LIFT-LA’s State of the Union

By LIFT on February 21, 2013

Categories: Our Work

LIFT-LA has been open since January 28! It has been a roller coaster so far, but we are very lucky to have such an amazing founding cohort, diligent staff members and supportive sister offices across the nation.

Our first New Volunteer Training was a packed weekend. Despite the glitches during the training and tight schedule, our first NVT ran smoothly and was truly inspiring. The staff members and some colleagues from the East Coast offices (Anisha, Heather and Macharia), were all hustling and bustling to prep for the training. There was a lot of nervous excitement, but the training went really well. We have recruited a small but mighty cohort of volunteers who are filled with so much passion and drive to positively affect our communities. We have some graduate students, an Iraq war veteran, a single mother, a business owner, and some college students. It’s a really diverse bunch as each one brings a different experience to our discussions. With the vibrant perspectives each advocate brings in and their intense passion to help their communities, we were all ready to hit the ground running with client service once training ended.

When we opened our doors on January 28th, our advocates were eager to get started and work with community members. So far, our advocates are busy with client appointments, ongoing trainings and helping us populate our website with partner agencies. Because we are collocated with so many other wonderful organizations, a lot of our clients pass by our offices, ask us who we are, and then schedule an appointment. It’s great!

Speaking of our clients, we noticed we have a steady flow of Spanish-speaking clients, which means our Spanish-speaking advocates always have a busy schedule. This isn’t a total surprise given the demographics of Los Angeles and the community our office is located in.  However, our ongoing recruitment and community outreach efforts continue on and we will begin implementing different strategies to increase our English speaking and bilingual clients.

We are happy to report our early success stories.  One of our clients, Marelyn, just finished her first resume and cover letter. In fact, Marelyn is our FIRST client ever. She has been coming to our offices even before opening day, asking us when she could use our services. During the morning of opening  day, she came in, we did intake and started working on her goals. When she first came to our office she was extremely stressed with her situation. She feared her son would lose his college scholarship forcing him to drop out. She feared not being able to pay his school loans, and she also feared not having enough basic needs in their home. After identifying what she wanted and needed to reach a state of economic stability, she chose to find a better job.  Our advocate Jacqueline helped her complete her first ever resume and cover letter. She left our office that day empowered to change her life for the better.

It was a powerful moment in our office. We knew her situation and we knew how badly she wanted to get out of it. Her perseverance is inspiring, and we hope to instill that sense of empowerment to all of our current and future clients here in sunny SoCal. With our office’s deep passion to change our communities and the drive to make a strong presence in Los Angeles, our future is looking bright. Get ready to be upLIFTed, LA.