Residents and organizations are helping one another to live well by improving the appearance and safety of neighborhoods, building community resilience in times of disaster, and mentoring youth to strengthen the next generation. Through collective efforts, organizations are transforming community spaces and creating clean and safe neighborhoods that move the Live Well San Diego Indicators for Security, Physical Environment and Built Environment in a positive direction. These changes increase community engagement and neighborhood pride and will ensure the region will continue to thrive well into the future.
Oceanside Unified High School students from the Academy of Justice, Health Academy, and Education Academy pathways teamed up with Tri-City Hospital, Oceanside Police Department, and the Oceanside Fire Department to simulate a city wide emergency and respond to a zombie apocalypse!
The City Heights Community Development Corporation supported local artist Haadi Mohamed and project manager Ahmed Malinomar to lead a team of local youth to create a 250-foot mural at a community space in the neighborhood of City Height’s Little East Africa, the first formally permitted, community-driven placemaking project in the City of San Diego.
Every week, mentors from Boys to Men Mentoring show up at middle schools, high schools and community centers to give teenage boys a community of men who listen, encourage and empower them; giving them a variety of positive male role models who support them when they make mistakes and encourage them to become the men they want to be.
Women are transforming their lives from domestic violence, homelessness and other major challenges by participating in the Leap to Confidence program by Leap to Success which celebrated their 50th graduation last year.
SUCCESS STORIES INFLUENCING COMMUNITY
A partnership between Community Health Improvement Partners, the Lemon Grove HEAL Zone, Kaiser Permanente and the City of Lemon Grove brought over 1,000 Lemon Grove residents together to create community transformations, including local park improvements, healthy city and school policy changes and gardening and nutrition education programs to positively impact the health and safety of residents.
As part of its national Thrive Outside Community Initiative, the Outdoor Foundation has awarded a multi-year grant of $410,000 to The San Diego Foundation and a network of regional partners such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, County of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, Outdoor Outreach , YMCA of San Diego County and the Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego, to support capacity building that will strengthen local partnerships, as well as create repeat and reinforcing positive outdoor experiences for youth and families.
In celebration of Bike Month in May, SANDAG has awarded 20 GO by BIKE Mini-Grants to Beautiful PB, City Heights Community Development Corporation , City of Chula Vista , City of Coronado , City of El Cajon , City of Encinitas , City of La Mesa , Outdoor Outreach , San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, and the Urban Collaborative Project to fund events that encourage biking, including a variety of bike rides, tours, rodeos, scavenger hunts, and even bike-in movies, as well as bike education, safety and maintenance activities.
The San Diego County Probation Department reduced the youth arrest rate by 76% in San Diego County between 2008 and 2017 (reported in April 2019) by transforming its treatment model and practices in the juvenile justice system, including the use of alternative sentencing keeping youth out of custody and in their communities with rehabilitation services.
Students in the Cajon Valley Union School District are learning how to stand up to bullying with the help of an interactive play called Safa’s Story which was delivered to approximately 3,000 students with more than 400 students joining the actors on stage to rewrite some of the most difficult scenes using improvisation.
The City of Oceanside won the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors’ 2018 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies for prohibiting stores within the city from selling synthetic drugs, an effort supported by the North Coastal Prevention Coalition whose members include the American Heart Association, City of Carlsbad , Carlsbad Unified School District , County of San Diego , City of Oceanside , Oceanside Unified School District , Vista Community Clinic and Vista Unified School District.
After the Chabad of Poway shooting, Jewish Family Service of San Diego brought strength to the San Diego Community by providing safe spaces to process and discuss people’s complex emotions, connecting 22 people to trauma counselors and partnering with the Anti-Defamation League to bring 4,000 people together for a vigil filled with healing and hope.
The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma promoted violence-free living by training 4,000 professionals, providing 1,200 hours of trauma-focused therapeutic services and publishing 26 academic journals geared towards improving the quality of life for individuals on local, national and international levels.
MAKING IMPACT PERSONAL
Crystal has been an SDG&E employee for 15 years and an I Love A Clean San Diego Coastal Cleanup Day site captain for close to 10 years. She can always be counted on to go wherever there is a need, and Coastal Cleanup Day has led her on expeditions to Encanto, Poway, Golden Hill, and Rancho Bernardo, among other places.
In her day job, Crystal works at SDG&E’s Environmental Lab, which does environmental sampling and test analyses. The Lab is certified to test for more than 500 chemical compounds, ensuring that SDG&E facilities are operating safely.
In Crystal’s decade of service at Coastal Cleanup Day, she says her favorite part of the annual volunteer event is seeing kids’ enthusiasm when they find a strange piece of trash. Whether it’s a shoe, a stuffed animal, or even a bathroom scale, kids often burst with excitement recounting where and how they found it, and in some instances, even make up stories for what they think the item is. It’s like trash show-and-tell.
SDG&E and I Love A Clean San Diego are lucky to have folks like Crystal committed to ensuring a safe and successful cleanup for volunteers of all ages.
Melanie came to Crisis House as a mother of five children from Washington State. She had spent years with an abusive partner and finally left when he set fire to her vehicle with her and her children inside of it. Melanie and her son were hospitalized, and her husband was incarcerated. When they were discharged, Melanie and her children spent 16 days living in a motel. She was out of money, and her only option was living on the streets. That is when Melanie found Crisis House.
When Melanie tells her story, she is often emotional because she can't imagine putting her children in yet another dangerous and unstable situation. She loves them and they depend on her and without Crisis House she does not know where her and her family would be.
Families like Melanie’s are why Crisis House does the work they do. She came to the organization when she was afraid. She felt she had no options. When she entered the transitional housing program, she studied and quickly received her beautician's license and began working. She then applied to and was awarded the "Live our Dream" scholarship from Soroptimist International of Poway and North San Diego. With the help of this scholarship, Melanie completed her course requirements and received an Associate's Degree. She also graduated into permanent housing.
Her kids are safe and thriving. The whole family stays connected by attending Crisis House's family-friendly events and support groups. Today, Melanie wants to help Crisis House obtain the resources to help more women like her. She speaks on behalf of the organization to donors, volunteers, and members of the business community. Melanie is a survivor. Her story is an inspiration to us all. Crisis House is truly grateful to be able to impact the lives of women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence.
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