The county of Los Angeles is divided into eight geographic areas, each one called a Service Provider Area or SPA for short. Geographically the Antelope Valley is called SPA-1. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s June, 2009 report, the Antelope Valley leads the county in many areas.
We have the most child abuse cases per capita, domestic violence cases, the highest number of smokers, and consequently the highest number of lung cancer deaths. SPA-1 leads the county in automobile accidents resulting in death. Children ages 0-17 years that have special health care needs are another area in which we have the highest numbers. Unfortunately we lead the county in diabetes death rate, stroke death rate for African Americans, Coronary heart disease death rate, and other areas that don’t speak well for the standard of living here.
In an effort to change this Grace Resource Center has been chosen to be the lead agency in the AV in a collaborative effort by county, faith-based, and community based organizations to help reduce child abuse in our region. Through this massive effort we have forged a powerful partnership with forty-four organizations in our region to fight against child abuse. Working closely with Supervisor Antonovich and our local DCFS offices we are making strides in reducing child abuse in the Antelope Valley.
This effort is called the child abuse Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project (PIDP). Bill Bennett was asked by Steve and the Board of Directors to come on staff as the grant coordinator and project director for this effort and has served in that capacity for the past two years.
Meeting real needs (sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way by the giving of services) with a touch of Grace, is what we do best. Fortunately, the root causes of hunger often mesh with the root causes of child abuse. Since we are already targeting those root causes we have a real chance to make a difference. You can help.
We provide a free life-management class called POWER. The name is an acronym. Personal growth, Order, Wisdom, Ethics, and Responsibility form that acronym. Students are taught about boundaries, gifts, talents, abilities, organizing skills, financial literacy, and anger management. Many of our graduates have gone on to school, or employment, and refer to this class as the catalyst that made a positive, permanent change in their lives. Gail Possart instructs this nine-week class.
Grace provides free computer classes. Beginning keyboarding and Computers in the Office provide our students with everything they need to become proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, editing text, and managing documents. Mary Wilson teaches this class and her students are ready to enter any office environment when they graduate.