By Christina Ledesma
La Habra Journal
During this time of year it is important for all us to remember to give back to others during this holiday season.
With that in mind, it is also important at this time to recognize those who give to others all year round. The La Habra Family Resource Center has been offering its services to families in the community since 1998.
First funded by the La Habra City School District, the Institute of Healthcare Advancement took over the center’s funding and has been operating the center since 2004.
The La Habra Family Resource Center is funded by FaCT (Family and Communities Together) Program, a partnership between the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and County of Orange Social Services Agency. FaCT is a network of 12 family resource centers in Orange County that all work together to support and strengthen the lives of children and families.
Helen Acevez the manger at the La Habra Family Resource Center said that the purpose of this funded network is for promoting safe and stable families.
“It’s basically child abuse prevention practices,” Acevez says. “So we’re here to protect children and families mostly through prevention and early intervention practices. So what we do here in order to do that, we offer at risk services to families in the community, so we serve La Habra and surrounding communities.”
The services at the La Habra Family Resource Center are to help at-risk and low-income families and provide them with what they need.
They offer free counseling and legal services, and on-site, services to apply for food stamps, Medi-Cal and health insurance, and parent education classes.
Another program that is available on site is their Health Access Promotion Program, which is funded by the Raise Foundation.
See FRC Page 9
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It is a health based program that works with families with children from infants to 3 years old, pregnant mother’s and pregnant teens.
With the help of the Olive Crest organization they also provide support groups for adoptive, foster and kinship caregivers.
“The purpose of the Family Resource Center and what I want people to get out of this is that this is a one stop shop. This is a place that they can come if they need resources. We have a lot of great non-profit organizations in La Habra and a lot of support here and that’s what’s great about this city, is the amount of support that we have and that these families have.”
The Family Resource Center links families to other resources and makes sure that they are connected. They work very closely with other non-profit organizations in the La Habra area such as The Gary Center, Boys and Girls Club, and Life Center.
With the economic problems that started three years ago, there has been an increase in the number of families using the Family Resource Center services.
The La Habra Family Resource Center also provides short and long term case management service for those families or individuals who are in need of more guidance. They provide short to long term services from anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
Lucia Padilla and her family are one of the families that have used the La Habra Family Resource Center. Acevez said that the Padilla family is an example of what she would like to see from other families that come to the center. The Padilla family has done a wonderful job following through with the services provided for them at the Family Resource Center and our now advocating for their community.
“When Lucia comes in she is a part of this family. The reason why I am really proud of them is because they are now leader’s of this community. We have a leadership group here called the La Habra Action Council; it’s a small grant that I have that allows us to work with the community to help them through policy and advocacy. So they make change in the community. They look at different areas of this community and see what they can do to improve.”
Patty Herrera has been Padilla’s case manager at the Family Resource Center; she said that there are no words to describe the amazing feeling she has when she sees her client’s success and how grateful the family is for the services that the center has provided for them.
“I think there are no words to express the feeling how this center can assist someone finding the light. Some of these families feel like there’s the end of the tunnel and there’s nowhere to go. And when I see that there working so hard on getting better and it’s just us giving them some guidance to move along and find what they’re looking for.”
This holiday season the La Habra Family Resource Center will be holding is first ever Christmas Gift Wrapping Fundraiser on December 15, from 9 a.m.-3p.m., to help support their programs and services. They will be wrapping presents for a small donation and will also be providing a bake sale, raffles, prizes, kid’s activities and information about the Family Resource Center.
Acevez goals for fundraising are not only to sustain the Family Resource Center for the next upcoming years, but to also provide more programs that the community will benefit from.
“We want to start a new teen support program, we have a lot of at risk teens that we work with and we don’t have any one individual or case manger to work specifically with teens. That is my vision, my dream.”