Trip down the River
In August, members of UCEPP’s youth participatory action research project went on a kayaking expedition on the LA River. LA Expeditions provided this special opportunity for our youth to learn more about our environment and ecosystem. They learned how to safely navigate the river and were introduced to the numerous plants and wildlife residing there. Our youth leaders were tasked with becoming custodians and protectors of the river. This trip was a great way to spend a hot summer day and a great opportunity to learn new things. Special thanks to Jed Schipper and Katherine McNenny for helping to make this opportunity possible.
Touchstones Program Director, Garett, celebrated 17 years clean last week with staff and residents of the program. Garett was able to share her experience, strength, and hope with the residence and talk about what early recovery was like for her. One of the residents pointed out that Garett has now been drug free longer than he has been alive (thanks!). Staff and kids enjoyed cake and Garett was pleased to share her birthday with the Touchstones kids.
Town Hall Meeting
On August 21, 2014, CCERP staff with the assistance of the great UCEPP team hosted a Town Hall meeting at Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center to raise awareness and promote a conversation focused on improving the quality of life in the area of LAC+USC Medical Center. Over 100 individuals were in attendance, including Field Deputies from the offices of Los Angeles County Supervisors Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Representatives from the office of Councilmember Huizar and Councilmember Cedillo also participated in the discussion. Participants also included various local nonprofits, residents, and mental health professionals including Exodus Recovery, Inc., the Salvation Army, the Union Pacific Railroad, the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. It was inspiring to see so many people come together for one common issue. During the breakout groups, there were intense discussions focused on removing barriers, best practices, and commitments to help enhance pathways to wellness. We are looking forward to the next steps!
Visit from our funders
Stepping Stones women and staff were recently honored to have a visit from LA County SAPC Director, Wesley Ford (2nd from right). The women spent the afternoon getting to know the representatives who have been so instrumental in their recovery. The residents could not stop talking about how special they felt that Mr. Ford took the time in his busy schedule to visit with them. It was a great day, thank you Mr. Ford.
Residents and counselors recently participated in a field trip to the California Science Center. The women learned more about earthquakes as well as the human body. After visiting the museum, staff and residents enjoyed a nice picnic in the park outside the museum.
On Thursday, August 14, 2014, Social Model Recovery Systems Chief Executive Officer, Jim O’Connell (right) and Regional Program Director, Felipe Kaiser (center) were joined by staff Jennifer Smith, Nicole Fiore, Steven Rodriguez , Cynthia Lujan, participants and members of the community for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony welcoming Mid Valley Outpatient to its new location in El Monte.
El Monte Chamber of Commerce officials, Ken Rausch, Executive Director and Ambassador Christine Night along with other representatives welcomed the new facility of Mid Valley Outpatient, as well as honored the many years of positive community contributions it has given and the great impact it has made to the city and its residents.
In attendance were Representatives from the El Monte Mayors’ office, including Bart Patel, Mayor Pro Tem, as well as representatives from the office of Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez from the 24th Senate District. Also in attendance were representatives from Assemblyman Ed Chau’s office (49th District) and Assemblyman Roger Hernandez’s (48th District) office. We were also fortunate to have in attendance for this event representatives from Los Angeles County Substance Abuse Prevention and Control’s administrative offices, Director Wesley Ford, Mario Salcedo and Anne Robinson.
Mid Valley Outpatient received Certificates of Recognition from the various attendees mentioned above and their respective offices. We are honored to be a part of the El Monte Chamber of Commerce and for the opportunity to continue serving the community of El Monte by remaining a safe place for men, women and youth to begin the process of positive change.
The Screening & Assessment staff have created a unique way to encourage possible participants to keep their appointments and ensure a fast admission into a program. It is a Raffle! All one has to do to be entered is simply come to their appointment on time without reschedule and that person will be submitted into a monthly drawing. The prize will usually include a gift card.
Our first winner was Lisa Hernandez (center); she was surprised and thrilled to win. It was exciting to add a little something to what can be a difficult and draining experience. We understand that keeping an appointment is not always easy, especially when one is in crisis. We want to congratulate Lisa for the hard work and commitment she has made for her recovery and we look forward to next month's winner!