North County Residents will have a special opportunity to learn about and celebrate healthy living at the Wellness In Bloom fair on May 18th, 2013 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at North County Lifeline. This free fair is open to the whole family and includes fun activities, cooking demonstrations, informational booths, resources, prizes, and much more. Join us for a day of family fun!
Thank you to SDG&E for a generous grant to support the Crown Heights Youth Development program in Oceanside. With SDG&E’s support, youth in this tightknit community have a safe place to go after school. When kids walk through our doors they make the first of many important decisions. Finish my homework. Choose positive role models. Resist gang invitations. Say no to drugs. North County Lifeline is proud to partner with SDG&E to keep this critical afterschool program running. Thank you!
Each year, we nominate one special volunteer to receive one of the North County Philanthropy Council’s Volunteer of the Year Awards. This year, the choice for Lifeline was obvious: Jason Berry.
If you’ve been a patient at Scripps or Palomar lately, you might have met Jessica. She works part-time as a nurse at both hospitals. Her hours were recently cut to accommodate an injury. In the blink of an eye, the family budget became very, very tight.
What did your child or grandchild want this year? A new bike? An iPad? The latest pair of sneakers? Most of the children we work with did not dare to want. They knew they would be lucky to have a full belly on Christmas Day. That would have to suffice. . . or so they thought.
One of the key issues we tackled in 2012 (and will keep tackling in 2013) is Anti-Human Trafficking. According to the State of Human Trafficking California 2012 report, 72% of human trafficking victims’ country of origin identified by California’s task forces was the United States. Through the use of the social-networking sites and internet advertising, it has become easier for pimps to coerce women, youth, and children into prostitution. Victims lose their health, their ability to see their self-worth, and any opportunity to get an education and start a career.
MyFreeTaxes.com is an online tax self-preparation tool powered by H&R Block that allows taxpayers to prepare their own federal and state tax returns for free.
On behalf of each child who will find comfort with a stuffed animal this holiday season, THANK YOU to the North County Bar Association! We are incredibly grateful for your generosity.
One of our star staff members, Alma Palencia-Reyes, won a scholarship to Washington D.C. to represent North County Lifeline at the Corporation for Enterprise Development 2012 Conference. The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) empowers low- and moderate-income households to build and preserve assets by advancing policies and programs that help them achieve the American Dream, including buying a home, pursuing higher education, starting a business and saving for the future.
Two days before Thanksgiving, 105 families received a holiday feast. Bags of food ready to prepare Thanksgiving dinner -- including turkeys -- were handed out at our offices in Vista and the Crown Heights Community Center.
Joe, a third grade student at a local elementary school, is autistic. This disorder affects his academic performance as well as his social skills. When we first met him, he was failing school and had no friends. His parents did not know how to help.
We are able to work with Joe and many other children thanks to a recent change in state funding. School districts are now able to choose their mental health providers. And we are proud and grateful to share that districts of Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside, Fallbrook and Bonsall have all chosen North County Lifeline to care for the mental health of their special needs students.
North County Lifeline Executive Director Donald Stump has been honored by the Leadership North County Alumni Association for outstanding leadership and regional involvement in 2012.
The Fran Aleshire Award, named for one of the founders of the Leadership North County program, was presented last week at the San Diego North Economic Development Council’s annual Business Luncheon and Awards Presentation at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Read more.
Homeless families and individuals in North County will have a day of hope on November 14th. A one-day expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds will provide free medical and dental screenings, shelter referrals, haircuts, job placement assistance and more.
Believe it or not, Human Trafficking happens every day, right here in North County. Victims are often desperate young women who – like all of us – seek food, shelter, and employment. Unfortunately, they find their survival under the wings of a pimp where they are caught up in the deadly, almost unbreakable cycle of prostitution.
In early 2006 Rosalio was referred to North County Lifeline by Vista High School for counseling services in the EPSDT program. He was non-compliant at home and school, disruptive in class, and quickly fell into a pattern of chronic absences and suspensions.
Official reports show that there are currently more than 2,500 homeless students in the Vista Unified School District. That's about 10% of Vista's overall student population. Up from just 270 in 2007, the homeless student population has more than quadrupled in the past three years.
Working as a team, the Life and Employment Coaches in our Family Self-Sufficiency component regularly engage in group brainstorming to plug their clients into additional resources. Most recently, their creative powwowing culminated in the 2nd installment of Lifeline's Client Shopping Day!
Fresh & Easy is living up to their slogan: "A Good Neighbor." When Lifeline's Youth Development Club visited the Oceanside Fresh & Easy to ask them for some afterschool snacks, they came through in a big way! They now provide a weekly donation of snacks and drinks not only for the Youth Development Clubs, but also the at-risk youth groups that meet in our Coastal Office.
"The best part is watching the mediation process at work. As a mediator, I know I'm doing a good job when the clients start talking to each other and together, they find a solution that works for them. Overall, the whole experience has been wonderful and educational. The staff at North County Lifeline and the Court are very supportive and the Commissioners really seem to appreciate our contribution. It's nice to know we're making a difference."
A few months ago, Jose came into our afterschool program with duct tape holding both of his shoes together. Like many of our clients, his family did not have enough money to afford new shoes. The New Community Church of Vista heard about this and helped launch the 1,000 Pairs of Shoes campaign. we are 80% of the way there and need your help to purchase the last 200 pairs of shoes!
North County Lifeline welcomes three new members to our Board of Directors. These individuals give of their time, talent, and treasure to make North County a better place. Their love for our community - this month especially - is very much appreciated.
North County Lifeline is proud to announce our new Lifeline Associates. Formed in 2011, this volunteer team currently includes 11 individuals who are enthusiastic about the mission of North County Lifeline.
"Mediation through North County Lifeline allows for solutions not always provided for by the law and most times with better results for all concerned."
~Small Claims Court Commissioner Ernie Gross
At the end of 2011, our court-based mediation program was under fire. Funding, which had been provided by the California Administration of the Courts, was scheduled to end. Instead of letting this vital program sunset, we got creative.
We called the North County Bar Association and asked for volunteers. The response was overwhelming. More than 20 lawyers signed up to volunteer their time at Vista's Superior Court on Mondays, allowing us to maintain free mediation services.
Come tax season every year, our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps many local families secure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). As of the end of February, North County Lifeline's team of volunteers has already completed more than 600 tax returns.
The EITC federal tax credit, open to individuals and families living below the federal poverty level, provides a much needed income boost. As one client said last week, "I'm so happy with my return!"
Mark your calendars for September 22nd. Our signature event - It's Now! It's Wow! Youth Art - is right around the corner.
This event, to be held at the Oceanside Museum of Art, features an auction of paintings, mosaic work, and other unique pieces from the youth of our after school programs. These youth make a choice every day. They choose to attend our after school programs where they finish their homework, engage with caring adults, and stay away from the dangers of drugs and alcohol which lurk just outside of our program doors.
On Tuesday, April 17th during National Volunteer Week we will celebrate Lifeline's 200 volunteers at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. This year's theme - Volunteers Make a World of Difference - epitomizes our sentiments. Every day our volunteers make a difference in the lives of our clients through tutoring our youth, providing free tax preparation assistance, mediating legal conflicts, offering free counseling services, and more. Whether they are behind the scenes or working directly with clients, these volunteers change lives.
What a party! Our annual volunteer celebration was held on Tuesday, April 17th, recognizing more than 200 volunteers who donated more than 15,000 hours of service in 2011.
Councilman John J. Aguilera presented a proclamation from the City of Vista honoring the extraordinary work of these volunteers. It is extraordinary indeed. One volunteer-Christine Klement-had just reached her 2000th hour of service! Another volunteer is almost at her 15th year anniversary here at Lifeline.
In addition to individuals, we are fortunate to have many groups that volunteer, including Junior League of San Diego, Easter Seals and the North Coast Church Men's Group.
What makes the difference between the GED and juvenile hall? What stops a youth from "acting out" and empowers them to "act up" in healthy ways? There is no magic answer. It requires a comprehensive set of support systems to help at-risk youth navigate from childhood to adulthood.
Unfortunately, there is very little support for the youth in North County who are at-risk for arrest. These youth, many of whom have already been arrested for minor offenses, aren't yet "bad-off enough" to qualify for many programs. Until now.
"Conflict is natural. The key is how we handle it." This is the philosophy of our newest program housed at Calavera Hill's Middle School. We are training middle school students to serve as peer mediators.
The first "Coyote Counselors" were trained earlier this year. Fifteen 7th and 8th grade students and one parent volunteered for the comprehensive training on active listening, maintaining neutrality, and managing the mediation process. These students use their skills to help nearby elementary students resolve conflict, preserve relationships, and avoid violence.
Elizabeth worked in the banking industry for almost 20 years. In 2008, when the economy collapsed, her industry began to struggle. She lost her job two years ago and, although she continued to seek work, was unable to find a job until recently. She is now happily employed.
In life we have choices. Elizabeth's choices these last few years speak volumes about her character.
On Saturday April 28th, 13 members of the San Luis Rey Rotary Club came to Lifeline's Coastal Office ready to work. As a part of "Rotarian Beautification Day," they brought gardening supplies, a tiller, and a willingness to roll up their sleeves. After a long day and four separate dumpster pick-ups, the Rotarians left with a smile on their face.
This month we celebrate six women who have given a combined total of more than 3,000 hours of service to Lifelines' clients. These women are completing their Foundation Year Internships for their Masters' in Social Work. As they complete their practicum with Lifeline, they move closer to obtaining their MSW degree and, at the same time, our clients' lives are improved. It's a double win.
Earlier this year we shared with you the inauguration of our Young Parent Network (YPN). We had high hopes this program would provide life-changing support to teenage parents in Vista and Oceanside. Though we are still in the early stages, we wanted to share with you a few of the ways these hopes are already being realized.
As Executive Director of North County Lifeline, it takes a lot of meetings, driving, emails, and phone calls to keep a charitable organization funded and helping those most in need in our community. I am sometimes so busy that I forget to stop and think about the purpose of our work. A helping hand.
For a community that had recently felt the sting of gang violence, the residents and Lifeline were excited to prepare for the annual community pride celebration. On Saturday June 2nd the Crown Heights residents enjoyed each other - and demonstrated their neighborhood solidarity - at the annual Crown Heights Community Festival.
It's taken four years for Cesar, now 22, to get into the groove of being a father. "At first, when I had my son David, I didn't know what to do. I wasn't very mature." Over the last four years, Cesar and David have both grown up. They play soccer and football in the park. "Now he can run, walk and play. I spend lots of time playing with him."
Teenage drug use is not what it used to be. It is more dangerous, harder to identify, and more pervasive than what most of us remember from our childhoods. However, today's parents are not alone.
In their spare time, 50 Navy Sailors helped to give the foster youth of North County the gift of a lifetime: a place to call home during their transition years.
As many as 3,000 foster age youth become homeless in San Diego each year. When they reach age 18, they are no longer eligible for placement. However, without a steady home and college prep assistance, many of these youth have no way to support themselves and often turn to the streets
Congratulations to Chuck Francis, Ph.D.! Chuck was awarded "Supervisor of the Year" by the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. This recognition honors his work as Clinical Director at North County Lifeline where he supervises graduate students working towards degrees in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Social Work, and towards becoming a licensed counselor.
Santos is living proof that anything is possible, even for a young boy growing up in Crown Heights. The oldest of four, Santos has watched his parents struggle to make ends meet. He made a decision early on that he did not want to be involved in gangs or drugs. That was not the lifestyle for him. He was going to do something with his life. . . He dreamed of becoming an Environmental Engineer and, thanks to the City of Oceanside, he is one step closer to this dream.
Hit the field running! And that's exactly what they did. The result? Eight sponsors contributed $4,000 to buy books for at-risk youth in Oceanside and Vista. North County Lifeline's first annual Kickball for Literacy tournament on Aug 11th was a huge success.
Elizabeth wants to become a doctor. She's nine years old and lives in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Oceanside. If she succeeds, she will be one of the lucky ones. Many of her friends won't even complete high school.
Luckily for Elizabeth, she's not alone. North County Lifeline's staff works with Elizabeth every day at the Crown Heights Community Center. She comes to us during the after school hours for academic tutoring, civic engagement activities, arts and crafts, and to play sports. It's a safe place where she can develop the skills she'll need to thrive.
North County Lifeline is growing again! This time, we've moved our Business Office staff to a whole new building. The Business Office has moved from Indiana Street in Vista to an office complex in Oceanside on Vista Way. This move was fueled by two major program developments: our mental health program has expanded tremendously and we are opening a home for former foster youth as they transition to self-sufficiency.
Adrian loves Vincent Van Gogh. At 13 years of age, he is one of the few youth in his Crown Heights neighborhood who has even heard the name Van Gogh. But he has. And Adrian has become quite the artist himself.
In fact, he loves to paint because, when he finishes a painting, he says that he feels like a 'real' artist. You can see from the photo that he has talent.
Going to school is hard enough. When your clothes are worn out and old, going to school is torture. On August 3rd, 2012, North County youth receiving services at Lifeline received a special treat. Thanks to the generous donation by Aeropostale of 800 pairs of jeans, these youth will 'shop' at North County Lifeline for jeans that fit them.
Delicious food. Original art. And a chance to make a real, lasting difference in a child's life. Join us on Saturday September 22nd at 6pm at the Museum of Art in Oceanside for the 2012 It's Now! It's Wow! Youth Art Auction. Buy tickets today.
You will meet youth like 9 year old Alicia. Alicia dreams of going to college and becoming a doctor. She says that her heroes are her mom and dad because, "they push me to work hard and go to school." Boy, is she a hard worker! She comes to our after school program every day. She studies diligently, plays fairly, and creates beautiful works of art.
Last month, 90 homeless youth received a special gift: a free backpack filled with essential school supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, binders and notebooks. Congregants from Christ Church of Coronado donated the fully-packed backpacks with everything either an elementary student or a high school student would need for a successful school year.
Jonathan wants to be a police officer when he grows up. Riddled with drugs and gang violence, the Crown Heights neighborhood does not have a good track record of sending kids off to a successful future. However, Jonathan, 7 years old, has a fighting chance. He has strong family support and he has us, North County Lifeline.
On Saturday, September 22, youth in Lifeline's afterschool program presented their artwork at the Oceanside Museum of Art. The auction lasted just a few hours but raised thousands of dollars to be reinvested into their program in Crown Heights, Oceanside.
If you missed the event, you didn't see the painting of Junior Seau done by Irving - a Lifeline program graduate, volunteer, and the first person shot during the gang violence in Crown Heights in March 2012. North County Lifeline in the news.
Stay informed about what is going on at North County Lifeline.