Programs & Services
LifeSTEPS’ professional social service staff provide a wide variety of programs and services, depending on the needs of each senior or multifamily community. Our services meet all state and federal social service requirements for affordable housing communities. The combination of individual services and community-wide programs enable us to help build strong, vibrant and resilient residential communities.
LifeSTEPS clients are made up of many races, nationalities, and cultures, yet their most basic and greatest needs are the same. We work to partner with local agencies such as food banks, super markets, and faith based organizations to bring hunger relief to families in need.
To the best of our ability we utilize standard methods of fundraising, including grant requests, individual donor solicitation, and community events, to raise emergency assistance funds. As an organization, we are dedicated to consistently pursing funding partnerships that will help our clients maintain housing while learning life skills that help them to reach their potential in life.
LifeSTEPS programs include:
- Emergency Assistance
- Case Management
- Educational Classes
- After School Programs
- Senior Services
- Social and Community Participation Programs
- Volunteer Programs
- Resource Information
- United Outreach Supportive Housing
We also have several special initiatives, including:
Emergency Assistance Program
LifeSTEPS provides case management to families in crisis, but without a reliable safety net, some families will experience loss of housing. Our agency has secured funding from private donors, foundations and corporations which is being used to stabilize and prevent loss of housing for residents.
These funds allow our agency to provide emergency short-term financial assistance to seniors, individuals and families who are experiencing a crisis like a job loss, unexpected illness, or some other event that could place their housing at risk.
When LifeSTEPS provides a short-term financial intervention, the resident is required to attend our 6-month Financial Management & Literacy program. By requiring this, we empower the resident to learn basic financial management skills that help them avoid future crises.
Case management provides one-on-one professional assistance for real life problems. Our social workers are at the property throughout the month and also maintain a schedule for appointments or drop-in assistance. In addition, residents and property managers can reach the social worker for their property by phone anytime during the week.
Referrals may be made when an at-risk resident is identified, or residents can request support directly when issues arise. Once residents get to know LifeSTEPS, they often refer their neighbors for help.
Depending on an individual resident’s needs, our social workers provide means for financial assistance, crisis intervention, and in-home supportive services. Case management can also include contacting other service-oriented nonprofits and government agencies on a resident’s behalf.
Important components of case management include realistic feedback, emotional support, and active listening for residents in distress.
Case management services includes assistance in:
- Obtaining medical equipment
- Understanding health care options
- Completion of forms for MediCal, food stamps, insurance, or Social Security
- Helping mentally ill residents manage day-to-day needs
- Collaborating with family to determine the appropriate level of care for seniors
We also provide:
- Door-to-door resident visits and assessments
- Evaluating a senior for dementia
- Grief counseling
- Investigations of possible domestic violence
- Obtaining in-home assistance for elderly residents recovering from illnesses
- One-on-one assistance with resumes and job seeking
- Parental assistance
- Family intervention for out of control youth
- Food bank commodities and other emergency food assistance
- Education of residents in how to apply for discounted utilities
- Document translation and providing other bi-lingual support
Depending on the needs and interests of the members of each community, LifeSTEPS provides a wide variety of on-site educational opportunities. Classes are taught by LifeSTEPS employees, supervised volunteers, and partner agencies invited to the properties by LifeSTEPS.
LifeSTEPS has established a proprietary curriculum for three-month classes in core areas. Other classes are taught within one- to three-session workshops. Examples of educational classes are:
- Computer Skills
- Disaster Preparedness
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Exercise and Dance for All Ages and Abilities
- Healthy Living: Nutrition and Managing Chronic Illnesses
- How to Advocate For Your Children
How to Control Your Finances
- Job Search Workshops
- Job Skills 101: Getting and Keeping a Job
- Kids Can Be Safe
- Nurturing Your Children
- Red Cross First Aid
- Successful Aging
- How to be a Community Leader
After School Programs
Focusing on the hours between 3:00 and 6:00 pm, after school activities help children succeed in school and build positive social skills. Importantly, they also provide a constructive alternative to unsupervised activities for at-risk youth and a safe place for children to explore their creativity. After school programs also encourage parents to join in.
After school programs range from homework clubs, milk and cookies, arts and crafts, supervised free play time, and age-appropriate instruction in remedial life skills. After school classes may also include environmental education and volunteer opportunities such as cleanup days, which give children pride in their communities.
When possible, LifeSTEPS’ staff partner with local school districts in order to provide activities that complement the school curriculum and establish communication with guidance counselors and teachers in order to better serve individual children.
Active seniors have much to offer within their communities. With encouragement, seniors are often eager to volunteer in supporting other residents. Senior services include “friendly visiting” by LifeSTEPS social workers, a means for staff to provide a sympathetic ear for a resident who is troubled, lonely, or suffering from serious health problems. Our staff makes every effort to involve adult children and other family members in providing emotional support for senior residents.
LifeSTEPS seeks resident input in developing tailored activities. With many Social and Community activities and Educational Classes appropriate for seniors scheduled throughout the month, we are able to meet the varied interests of the residents. Activities are especially important in senior communities, reducing isolation and giving residents the means to retain a sense of pride and independence while building a strong, mutually supportive community.
Unresolved disputes between neighbors can leave a property manager with no alternative but to evict both parties. LifeSTEPS has developed a highly effective mediation model that provides residents with a way to air and resolve their differences while maintaining their housing. Under the guidance of a trained LifeSTEPS social worker, residents take an active part in the mediation process by taking responsibility for finding and adhering to a solution.
This experience empowers residents and teaches valuable life skills while resolving the issue at hand. When needed, LifeSTEPS social workers can also mediate disputes between residents and property managers.
Social & Community Participation Programs
In addition to social services, the social worker develops appropriate learning and social activities at each community.
By fostering social activities, LifeSTEPS and supportive property management staff help communities build a network of support among the residents. When neighbors know each other, they are able to turn to each other when they need help.
A monthly newsletter produced by property managers, or at some locations LifeSTEPS staff, is a resource for residents to learn about upcoming activities, classes, and services.
Social Programs Include:
- Birthday Celebrations
- Day Trips
- Hobby Classes
- Holiday Celebrations
- Neighborhood Watch
- Resident Meetings
LifeSTEPS recruits talented, dedicated volunteers to provide skilled support. Volunteers help at events such as block parties, community dinners, and holiday celebrations, activities such as art classes and bingo, and educational classes. Volunteers are carefully selected and screened, and those who work with children undergo a Department of Justice background check.
Many of our clients give back by volunteering within their own communities. For instance, parent volunteers often assist at homework clubs and craft projects. Our volunteer program not only results in more help for residents, but also allows resident volunteers to develop skills, experience and confidence that can be used in finding employment opportunities and advancement.
Everyone on the LifeSTEPS staff is expert in developing links to resources in the greater community. Rather than duplicating existing services, LifeSTEPS collaborates with other dedicated nonprofits and government agencies to bring essential services to our clients.
We promote independence for residents by helping them identify appropriate community resources and teaching them how to make contact, complete necessary forms, and follow up. If a resident is incapable of completing the necessary tasks, we actively assist them in the process.
Community resources include:
- Caregiver Registries
- Child and Adult Day Care
- Employment Opportunities
- Faith Based Organizations
- Family Resource Centers
- Food Banks
- Government Agencies
- Health Care Providers
- Health Insurance Counseling
- Advocacy Programs
- Home Delivered Meals
- Hospice Care
- Housing Assistance Programs
- Immigration and Legalization Services
- Law Enforcement and Protective Services
- Referrals for Legal Assistance
- Rehabilitation Programs
- Senior Centers
- Senior Employment Programs
- Transportation Options
- Tutoring Programs
- Youth Parks and Recreation Program