live / 2020
A place to live, a place to work, a place to belong.
Through increased volunteer mobilization, Kingdom Causes Bellflower will launch a life skills program called “Strong Neighbors” for homeless and low-income neighbors. The program will empower people through workshops with topics like money management, life transitions, outdoor survival, self-defense, waste management, employment and increasing income, authority interaction, organization of belongings, and property law. Classes will equip individuals with skills to help cope with life on the street, as well as increase preparedness for housing.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
- South LA
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
While this is being submitted by Kingdom Causes Bellflower (KCB), expertise will be solicited from area volunteers, other non-profit organizations, small businesses, churches, law enforcement and city leadership. In addition, this program will collaboratively promoted by local constituencies, and referrals for participation will be solicited from partner agencies.
What is the need you’re responding to?
People who struggle with homelessness face many barriers. These barriers include affordable housing, deficient job opportunities, addictions, mental health difficulties, and lack of supportive communities. Overcoming barriers often requires long-term solutions. While it is valuable to prioritize major obstacles, there is value in addressing practical lifestyle gaps. Life skills classes give neighbors a chance to discover new abilities and put knowledge towards individual growth. By addressing lifestyle and environment, residents build on their likelihood of success. The use of an expanded volunteer program increases the investment of broader society in community development. Transformation for our homeless and low-income neighbors will result in housing retention and increase their contribution to the community. The “Strong Neighbors” program will allow development of needed skills to obtain and retain housing, while providing support that cannot be fully offered by case management.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Kingdom Causes Bellflower (KCB) helps people get off the street, provides support services to those at risk of homelessness, creates pathways to sustainable work through social enterprise, and offers training and education to the community. KCB inspires, equips, and mobilizes hundreds of volunteers each year from churches, businesses, city leadership, service clubs, and other non-profit organizations. By balancing services, partnerships, and ongoing community dialogue, KCB maintains a philosophy that all of us are better than any of us. KCB dreams of a flourishing community where everyone has a place to live, a place to work, and a place to belong. KCB was founded in 2001 by residents who desired collaborative solutions to the tangible challenges facing low-income families. Today, KCB is an experienced homeless services provider but also utilizes existing neighborhood resources, facilitates strategic conversations, and seeks solutions that maximize community investment.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
The population served by Kingdom Causes Bellflower (KCB) is the low-income residents of Bellflower, California, though the organization also serves residents from surrounding cities in Los Angeles County. These cities include Artesia, Cerritos, Compton, Downey, Lynwood, Norwalk, and Paramount. Our proposal will provide practical, developmental skills for 150 individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. There will be 12 different educational opportunities, and emphasis will be placed on recruiting a diversity of volunteer facilitators, including formerly homeless individuals. The indirect impact will encompass the larger constituency of KCB, and include aspects of awareness and opportunities for volunteering.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Kingdom Causes Bellflower (KCB) has been mobilizing volunteers for many years, but that responsibility has often been shared by a number of staff members and other community individuals who give of their time. The goal of this proposal is to streamline and expand the volunteering process so that a comprehensive collection of training opportunities can be created, implemented, and evaluated for long-term effectiveness.
In 2019, KCB recruited, trained, and mobilized 279 volunteers, which included 2,078 hours of donated work. Since one industry standard (1) values the volunteer hour at $25.43, KCB leveraged almost $53,000 in savings for the organization in 2019. Volunteers play a vital role in supporting staff-driven programs and addressing the philosophy of KCB that long-term development must be embraced and owned by the entire community. Success for this program would be measured by seeing 12 educational opportunities planned and implemented in 2020 and 2021. Written and verbal feedback will be solicited from both facilitators and participants. Attendees will be offered additional opportunities for support, and their participation in the program will be correlated with case management metrics as appropriate, including housing and employment. Success for the volunteer mobilization aspect of this program will be for KCB to see an increase of volunteers from 270 to 350. This increase in volunteers will provide additional evidence of community involvement in the support of at-risk neighbors.
Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?
- Housing affordability
- Resilient communities
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Communications support
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation