By Leeane Knighton, Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE)
On a sunny afternoon in January of 2019, 17 representatives from the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District visited three Coordinated Entry System (CES) Access Points in Service Planning Area 3 (SPA 3), which covers the San Gabriel Valley. The group of school representatives included teachers and counselors, who throughout the 2018-2019 school year emailed over 30 referrals to Family Solutions Centers (FSCs). Due to the increasing amount of referrals, staff expressed interest in visiting the access centers to gain an understanding of how family shelters operate.
As a result, Union Station Family Solutions Center (USFSC), Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services (HSCFS), and Hillside’s Youth Moving On Peer Resource Center (HYMPRC) responded to this request by arranging a tour of their facilities. The school’s personnel were hosted by Michelle Garcia; associate director, at Union Station's FSC, Tyrone Friend; interim director, of the Youth CES at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, and Yessi Vasquez; peer resource center program manager, and Josh Mathieu; workforce development specialist of Youth Moving On Peer Center. Participants were able to learn about the services available to youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability such as storage areas for their belongings and meals.
While at Hillside’s Youth Moving On Peer Resource Center, staff welcomed the group and elaborated on the many ways that youth, ages 16-24, can benefit by participating in their programs. The center provides a variety of services such as career and education counseling, workforce development, life skills and money management classes, along with the physical and emotional supportive services available at the center such as computer stations, common areas, showers, and laundry facilities.
The tour concluded at the Union Station, where Michelle Garcia and Sarah Hoppmeyer provided insight on how CES is adopting county-wide protocols to engage youth in problem-solving strategies to remedy their housing stations and to guide the referral process to more intensive CES services.
Learn more about LACOE’s Student Services:
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is the nation's largest regional education agency. Under the leadership of Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo, LACOE supports 80 public school districts and numerous other agencies in ensuring educational excellence for the region's two million preschool and school-age children.