legal-name: Disabled Resources Center, Inc.
Address: 2750 East Spring Street, Suite 100
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Ranking-title: Dolores Nason, Executive Director
Contact-First-name: Dolores Nason
Title: Executive Director
Grant Purpose: Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) seeks funding from the Long Beach Community Foundation’s “2020 Impact Grant Focus: Homeless Youth” to provide education in Independent Living Skills to transition youths in Long Beach, who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, into independent community living.
Mission: 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. DRC provides services to all people with disabilities, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference or disability type.
How-many-years: One year
What-is-project: Disabled Resources Center, Inc. (DRC) seeks $20,000.00 from the Long Beach Community Foundation’s 2020 Impact Grant Focus: Homeless Youth to transition homeless youth or youth at risk of being homeless in Long Beach into self-determined community living through education in independent living skills. The project melds DRC’s full resources and the experience gained through our longstanding Transitional Youth Program (TYP) into an educational curriculum preparing youth for living and working in the community as confident, self-reliant, contributing adults.
Transitional Youth (TY), 14-24, are especially susceptible to coming to the point of homelessness, often due to their disabilities or aging out of the foster care system. Never having been taught IL skills, they have a hard time managing money and buying healthy food economically. With the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), DRC already administers programs addressing the needs of youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, through the ongoing, successful “Get Organized—Leadership Beyond the Classroom” (GO LBC) program. Since GO LBC started in 2017, with seed money from the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), DRC and LBUSD have partnered to present year-round programs, held at Millikan High School, Tucker School, and Franklin Middle School.
10% of homeless persons in Long Beach are 24 or younger, as per the 2019 Homeless Count. DRC’s project does more than put a “Band-Aid” on the problem. Some program referral sources are: the Multi-Service Center, or LBUSD classroom teachers at GO LBC sites. Placing homeless youth in temporary motel housing gives them time for future planning, with DRC’s help. DRC’s ILS training imparts transformational skills and knowledge for self-reliant adulthood. DRC starts by learning why a consumer is homeless, and then provides ILS training to integrate the consumer into successful independent community living. Based on individual needs, that training includes topics such as riding public transportation, financial literacy, grocery shopping, and job interview communication skills via DRC’s Gavel Club.
DRC’s 2020 Impact Grant Focus: Homeless Youth is the right project to do now. The educational experiences and resources DRC has gathered through developing GO LBC translate to the core purpose of equipping TY with Independent Living (IL) skills to achieve self-reliant adulthood. ILS education and training gives TY needed skills avoid homelessness such as finding and keeping paid employment to stay independent, particularly crucial for TY with disabilities. Per the U.S. Department of Labor (April 2020) youth 16-19 with disabilities were 1.16 more times unemployed than youth without disabilities, and people 16+ with disabilities were 1.32 times more unemployed than people without disabilities. As TY grapple with homelessness in the coronavirus pandemic, providing ILS for self-sufficient living becomes pressing.
How-will-you-succeed: How will you know you have succeeded?
The goal of the TYP is to learn Independent Living (IL) skills. DRC gauges success in the TYP by the number of youths, 14 to 24, who successfully go through the program and complete the goals of their respective Independent Living Plan (ILP). Each new DRC consumer (client) goes through an Intake and Orientation and completes an ILP with DRC staff assistance. GO LBC consumers receive Intake and Orientation and complete ILCs within their program. ILCs include: definitions of goals; related activities, time lines and techniques for meeting objectives; individuals and agencies responsible for providing services or training; and desired outcomes.
How will you sustain the program after grant funding is expended?
After the currently sought grant funding is expended, DRC will sustain the program through seeking more grant funding. Since we already have a well-developed TYP in GO LBC, DRC anticipates being able to find other funding sources to sustain the program. Additionally, we can tap our own General Funds to keep the program going between obtaining grants.
Explain how you will measure the results of your work.
• Anticipated outcomes include:
o 60% of TYP enrollees will successfully learn IL Skills to navigate their lives.
o Each TYP enrollee will successfully complete their respective individual goals as stated on their ILP.
o Each TYP enrollee will stay with DRC as a lifetime resource for themselves and their families.
• Measurable objectives include:
o Number of TYP consumers who are stabilized, enroll in the program and complete an ILP.
o Number of TYP enrollees who complete their respective individual goals as stated on their ILP.
Explain how you will communicate the results of your work.
DRC will communicate the result of our work through both internal records and external reporting. Internal consumer interaction records, maintained in both physical files and on DRC’s CFAL database, include notes of fulfilling progress towards the respective consumer’s personal ILP goals. Every 90 days, each TY consumer receives an individual evaluation, to see if new goals can be added to their personal ILP, or if steps to their existing goals need to be changed. Quarterly and annually compilations of CFAL-recorded information into program-specific reports are provided to DOR.
Explain how you will continue the program in the future.
DRC will continue TYP as part of the well-developed GO LBC program with LBUSD, via a longstanding MOU. DRC has presented GO LBC at LBUSD sites year-round since 2017. Plans are firm to continue the program with LBUSD during the 2020-2021 academic year. The program will serve high schools and middle schools, and expand remote instructional capabilities.
Who-are-you: Our Mission Statement 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.” Founded in 1976, DRC was born of the Independent Living Movement that was spearheaded by the indomitable Ed Roberts, who established the first Independent Living Center (ILC) in Berkeley, California, in 1972. Now, DRC is one of 28 ILCs serving people with all disabilities, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or type of disability. As per DRC’s history, aims, and purposes, our staff and Board of Directors are mostly persons with disabilities.
DRC is the right nonprofit to work with the 2020 impact grant focus on homeless youth. Our longstanding GO LBC program, in partnership with LBUSD, shows that we already successfully teach IL skills to TY which prepare them for employment and independent living in the community. DRC’s programs, our leadership and the talents and capabilities of our multicultural, multilingual staff all provide rich resources to turn around the lives of TY with education in independent living skills.
Our Executive Director has been with the Center for 28 years of initiating and conducting innovative service to vulnerable and underserved populations. The TY Program Facilitator has 30 years’ experience training and coaching youth in sports and classroom settings. Members of our on-site staff can interpret as needed in American Sign Language, Spanish and Khmer. Besides our longstanding LBUSD MOU, our regular partners and collaborations involve such organizations as Long Beach Transit, Los Angeles Metro, Long Beach Multi-Service Center, Bob Murphy Access Center at California State University Long Beach, and Disabled Students Programs and Services at Long Beach City College.
The TYP draws on the full resources of DRC’s programs and services. The Housing Program will place homeless TY in temporary motel housing while more permanent arrangements are sought. The Covered California and CalFresh programs will help TY get health insurance and funds for food. The IL skills training, one-on-one or in small groups, will teach TY budgeting, handling money, grocery shopping, and job searching. The Travel Training Program will teach TY planning and taking trips on public transportation, enabling independent travel. The Toastmasters-affiliated Gavel Club will teach TY speaking skills for success in job interviews to secure employment. By DOR referral, the Employment Services Program will help TY with disabilities find permanent, meaningful employment. The 8-week Peer Counseling/Stepping Stones to Employment class will give TY vital interpersonal and human relations skills, plus eligibility for volunteering at DRC and the Long Beach Public Library, gaining experience for paid work.
This is who we are at DRC. Please partner with us to change homeless youths’ futures with education in Independent Living Skills.