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October   2016                                                                                                              


Welcome Back!

Young and ambitious, Brigette Gonzalez is soaring.

This 28 year old mother and new wife is dedicating herself to making a difference and changing the lives of many.
 
After earning her Associates Degree in Paralegal at age 19, Brigette unknowingly made a choice that would forever change her life. In 2008 Brigette joined Family Assistance Program to develop new skills to help further her in her future aspirations. Like many of Family Assistance Program's clients, Brigette too faced domestic violence and realized she acquired the ability to not only  connect with clients on a more personal level, but to build a stronger foundation for victims of Domestic Violence. Brigette became the very first Bilingual legal advocate of Family Assistance Program, helping victims with in both English and Spanish with: restraining orders, translating services, divorces, child support, custody, U Visas, safe at home and registering people for the Vine Program and conducting teen dating classes all over the high desert. During this time she found herself making a difference in people's lives and encouraging change.  It wasn't long before Brigette was approached by the courthouse with an opportunity to continue her paralegal work full time.

In 2010 Brigette resigned from Family Assistance Program and became a full time employee of the Riverside court house.  With a passion for the legal system Brigette was excited for her new career but it wasn't long before she felt like something was missing. "All the staff at Family Assistance Program felt like family, and even though I worked at the courthouse, I always volunteered with the agency." Brigette explained Family Assistance Program gave her a sense of home, and belonging. In 2011 Brigette was asked to come back to the agency as the Executive Assistant and she accepted without hesitation. "In my spare time I was always helping the agency anyway and I got something here that I just couldn't find anywhere else" said Brigette proudly.  As Executive Assistant she was exposed to new skills and built new relationships with community partners and board members. Over the time of having Brigette work with our agency, she has developed skills she would not have learned anywhere else. "I have Darryl to thank for the knowledge I now know and the opportunities he gave me."  After being on the waiting list for several years with the Probation Department, Brigette finally got accepted. Brigette was unsure of what to do at first and she knew she would have always regretted the decision if she would have turned down the position. In 2014, Brigette accepted the position of Probation Officer.

After a year of being a devoted Probation Officer, Brigette again found herself still connected to Family Assistance Program. "I always felt like God drew me here for some reason. I have left and always came back to my home," said Brigette. Brigette is now the Program Manager and will oversee all High Desert services the agency provides.  Brigette has become one of the most valuable and versatile staff members of the agency.  Brigette's goal is to be viewed as a leader and not a manager. "I want to take our team beyond what's expected of them and empower them to be successful at whatever it is they're best at." Family assistance Program is honored to have Brigette Gonzalez back and is excited for her new journey.

   
Volunteer Spotlight!    
By: Darryl Evey

Volunteer spotlight:  Jen Yaghoubian offers why she is a proud volunteer for the Open Door program.
 
" When I decided to become a Certified Human Trafficking Advocate, I was not sure where that would lead. My impetus was in becoming a more educated advocate for my students who are vulnerable and at high risk of being lured into the life of human trafficking.
 
From the start, this experience has been amazing. The training itself was informative and comprehensive. It provided me with facts, statistics and programmatic information from professionals and experts in fields such as mental health, social services and law enforcement, along with the valuable insight and education provided from survivors who are now advocates and educators. These women were able to bring their real life experience to the training that brought an invaluable authenticity.
 
That authenticity lent itself to my comfort level on the first day of outreach. I joined two of our survivor advocates and it was a great experience. I was so thrilled to find the positive reception of our support from the women on the street who are being trafficked. Some of the women recognized the advocates with whom I was out with and the connection was apparent. What I think I love most about my involvement in this outreach is the true advocacy for these women. The bags we hand out focus on providing something these women are able truly use to keep them safe and to establish trust, along with our business cards that provide the link to true support and advocacy. There is no judgment or pressure in this outreach process, but connections made and resources made available so these women know there is support to get out of "the game". I feel proud of my involvement, enjoy the experience and look forward to more opportunities to get involved in supporting the amazing work of Open Door and the Family Assistance Program."
 
Jen completed our Certified Human Trafficking Advocate training in August.  This consists of 40 hours of training on topics such as the history of prostitution, prosecution of pimps, the culture of pimping, how to maintain safe boundaries, trauma informed care, and many others.  After completing the training, certified advocates are asked to volunteer with street outreach, mentorship, working at events, or wherever they feel they most comfortable.
 
The current training has 40 people and is being hosted by the University of Redlands.  Future training's  will be at various locations across the county.  If you would like to join our team, contact Kinsey Lewis, our Volunteer Coordinator, at kinsey@familyassist.org to get added to our mailing list and be notified of future training's .


UPCOMING EVENTS


 
 Click Here To Print a Flyer!!


Click Here To Print a Flyer!!


Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse Challenge!




Family Assistance Program is one of 791 nonprofit domestic violence organizations across the country competing for $650,000 in grant money as a part of The Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse Challenge. The Challenge, an annual competition hosted on CrowdRise, is a public fundraising and awareness campaign that coincides with October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

This is the third time Family Assistance Program has competed in the Challenge, which last year raised nearly $3.1 million for 161 domestic violence organizations throughout the United States. Last year Family Assistance Program raised over $3,500 through CrowdRise - and they're hoping to build upon that success by topping that number in 2016. 

"It's important to raise awareness through the Purple Purse because most financially abused victims don't realize they are victims. Raising awareness shows them life changing services by giving them financial empowerment," said Brigette Gonzalez, Program Manager of Family Assistance Program. "

In its sixth year, the Purple Purse Challenge provides an opportunity for organizations that support domestic violence survivors to increase their donor base and push for vital funds. One-hundred percent of proceeds go toward nonprofits that provide life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families. 

Beginning this year, the Challenge will level the playing field by dividing partner organizations into two divisions based on organizational budget size - giving everyone a great shot at the $325,000 in grants awarded by The Allstate Foundation. 

In order to count toward an organization's total, donations must be received by Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. ET. Along with $115,000 in weekly bonus challenges, the organization in each division that raises the most money will receive a $100,000 grant; second place will receive $50,000; third place will win $25,000; fourth place earns $20,000; and fifth place will get $15,000. 

The Purple Purse Challenge is part of The Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse program, which aims to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through financial empowerment. In its 12th year, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has propelled more than 800,000 victims on the path to safety and security, and has invested more than $50 million to empower women to break free from abuse through life-changing financial education, job training and readiness and small business programs for survivors. 

CrowdRise Challenges are innovative fundraising competitions for charitable organizations designed to build capacity, create easy engagement and leverage the power of the crowd to provide new, meaningful funding streams for organizations in every sector. 

To help Family Assistance Program win The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, Click Here


A Celebration of Families Award Gala
 
It was an evening of enchanted mystery, where extraordinary families and individuals came together to celebrate the generosity found in our community; at our second annual "A Celebration of Families Award Gala" & Masquerade Ball. Family Assistance Program would like to thank everyone who helped us celebrate and recognize the everyday heroes of our community and their generosity. Not only did heroes get recognized, this event generated over $24,000 of funds to help victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, runaway/homeless youth, and to provide many more outreach services.  

The agency is fortunate to have such a supportive Board of Directors and staff whose presence helped our community sponsors feel gratified in their support of our agency.  Another big thank you is for our community partners and sponsors; without their continued support we would not be able to change so many lives. Also,  big thank you to Zeofill for their support of our gala and their continued support of the Open Door, our human trafficking program.  Brian and Leigh-Ann Pierce have been strong supporters of victims of human trafficking.Through the partnerships we build with our community members the stronger our agencies foundation becomes and we broaden our reach and help more families.

Working Together For The Better Of Our Community


Family Assistance Program takes pride in helping members of our community and that includes other agencies and businesses. Here are a few we have partnered with this month! 

BofA AWARDS $200K GRANT
Family Assistance Program chosen as 2014  Neighborhood Builder.
THE FAM SPOT
The Fam Spot opens doors to allow High Desert Youth access to resources.  Drop-in and Hang Out. Read More
JUNE 2016 NEWSLETTER
Thankful for the staff we have and all their hard work. 
Read More 

MAY 2016 NEWSLETTER
Reason for choosing Human Trafficking as our choice for donation.

VIDEO
2015 Family Award Winners' Stories. Watch


VIDEO
Watch Executive Director Darryl Evey discuss agency history and growth. #VisionaryLeadership.
  Watch

VIDEO
Watch one client's testimonial
A Message of Hope for Women on Probation
A Message of Hope for Women on Probation