Success Stories



Success Stories

November 2018

PACT Success Story

If you saw them from the outside, you’d probably think they were just some old Victorian houses; windows into the past of simpler times. You’d likely never imagine the magic that happens inside; you wouldn’t hear the laughter of children, you wouldn’t see the tears of frustration when families hear “no” time after time or the tears of joy when parents see their hard work come to fruition through reunification with children, gaining employment or finally securing permanent housing. You wouldn’t smell the aroma of meals shared between families, and you wouldn’t feel the immense sense of hopefulness and love that emanate behind those walls. For our staff here at Redwood Community Action Agency’s Parents and Children in Transition (PACT) Program, we are lucky enough to experience this magic every day.

In a housing program such as ours, many would assume that success is measured by a family’s ability to find housing and maintain it. While it’s true that permanent housing is the desired outcome for the families that enter the PACT program, housing happens on its own timeline, but each family’s success is measured on an individual basis. For some families success may look like accomplishing the big picture: reunification with children, reestablishing themselves as a family unit, healing from the trauma of separation, paying off housing related debt from years prior, saving money to put towards permanent housing, or finally getting their dream apartment. For others, successes come on a smaller scale: enrolling in Calfresh or Medi-Cal, learning to cook, eat and enjoy vegetables, registering to vote for the first time, deciding to quit smoking cigarettes, getting a driver’s license, leaving an unhealthy relationship, repairing strained relationships, setting appropriate boundaries with family members and friends, learning how to organize and clean, improving conflict management and communication skills; even understanding that you aren’t supposed to flush baby wipes down the toilet, and, consequently, learning how to unclog a toilet.
PACT is a housing program, but housing is not all we do.  We teach people real life skills that they can use regardless of where they go when they leave the program. We listen to the wants and needs of each individual family and we help them accomplish the goals they set for themselves; we provide support to help build confidence so that people know that they are capable of achieving even their wildest dreams. The work that goes on every day behind the walls of those old Victorian houses demonstrates resiliency, optimism and determination, and that is magic.
 


July 2018

TOOTH Playgroup Success Story 


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As a TOOTH Educator I attend the First 5 Playgroup at Fortuna Multi-Generational Center.  At playgroups, I provide the children with the opportunity to interact with our stuffed animal teaching friends by brushing their teeth or using a mouth mirror like the dentist does.  I also have the opportunity to speak with parents. I am available to answer any questions they have and offer tips and guidance as needed. One parent and I were talking as her 4 year old daughter was playing/brushing the animal teaching friend’s teeth.  Mom was concerned because the daughter was not showing interest in brushing and would many times just sit with the toothbrush in her mouth, not actually brushing. We talked about the strategies they used at home and I offered her a few new ones. At the end of the playgroup, all the families were able to take home some new dental supplies.

The next day, I attended the First 5 Playgroup in Loleta.  Shortly after the playgroup started, the mom from yesterday came in with her daughter.  The mother was excited to see me and told me what a difference she had seen in her daughter’s brushing last night and this morning.  Her daughter was actively brushing and showing enthusiasm in doing so.
    


July 2018

Youth Service Bureau Shelter Program Success Story 

YSB’s Launch Pad would like to highlight the success of a young woman named Megan. Megan came to YSB as a struggling, homeless college student. She was challenged with finding affordable and sustainable housing while maintaining her academic requirements. Megan did well in academics and excelled in collegiate sports prior to entering YSB, but with the stability and assistance of the Launch Pad and consistent case management, Megan obtained a part-time job during the school year as well as maintained her focus on academics.

Since the school year has ended, she has gained employment at two part-time jobs, which has increased her savings. With guidance offered through case management, Megan has been exploring housing options for her next chapter. At this time, it is likely that her transition will include collegiate sports scholarships to other institutions and continued success.


April 2018
 

Energy Success Story by Brian Lutzow

Client: Susan

I arrived at Susan’s home at about three o’clock and zeroed my monoxer outside. I noticed that the front door and a few windows were open. Despite the ventilation, I got a carbon monoxide reading of 6ppm. As I walked through the home and entered the laundry room, the reading was 12ppm carbon monoxide. The water heater was already running. I took a reading in exhaust at draft hood and it only took a few seconds to max my monoxer out at 2000ppm carbon monoxide. I shut off gas to it, asked client if she has been feeling sick, tired, dizzy, she said yes to all. I then asked her to step outside. I opened all the windows and doors to air out her home. I did not want to leave her outside due to stormy weather. It took about five minutes to get ambient carbon monoxide back to 0ppm. When I had Susan come back in I told her of the findings and she told me in the last year she has had a continuous headache, always felt sick and very tired, she had been diagnosed with pneumonia numerous times, the flu, bronchitis, and had been put on oxygen and breathing treatments. She also told me that her granddaughter is four years old and that she had come to stay the night on the night before and within two hours she was feeling very sick so she had her son come back to get her. I then called PG&E and they said they would be right out. I went back to see what could be wrong, since the water heater looked fairly new, I found that the combustion air vents on the water heater were very plugged up with lint and dust and the runner was rusted and corroded through on sections and it was backdrafting because of lack of air. PG&E arrived and she fired the water heater back up and immediately shut it back down and agreed with my findings. She capped the gas line and red tagged the appliance. I called my Director, Val, to get permission to sole source replacement because the client was elderly, had a disability, and watched grandkids at her home regularly. On Monday 4/9/18 I went back to do R&R cas on water heater which passed and was drafting very well. The client told me she went to the doctor this morning and had her blood draw to check for carbon monoxide poisoning and it came back positive. She said 1.5 was the level at which they said was considered poisoned per the nurse and her level was 6.5. She told me that for the last few days she had been feeling much better, headaches are gone and she is not feeling tired. I put my hand up to give her a high five. Instead of high fiving me she took my hand and put it on her cheek, and as her eyes began to tear up she said, “You’re an angel. You saved my life and I am so thankful for programs like yours.” 


March 2018

Waterfront Recovery Services Success Story 

C:\Users\debby\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\XY6JY8FT\recovery[1].jpgWaterfront Recovery Services (WRS) is happy to celebrate all successes that residents accomplish, big and small. One resident in particular, has shown great improvement since their first day at WRS. When this resident entered the program, they were unable to walk far distances or make it to the restroom on their own because they had been chair bound for the past 6 months due to substance abuse. This resident was also in a depressed state and did not seek out interactions with others. This resident is now able to walk on their own, can get themselves to the restroom, and appears to be less depressed and willing to converse with other residents and staff. They are optimistic and have been more engaged in groups and meetings. This resident has expressed interest in changing their living situation so that they are in a safer environment after leaving the program. This resident is a shining example of how much personal change can happen in a short period of time and we are excited to be able to celebrate this resident’s path to recovery!


March 2018 
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PACT 

Barbara and her three sons moved into the PACT program in December 2016. In the beginning of their stay in the program, Barbara was shy and guarded around other adults and she was emotionally disconnected from her children. Staff supported her efforts to improve her parenting skills and to connect more with her sons. In order to maintain and strengthen her recovery process, Barbara stayed engaged in local NA meetings and attended Celebrate Recovery events.  During her time in PACT, Barbara participated in a Heathy Relationships group that was facilitated by the Family Support Specialists (FSS), which helped her begin to heal her relationship with her children. The sons, ranging in ages from 10-13, enjoyed participating in children’s groups with FSS staff. They participated in many of our Community Integration activities as well as individual sessions and sibling groups with PACT staff. Staff worked on building social and communication skills with the children, empowering their assertiveness and confidence. Individual time with each child focused on fostering their individual strengths and talents.  While group time focused on strengthening their ability to communicate with one another and to work together as siblings rather than to constantly battle one another. 
Barbara worked diligently on maintaining her sobriety, cleaning up her credit and regaining full custody of her children.  With the assistance and support of the PACT Case Managers and FSS staff, Barbara and her children were able to successfully transition to housing in the area. Barbara benefited from our Rental Assistance program and took full advantage of the aftercare offered to her family. Barbara and her children remained engaged in aftercare after their successful transition into housing and continued to reach out for staff support as needed. With the encouragement of staff Barbara and her children were able to enrich their bond as a family and they have really enjoyed reintegrating into their new community. 
 

March 2018

PACT
 

In October of 2018, I had the pleasure of meeting a mom and her sweet baby boy. This mom had struggled with her addiction for many years and was fleeing from a domestic violence situation. Week after week, she attended daily groups for her addiction; she put in housing applications and employment applications. She had no car or driver’s license. Therefore, most of this was done by walking or riding the bus. She always had a smile and was a complete pleasure to be around. This mom wanted to find employment in the medical field. She was accepted into a certified nurse’s aide program and successfully completed this program. She isn’t going to stop there though. She recently applied to College of

the Redwoods Licensed Vocational Nursing program. She also found full-time
employment in the medical field and secured permanent housing for herself and baby. This mom made her goals on her own. She never gave up and because of all her hard work she accomplished all her goals; then she made some new goals. Her hard work and dedication really paid off.

January 2018

TOOTH MARSHALL FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER, HUMBOLDT COUNTY

This fall, I’ve been working with a long-time client of our resource center. She is a single mother in an unstable living situation, with two young children - she began coming here several years ago after a CWS referral. The children are chronically late to or absent from school, and their mother always seems to be disorganized and often expresses feeling overwhelmed or stressed.  Despite this, she has often seemed uninterested in services to help her family find housing or improve her children’s attendance.  She also has been avoiding doing a Family Development Matrix (FDM) assessment with us for the past several months - the FDM being a case management tool we are supposed to use with all long term clients.  
Recently, she agreed to do an FDM assessment with me.  Once we got started, she not only was she willing to answer all the questions, she also showed a lot more awareness and understanding of our concerns about her children’s education than she has in the past.  She also stated that she hadn’t applied for housing in the past because she had trouble understanding the forms, which she had never told us before.  
Our client was much more agreeable to receiving services relating to her housing search after that conversation, and has since seemed more open with us, as well as taking more initiative in areas such as looking for employment and housing. We are also able to help her family in a much more effective way, now that we have a better understanding of her needs and concerns. We can fill out paperwork together, and be there to answer questions.  The last time I spoke to her, she was getting the necessary documents to apply for Section 8, and was very excited that she had a job interview scheduled. This has been a major change for her, and I am looking forward to what the future may bring. 

January 9, 2018

Marshall FRC, Humboldt County

John (name changed) came to the Marshall Family Resource Center in October 2017 in order to receive help with finding housing.  He and his teenage son were currently living in their car at various campgrounds, while John’s teenage daughter was living with a friend from school. Throughout the course of working with John and his family, I was able to assist John with applying for and following through on housing applications and shelter applications.  I also assisted John with getting his daughter into a youth shelter once she was no longer able to continue staying with friends. During this period of homelessness, our resource center was able to provide further support by providing food bags, laundry vouchers, computer/fax/and phone services, school supplies, as well as gas cards in order to assist with getting the children to school.  In November of 2017, John ended up being hospitalized for a week with pneumonia. Myself and other MFRC were able to be a source of support during John’s hospital stay; we assisted with school transportation and coordinated with other professionals on John’s discharge plan. In December of 2017, John was successfully able to obtain housing and stated that he was very grateful for all the help provided by the Marshall Family Resource Center in his family’s time of need.


January 8, 2018

Marshall Family Resource Center, Humboldt County

This fall, I’ve been working with a long-time client of our resource center. She is a single mother in an unstable living situation, with two young children - she began coming here several years ago after a CWS referral. The children are chronically late to or absent from school, and their mother always seems to be disorganized and often expresses feeling overwhelmed or stressed.  Despite this, she has often seemed uninterested in services to help her family find housing or improve her children’s attendance.  She also has been avoiding doing a Family Development Matrix (FDM) assessment with us for the past several months - the FDM being a case management tool we are supposed to use with all long term clients.  
Recently, she agreed to do an FDM assessment with me.  Once we got started, she not only was she willing to answer all the questions, she also showed a lot more awareness and understanding of our concerns about her children’s education than she has in the past.  She also stated that she hadn’t applied for housing in the past because she had trouble understanding the forms, which she had never told us before.  
Our client was much more agreeable to receiving services relating to her housing search after that conversation, and has since seemed more open with us, as well as taking more initiative in areas such as looking for employment and housing. We are also able to help her family in a much more effective way, now that we have a better understanding of her needs and concerns. We can fill out paperwork together, and be there to answer questions.  The last time I spoke to her, she was getting the necessary documents to apply for Section 8, and was very excited that she had a job interview scheduled. This has been a major change for her, and I am looking forward to what the future may bring.


 

September 2017

RAVEN


This month RAVEN Project would like to share the success of one of our Youth Educators Steve. Three months ago Steve came to RAVEN as a client and at the time he was living in his van looking for a job and a place to live. He was hired last month and has really enjoyed his work here at RAVEN. His favorite part of his job here is working in the garden with other youth. Since working at RAVEN he has also secured another job and has found a place to live. He is also enrolled in the new WIOA program through RAVEN and is receiving ongoing employment counseling so he can build his skills and be ready for the next step once he finishes his one year term at RAVEN.


May 2017

YSB RAVEN

Lost Coast Rotaract and North Bay Rotaract teamed up to put on a fundraiser for RAVEN Project at May Arts Alive! The event was a lip singing contest held at the grand opening of the Fuzion, a new event space in old town Eureka. The event was hosted by local drag queen Fuscia Rae. Approximately 200 people attended the event to raise money and awareness for The RAVEN Project. RAVEN youth educators and clients showed up and participated in the contest. It was a great night for RAVEN and brought together the community to support our local runaway and homeless youth.


January 2017

C:\Users\tdavis\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\MY3H0TQJ\8931832451_9720cff219_b[1].jpgThis month, YSB would like to recognize a young man named Skylar. Skylar was a YSB resident in 2010, who stayed in both short-term and long-term programs. In 2014, Skylar called requesting help from staff to find a rehab facility and program to confront his compacted addiction issues. At the time, he was living in Louisiana and knew he could still find support from YSB. Though there were concerns, Skylar contacted staff in December 2017 to say that he is clean, sober, and currently balancing school at Humboldt State University, while also maintaining employment. Skylar aspires to one-day work in a place like YSB. Some youth have more challenges and higher hurdles than others, but planting seeds and building relationships create lasting impacts. We are incredibly proud of Skylar and the work we continue to do.


Eureka Reduces Speed Limits in School Zones


C:\Users\tdavis\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\PPZ7Z633\Singapore_Road_Signs_-_Regulatory_Sign_-_Give_Way_Sign.svg[1].pngFollowing the lead from the County of Humboldt as well as the cities of Fortuna and Arcata, the Eureka City Council voted unanimously to lower speed limits in school zones within the city to as low as 15 miles per hour in some areas when children are present. A state law passed in 2008 known as Assembly Bill 321 enabled jurisdictions to voluntarily reduce speed limits in school zones while extending school zones from 500 to 1000 feet.
Adjacent streets to seven school campuses in Eureka will soon be 15 mph when children are present with two exceptions. Harris Street near the Lincoln campus and Henderson Street near St. Bernard’s will be reduced to 20 mph.
The reason for this program is simple: Speed kills. At 15 mph, most pedestrians will survive a crash, often sustaining only minor injuries. Yet minor increases in impact speed have a profound effect on crash severity. At 20 mph, most pedestrian crashes result in serious injury, and almost half are fatal. At 40 mph, fully 90% of crashes are fatal. Anything we can do to bring down traffic speeds will enable more children to walk or bike to school safely.

NRS has been working with the Eureka Safe Routes to School Task Force on this effort for many months, presenting to the Transportation Safety Committee before they brought it to the City Council. This is one example of the many successes NRS and community partners have achieved working together to increase safety for students and all community members that walk and/or bike for transportation


TOOTH Success Story

C:\Users\tdavis\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\BM81SA6S\Dr_tooth[1].jpgYesterday I was teaching in a first grade class and we were talking about eating healthy foods.  One of the students told me that in preschool they used to say: "When I brush my teeth each morning and night, drink lots of water and eat just right...."  This is the first lines of the poem that we started teaching in preschools two years ago.  (Marla wrote it).  I was so impressed that she still remembered it two years later!!
 
 


May 2017

PACT Programs New Laundry Room

After, over a year of planning and construction, we are so grateful to be able to offer a laundry room for our clients to use. The laundry room will be serving up to eight different families with various numbers of children. Being able to offer a laundry room takes a great burden off the shoulders of our clients and relieves stress from the clients by not having to find transportation to and from the laundromat, as very few of our clients have a motor vehicle or even a driver’s license to perform this task. The process of loading up laundry and children to go to the laundromat for hours which interferes with already hectic schedules, housing searches and family bonding time; makes this new laundry room a huge asset to the program, staff and clients. The new laundry room also saves our clients’ money and most importantly it saves them time; which ultimately means the parents will have more quality time with their children.  We are pleased to offer this new service and would like to thank everyone for their involvement and hard work! A special thank you to Devin Fielding and Maxwell Despard for their efforts in making this project come to fruition. Thank You!
 

 
 

TOOTH

Redwood Community Action Agency's TOOTH program recently expanded their educational outreach to Daycares through a generous grant funded by the HRSA foundation. Both Providers and children have welomed this addition to their programs with enthusiasm and appreciation. TOOTH Oral Health Educators have created a cirriculum both engaging and informative with the ability to reach the diverse age range of individuals often present in a daycare setting. (From infants to toddlers, TOOTH focuses on the important ob our teeth have in the overall health of our bodies). The lessons teach children the important job of taking care of their teeth while giving them the tools necessary to do just that. Information for adults and dental supplies for each child are sent home. In many instances, Daycare Providers have already prepared the children before the first lesson, learning about teeth, talking about their own experiences going to the dentist, brusing and good nutrition. The results have been an enriching and rewarding experience for everyone. 

 

The Loleta Community Building Initiative


Bringing People Together in Public Spaces and Enhancing Health
Over a period of four years, the community of Loleta has worked together to develop strong, capable community leaders and implement a shared vision of improved public spaces in which to be active, safe and healthy. This project was unique because it allowed the community to come up with their top priorities to improve the health of Loleta, using their own wisdom and ideas. With funding from the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund, the non-profit Redwood Community Action Agency supported the formation and great work of the Loleta Local Organizing Committee (LOC), which formed in 2011 after a community-wide "listening campaign". This listening campaign involved on-on-one conversations with more than 150 residents of Loleta. Residents identified their concerns for their families, their hopes for Loleta and the vision they had as individuals for the community. The LOC was able to achieve incredible things from 2011 - 2015 thanks, in part, to the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership fund, including:
-Formed the Local Organizing Committee to make decisions, spend grant money on shared goals, and meet community needs as they arise - including needs for volunteers, sharing information and supporting small projects. All meetings have Spanish interpretation avaailable and it is frequently used.
-Supported the Loleta School in charging the school's discipline practices to emphasize positive behavior through the PBIS model.
-Helped the Loleta School Parent-Teacher Organization buy equipment and host regular Family Movie Nights that were open to the entire Loleta community.
-Established weekly, all-ages fitness classes with a certified personal trainer on Monday evenings at the Loleta School gymnasium. These will continue after the conclusion of the grant funding.
-Built and paid for a playground, stage, new benches, gravel pathe, balance beam, plantings, drainage improvements, community compass signs about local history and culture, and more in the park.
The Loleta Local Organizing Committee would like to express sincere thanks to the local community who provided their ideas, enthusiasm and hard work as volunteers supporting a better shared future. The LOC would also like to thank the helpful and supportive team at St. Joseph Health who have made this work possible including the Loleta Community Resource Center staff; community organizations, institutions and governments who have helped immensely, including the Loleta Community Chamber, Loleta Community Services District, the Wiyot Tribe, Bear River Rancheria, and Loleta School and Loleta Parent-Teacher Organization, the County of Humboldt, and the Loleta Community Church.
In 1986, St. Joseph Health (SJH) created a plan and began an effort to further its commitment to neighbors in need. With a vision of reaching beyond the walls of its healthcare facilities and transcending traditional efforts of providing care for those in need, SJH created the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund to improve the health of low-income individuals residing in local communities. 
 

 
 

How do RCAA's programs impact you?

  • Natural Resouces Services (NRS) works directly with Humboldt County community leaders, schools and parents to improve safety and encourage more children to safely walk and bicycle to school. NRS helps coordinate both the Greater Eureka and Humboldt County Safe Routes to School Task Forces.
  • Teaching preschoolers oral health care is a result of the TOOTH program.
  • Natural Resources Services works with community members, civic groups and local jurisdictions to enhance neighborhood street tree planting and support the development of community forests for public access and watershed protection.