Housing picture
February 2015
Developer Partnerships Yield Major Results for Residents


LifeSTEPS is honored to have two amazing partnerships with developers that have delivered incredible results for their residents. In 2011 both the Partnership for HOPE (AMCAL) and the J.B. Brown Fund (USA Properties) were initiated. Both funds have grown significantly in terms of funding and impact.


The Partnership for HOPE

AMCAL HOPE Working with AMCAL to raise funds for academic scholarships, client assistance, youth development and employment development, the HOPE Fund has raised over $350,000 since 2011. During 2014 the fund was active and thriving, helping over 100 AMCAL residents experience a better quality of life.  Twenty-nine individuals received academic scholarships totaling $70,000.  Twenty-four families remained housed through $8,679 in client assistance and $6,116 supported 25 children in developing character and leadership skills.  


The impact of the fund has grown year-to-year. In 2014 the Partnership for HOPE was instrumental in promoting a GED completion project, while academic scholars moved closer to completing their education. During 2015 several scholars will graduate with 4-year degrees.


The J.B. Brown Fund

Since awarding its first scholarships in Fall 2011,the J.B. Brown Fund has grown substantially. During 2014 the fund doubled the number of academic scholarships awarded, and provided sports scholarships (registrations fees and equipment) to a record number of children. The fund focuses on academic scholarships, client assistance, sports scholarships for youth, and services for older adults.  Among those helped were 21 individuals that received $48,028 in academic scholarships.  Sports scholarships valued at $23,461 were awarded to 89 children.  Thirty nine older adults received  $10,359 in life-affirming assistance and 17 families (37 children) were economically stabilized through $6, 685 in client assistance. 


Through the vision of these pioneering partnerships and the tireless efforts of AMCAL, USA and LifeSTEPS employees, a world of hope has been created for hundreds of families throughout California. These partnerships are truly changing the world! 

Resident's United Network Begins to Organize                      


Empowerment. A united voice. Making a clear difference.


These are just some of the reasons affordable community residents have formed a statewide network, the Residents United Network (RUN). In a gathering of over 100 residents and nonprofit housing leaders held in Oakland on January 20, 2015, attendees were provided background information on the history of housing in California, were provided training in how to effectively organize, and formed a statewide structure.


Residents from communities served by LifeSTEPS were well represented, with a large contingency coming from Sacramento, and dedicated groups coming from Oakland and Los Angeles.


"This was great," says Verna Raphael, 87, a resident leader from Sacramento. "I love my home at Vintage Woods and I want to make sure other seniors have the same opportunity that I have had."


LifeSTEPS has taken a leadership role in the Residents United Network movement, having created a citizen engagement curriculum in 2013 and conducting citizen engagement classes at affordable communities throughout California.


"Affordable housing is important," says Beth Southorn, LifeSTEPS Executive Director. "In the debate over how to effectively make affordable housing an important priority, the residents themselves need to have a powerful voice. The RUN movement can accomplish this."


Residents are learning how to work effectively with local, state and federal authorities to ensure that affordable housing is given a strong voice.


Divided into five specific geographic regions - each with their own local priorities - the Sacramento group set two important objectives: 1) Work with affordable communities throughout the region to recruit more members and build a large base of support; and, 2) advocate at the local and state level for more money and resources be devoted toward the sustenance and development of affordable housing.


"We're just beginning," Verna said, "But we're willing to work hard to make sure everyone has a home."

Partnerships Create Opportunity


Since beginning our partnership with the Change a Life Foundation in 2009, LifeSTEPS has been awarded $358,265 on behalf of residents. These funds have been used to provide dental work, mobility chairs, medical procedures and equipment, childcare, gas and food cards and car repairs. When Trish at The Lodge at Morgan Hill found herself in need of eyeglasses, LifeSTEPS was able to assist with the purchase using funds from the CALF Organizational grant.


Trish is a woman of faith who enjoys reading the bible. She was in her 40s when she noticed her eyesight deteriorating. Eventually she was unable to read and she stopped cooking because she could no longer see the recipes. Trish misses these activities and to make matters worse, when she is tired or stressed her sight is even worse. Fortunately she has friends to help her sort through mail and read letters but she longed to read and cook and to text her grandchildren.


Being a generous woman, her poor vision has not stopped her from volunteering and contributing to her community. She participates regularly in LifeSTEPS activities and is friendly with the LifeSTEPS Social Worker at her site. When her social worker became aware of Trish's situation she applied for funding on her behalf so that Trish could get glasses. It appears that through the CALF Fund Trish's "prayer for a miracle" has been answered. In December this purchase was approved and Trish had her eyes evaluated and a prescription for glasses filled. Reading, cooking, sorting mail and using her cell phone will no longer be a burden for her. Being able to see is greatly enhancing Trish's life.


Opportunities like this are made possible through strong partnerships with foundations and individual and corporate donors. Thank you Change a Life!

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The mission of LifeSTEPS is to provide effective educational and supportive services to

maximize the strengths of individuals and build

resilient communities.  


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Fair Oaks CA  95628 

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