“My name is Danny R. I am a resident of WestCare MLK. I have volunteered for Project Liftoff, WINGS Fresno, Robert Golden’s ‘Believe and Achieve’ Football Clinic sponsored by KYJO, the 2016 North American Pole Vaulting Association (NAPVA) Championship and most recently, I volunteered my time for a no kill animal rescue center.
I have been assisting at this facility for four weeks and all that I can say is how happy and grateful I am to be given the chance by WestCare and the remarkable people at this rescue center, whom have given me an opportunity to help and heal not only these animals, but myself. You see, I know the feeling of being locked away in a cage. I know the feeling of being lonely, scared, away from my loved ones and many times without hope. 36 years of experience. 36 years of not seeing a sunrise; being without my family and not being able to touch and play with a dog or a cat. The volunteer work at this rescue center was only a dream I had often dreamed about. Now, I get up early every morning to watch and enjoy that sunrise, I am in touch with my family every day and I get the gift of petting , playing with and taking care of these dogs and cats. Why do I do it? As a former Marine, I’m familiar with hard work, dedication, determination and the courage to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves (In this case, the rescued dogs and cats).
There is a lot to be done here at the no kill rescue center. I know what it’s like to be caged up, to feel unwanted, unloved and only hoping that someone would give me a second chance; so it’s gratifying to me to help these animals and to be able to give back to society, whom I’ve taken so much from. It is hard having to live with the knowledge that in one moment in time, my careless behavior affected so many people in a negative and ugly way. It is hard having to live with the knowledge that I could never undo the terrible act I committed. I live each day knowing that I have a debt that I can’t ever repay in this lifetime. I humbly apologize to every person I hurt with my destructive behavior…..I humbly apologize to society for the negative impact I placed into their lives with my senseless act.
There is a small staff at the rescue center and all volunteer work is appreciated. I guess you can say it’s been a long time since I’ve been appreciated for my kindness, gentleness and my willingness to give to others in need. However, today and everyday that I volunteer at this dog and cat rescue center, I feel appreciation by the animals and other volunteer members.
My scars – my loneliness heals with everyday that I volunteer and I can only pray that the love and compassion that I bring to these animals will heal their pain and loneliness.”
JUST ONE FRIEND
If life gives only one true friend
One who is faithful to the end,
Then life has given more than gold
The greatest joy a heart can hold.
If just one friend is sure to share
To understand, believe and care,
Then life is sweet, complete and true,
to have just one friend like you.
ADOPT A PET, THEY BECOME A TRUE FRIEND…..
– Danny R.
Our staff, our clients, our supporters, our collaborative partners and our friends! We are Thankful for all of you! We will never take for granted all of the love, support and memories you have given us over the years and the lessons that you teach us everyday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and please enjoy these stories from three of our WestCare family programs!
11/20 – Holiday Luncheon at Turtle Lodge
WestCare staff Jeff Estes and Annette Ortega took five clients to celebrate their Native American heritage at a holiday luncheon hosted by Turtle Lodge. There was drumming, good food, old and new friends and plenty of fun to be had that day. Andrea N. got down and dirty during the cherry pie eating contest even though she did not finish her pie first, she gave it a valiant effort. All WestCare clients and staff who attended took a new unwrapped toy to donate to the Toys 4 Tots drive being held there. It was great time for both the clients and the staff.
11/24 – The Living Room Thanks Volunteers and Donors with a Thanksgiving Luncheon and Gives Back
Staff at the Living Room held a Thanksgiving luncheon to say thanks to their volunteers from MAC Cosmetics who have given their time at The Living Room and to donors and community partners from the Imperial Dove Court who have shown their support throughout the years. After the meal, the remaining food was served to over 60 homeless individuals on Belmont Avenue!
11/24 – SJVV Fresno Thanks Their Veterans with a Thanksgiving Luncheon
Staff at SJVV Fresno took the time out of their day to prepare a meal for the veterans that they serve to show just how thankful they are of everything that they have done in their time with the armed services. In all, the staff served over 75 veterans!
For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.
WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents, and families.
“Crystal was brought to MAP Point by Tasha Marin at Fresno EOC. Fresno EOC paid for a hotel stay for Crystal and her six year old niece, whom she legally adopted because her mother could no longer care for her. Crystal had been out of work for a long period of time and was just trying to make a better life for her and her niece. Sara Rios of WestCare California was Crystal’s point of contact at MAP Point. Sara scheduled an intake with the ESG program and that’s where i stepped in to help the ESG case managers and completed the intake process for them! Crystal was a very special case because she was handed over to the amazing team (Tasha Marin and Sara Rios). With that being said, Crystal secured housing and came to MAP Point document ready. All that Crystal needed was a little help by caring people and assistance with a deposit. We were able to sign documents with the apartment complex the very next day and move her in that same day! Crystal was so excited, as you can see by the gorgeous smile on her face. She is settling into her new apartment and is so very grateful for the amazing work that the team has done for her and her niece.”
– Erin Shelton, Case Manager, Housing Opportunities
WestCare California focuses on providing critical and quality services to assist individuals and/or families to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. Programs such as Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and Project LiftOFF provide housing and address the multiple needs of homeless adults & their children. WestCare uses the Housing First Model which has proven that homeless and at-risk individuals are more responsive to interventions and social services support after they are housed, rather than as a precondition of housing.
Multi-Agency Access Program (MAP) is an integrated intake process which connects individuals facing housing, substance abuse, physical health, or mental illness challenges to supportive services matching individuals and families to the right resources at the right time. This is accomplished through an established and formalized collaboration of service providers, leveraging existing community resources, eliminating barriers and assisting consumer’s access supportive services.
“Keep a positive outlook in everything you go through.
Find the good in the bad. Attitude is everything. I find
myself being humbled when I hear people complain
about their shoes when I see a person with no legs. Life is
how you look at it. I feel blessed when I see the good in
the bad. The other day as I was getting off the bus, I saw a
blind man smiling. He said, ‘Hello’, so I said hi. The blind
man said, ‘Today is nice, the weather is great, I can smell
the air.’ At that moment, I looked around once more and
found awesome. People, let me tell you. Going there, I
can’t tell how to get there. But, having been there, I can
tell how to get there. Listen to your heart. We all know
what we have to do. Life is a cycle. Enjoy it. Live in the
moment and you too will find awesome.
On June 30, 2015, participants from the LiveSMART “Eating Smart, Being Active” nutrition class at Parc Grove Commons had the opportunity to attend a day at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The purpose of the event was to engage the families in physical activity as part of the program.
The zoo provided the parents and children with an array of fun activities that even in the scorching hot sun, the kids did not want to leave.
The children were excited to learn how stingrays and small sharks live and function in the sea.
Every week for the past couple of months, residents at Parc Grove have had the opportunity to receive nutrition workshops varying from meal planning to healthy recipes. The goal is to provide low-income families information about food choices for healthy lifestyles and reducing the risk of chronic diseases, safe food handling, storage and preparation and making the most of resources to feed the family.
Not only are the participants from the LiveSMART nutrition classes learning how to change their family’s meal plans, but they are also learning how to engage in physical activity as a family.
We look forward to sharing the future fun activities the program has planned in the next couple of months!
The program is administered by WestCare California and the University of California Cooperative Extension through a generous grant made possible by Kaiser Permanente.