While I’m wrapping up year-end projects, packing away all the holiday decorations and adjusting to dating everything as 2019, the adage, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ keeps repeating in my head. I truly feel this year has been the perfect illustration of this phrase.
It is remarkable the amount of growth The Adult Skills Center (TASC) has seen in the past year. Yet with the growth, we continue to host fun parties and events for clients like our Talent Show, Basketball Tournament, trips to cultural locations throughout L.A., holiday parties, and engaging learning opportunities such as cooking classes and so much more.
As I mull over this past year, there are several big achievements to reflect on before moving into the New Year.
First of all, I am so thankful to all of our wonderful donors and family members for making this year’s Thank Y❤U Campaign a tremendous success. We raised over $10,000; triple the amount from last year. We were especially grateful for families of TASC who reached out to their friends and extended families to donate.
While this is a success for TASC, we must continue to increase outside funding from the Regional Center. This ensures TASC’s services are sustainable for years to come. I thank everyone who participated in this family-driven annual campaign and look forward to making it even more successful year after year.
In the New Year, we are offering a monthly donation option that can alleviate an end-of-year crunch for your budget and would better help TASC plan for monthly program expenses for our clients. Instead of $100 once a year, just $25 a month turns into $300 – tripling your impact on opportunities for our clients. Look out for an email on how to set this up in the coming weeks.
On the program side, November of 2019 will mark the third year of TASC’s award-winning, one-of-a-kind program in California: Specialized Therapeutic Services (STS). The program initially started with 15 clients, but after Regional Center saw the transformation our clients were making with a multi-disciplinary approach, the Regional Center begged us to increase the number of STS clients we serve. Currently, the program serves 34 clients. I am especially proud of this program because TASC was the first agency to take an innovative approach to working with individuals with significant mental health and behavioral challenges. We are now teaching other agencies across the state how to implement such a worthwhile program.
This past year, TASC has also pioneered a new employment program with the Regional Center to provide paid internship programs for clients in community businesses. When we first ventured into the employment realm, we had to create jobs for clients to gain work skills, like our Sunny Spot and the Snack-tion Packed Food Truck.
As our clients grew and honed their professional skills, they became ready to work in community businesses. Thanks to TASC’s heavy push for community integrated employment, our clients that are eligible now have paid internships at one of the following TASC community partners: Myke’s Café, Denny’s, Hope of the Valley, Princess P. Closet, Cali Fresh Mexican Grill, and Dave & Buster’s. In fact, our clients outgrew the Food Truck and we no longer have anyone to work there! If you happen to know anyone looking to buy a food truck, it’s currently for sale.
Providing employment services to our clients could not have been done without new relationships within the community, which has been a reenergized initiative for TASC. In the spring, we created two new departments to help with community relationships: Employment Services and Development & Communications.
Creating relationships in the community is vital to TASC’s sustainability whether through employment, funding, partnerships, resources, or legislative advocacy. During the last months of the year, we focused heavily on reaching out to legislators to push for rate reform, which affects the services and staffing for TASC. We held successful in-person meetings with Assemblymembers and Senators from various districts to get our messages across. I urge all of our families to support legislative advocacy in your own districts because it’s one of the most important ways to ensure funding isn’t cut for the services we provide to the men and women who attend TASC. Please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Christie Bacock, TASC’s Development and Communications Director (email@example.com) for ways that you can assist TASC in our legislative outreach.
Another area of growth for TASC is creating more opportunities for families to interact with one another and with TASC. We created the ‘Family TASC Force,’ that will continue to meet to discuss topics related to family members, provide resources and offer more ways to help TASC grow and to be sustainable. We’d like to invite more volunteers into TASC to help with projects, events and to be an extra help during client outings. If interested in becoming more involved, email Christie Bacock (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our Community Integrated Training and In-Home Services programs have also continued to grow allowing TASC to hire more staff and provide more support for clients. The In-Home Services department welcomed Howard Grossman as the new Director for the Independent Living Skills/Supported Living Services programs this year. This will allow TASC to leverage his experience and expertise to enhance TASC’s extremely successful and beneficial community services programs.
Looking to 2019, expect to see continued growth of our employment services for clients, including a renovation/expansion of the Sunny Spot. We're always looking for more employment opportunities for our clients. If you know an interested business, reach out to Johnny Palacios, TASC's Employment Services Coordinator (email@example.com).
Also, we’ve partnered with Sanctuary Animal Assisted Therapy to provide work and volunteer opportunities for our clients. Along with that, we have hired an LMFT Animal Assisted Therapist to provide additional therapeutic opportunities for our clients at the Sanctuary. We’ll host our annual events and outings such as the Basketball Tournament, Disneyland, Dodger Day, Movie Nights and more. We’re anticipating our most exciting Talent Show yet, with some changes to look out for in early 2019.
This is an exciting time to be a part of the TASC family and I am so glad to have you as a part of our journey. Here’s to a fantastic 2019!
TASC Executive Director
January 13, 2:00PM
Location: Chaminade College Preparatory School, Bob Hope Center Event: Winter Wonderland Dance
TASC clients are invited to participate in Chaminade High School's Winter dance for adults with special needs hosted by the school's Reach for the Stars Club. If interested in attending, RSVP to Christie Bacock (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Jan. 11 before 12PM. See more information from their flyer, click HERE.
January 23, 3:45PM
Location: 6851 Lennox Ave, Suite 300 Van Nuys, CA 91405 Event: Action Committee
TASC has partnered up with other Valley service providers to take legislative action as a community. All are welcome to join.