Newsletter @es » April 2008 Newsletter

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Message from the CEO

I take great pleasure in sending you this e-newsletter. Good communications whether among family members, friends, business associates, or nations always help broaden our knowledge and resources. For the past 30 years AYUDA has been helping the citizens of Miami Dade, that is, parents, children, youth, and families who are underserved and disadvantaged. AYUDA helps them overcome their problems and become self-sufficient. Whether they are juveniles who are first time offenders, parents at risk of abusing or neglecting their children, or elderly needing homemaker services, AYUDA is there to help.

AYUDA is an established provider of culturally competent services to the community in an effort to help first time misdemeanor offenders 12-18 years of age. Activities for self-esteem enhancement and positive conflict resolution skills, communication skills, parenting skills, counseling, tutoring and ESOL classes for at-risk high school students, among other life strengthening skills are provided. AYUDA also serves teenage girls through Girls Reach High, which is a leadership program that helps young women 13 to 18 years of age create a positive future for themselves, their neighbors, and their community, by improving their self-esteem, creating the desire for change and growth.

In order to continue providing these services, additional resources should be available for the agency. This year The Alliance for Human Services has cut AYUDA’S funding by 15% and, unfortunately, the Women’s Fund cut 100% of the funds for the Girls Reach High Program.

Parent’s NOW! – Miami Beach

The Parent’s Now! program in Miami Beach consists of home visits, psycho-educational groups, and community networking to empower and enrich at-risk families of children 0-8 years of age. Parents are taught about brain development, parenting skills, communication skills, reading to children, family meetings, conflict resolution, community services, good nutrition, quality use of free time, and support and buddy systems among the families. Additionally, speaker workshops are prepared for their cultural enhancement. This program is for the residents of the City of Miami Beach. Parent’s Now! has been funded for 9 years by the Alliance for Human Services. This parenting skills and child abuse and neglect program saves the Miami Beach community hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs and DCF funds when children are not cared for properly. This program only serves the Miami Beach community with Alliance for Human Services dollars. The contracted number of clients last year was 25 and AYUDA actually exceeded that number and served 35 families with children ages 0-3.

For fiscal year ’06 – ’07 we were funded $41,000. However, for fiscal year ’07 – ’08 we were only granted $34,850, equivalent to a 15% cut ($6,150). AYUDA needs $6,150 to restore services to last year’s level.

Parents NOW! – Overtown

The Parents Now! program in Overtown was directed towards parents with children 0-3 years of age. It focused on prevention of child abuse and neglect through education and life skills training. Some of the topics covered included but were not limited to brain development, parenting skills, communication skills, reading to children, family meetings, conflict resolution, and quality use of free time. The Parents Now! Program in Overtown was funded by the Dade Community Foundation. The Dade Community Foundation funded AYUDA’s Parents NOW! – Overtown for three years with a budget of $50,000 per year. Fiscal year ’06 – ’07 AYUDA was required to serve 25 clients and we actually exceeded the required number of clients to be served. Starting fiscal year ’07 – ’08 no funding was available for this program despite the interest shown by the Overtown population.

Girls Reach High

Girls Reach High is a leadership program directed to help teenage girls 13 to 18 years of age. The program focuses on personal and professional development through the use of individual and group therapy. An emphasis is placed on creating a positive future for the teens, their neighbors, and their community. The program further aims to improve the girls’ self-esteem by creating the desire for change and growth. This is accomplished by setting clearly defined career goals, stopping misbehavior, and increasing self and social responsibility. The program is implemented throughout the year so the girls will be able to accomplish the goals at their own pace. This program is held in Miami Beach.

The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County funded this program for the past 3 years and AYUDA served over 70 teenage girls during this period. This year the Women’s Fund cut 100% funding for the Girls Reach High program. By the end of December 2007 no funding was available for this program. Girls Reach High is running with the minimum funds AYUDA has available and the help of good natured counselors. If funding is not provided, AYUDA will have to close the program soon and these girls would be left without the space to express their concerns and share their emotions with a professional.

Family Empowerment

Family Empowerment is a program designed to help first time misdemeanor offenders 9-18 years of age. We teach families, in a psycho-educational group setting, how to enhance their communication skills, positively resolve conflicts, anger management skills, and learn self-esteem enhancement skills, among others. We serve families in the Miami Beach, Hialeah, and Overtown areas.

Family Empowerment has been funded for the past 9 nine years by the Alliance for Human Services. Fiscal year ’06 – ’07 AYUDA received a budget of $95,000; however fiscal year ’07 – ’08 AYUDA was only granted $80,750 which is 15% less. This program is supposed to serve 73 clients. Family Empowerment has exceeded this number way beyond in an effort to help these young people and last fiscal year served a total of 108 clients.

Miami Beach Police Department Donated $10,000

AYUDA’s Family Empowerment Program has recently undergone a budget cut of 15% and in order to help keep the program running at its full potential the Miami Beach Police Department has donated $10,000. The Family Empowerment Program is designed to help first time misdemeanor offenders 9-18 years of age. AYUDA counselors teach youth and their families. in a psycho-educational group setting, how to enhance their communication skills, positively resolve conflicts, anger management skills, and learn self-esteem enhancement skills, among others. In an effort to help this population at its most, AYUDA also offers Tutoring services for basic skills, and ESOL classes for at-risk high school students. The $10,000 donated by the Miami Beach Police Department are earmarked to serve youth and families residing in Miami Beach. Chief Carlos Noriega is an avid advocate for our City’s youth and a huge supporter of programs such as AYUDA’s which he vowed to keep running because the program helps teens succeed in life and keeps them from returning to the judicial system.  Chief Carlos Noriega presented this generous donation to AYUDA’s President and CEO Luis de Jesus on behalf of the Miami Beach Police Department on February 28, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. in his office at 1100 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, Fl 33141

Elderly Advocacy & Support – Overtown

The Overtown Elderly Services Program provides social services to persons age 60 and over who reside in Overtown. The goals of the program are to assist elders in maintaining their independence in their community; to provide caregivers with assistance and relief in order to continue providing care; and to improve the nutritional status of the elderly. The services that are provided to the elderly include:

  • Assessments and referrals to community resources
  • Service plans for short-term and long-term goals
  • Case management
  • Homemaker services for the frailest of elderly clients

The program has been funded by the Miami-Dade County Alliance for Human Services for the past 6 years. For fiscal year 2006 – 2007 AYUDA’s budget was $50,000. The Alliance for Human Services required 25 clients to be served. AYUDA actually exceeded the required number of clients to be served. For fiscal year 2007 – 2008 we requested the same amount, nevertheless we were only granted $42,500, which is 15% less.

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