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Articles - People First of Torrance, California: South Bay & Harbor Area

13
Dec

Merry Christmas 2017

11
Nov

The Battle Against Yourself

Jimmie Estrada Developmentally Disabled Interview

27
Oct

Jimmie Cable Show FAQs

What is People First?

People First (PF) is an international organization founded in the State of Washington as a self-advocacy movement of people with developmental disabilities.  Members of the local chapter such as the Torrance/South Bay/Harbor area group learn how to increase their self-advocacy skills by speaking for themselves and others, making decision-making skills about what is important in their own lives and the lives of their peers. 

The local chapter, which I founded and facilitate, was started in1990 by a group of individuals lead by Michael Long ONG, Consumer Advocate, Dept. of Developmental Services, Sacraments. Michael was a peer and had the skills to help the group form and become the outstanding organization it is today.

The initial meeting was held at the Torrance Marriott and Manager John Homer provided the room and refreshments.  From that time on, the group met in community rooms in apartment buildings and now rents space from the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.

What is the Self Advocates of the South Bay/Harbor Area?

Self Advocates is a non-profit organization formed under IRS guidelines so the group can raise money.  People First was not allowed to use the name locally for a 501c3 so Self Advocates was chosen.  The mission of Self Advocates is to train, inform, provide funding and support all members who are individuals with disabilities.

The through programs, members develop leadership skills, learn public speaking, nurture and support peers and achieve their involvement with the community.

Tell me about the programs?

The meetings are monthly, Monday evening, from 6-8 p.m.  Officers introduce themselves, dinner is served (catered dinner for $5) and the program begins at 7 p.m. and ends promptly at 8 p.m.  The Pledge is lead by Program Coordinator David Oster, and he sets up the programs and does the introductions.

Programs are many and varied, including pet-facilitated therapy, K9 officers, Holocaust survivor, Priest, magician, Rabbi and Cantor, Self Advocacy and self-determination training, mental health information, Mayors of Torrance, and surrounding cities, City Council persons, Earthquake management, Cable TV talk show hosts, Bank of American accounting advice, American Red Cross disaster training, Movie nights, BINGO occasionally. And the final meeting of the hear is traditionally a Caroling party and dinner at Home Town Buffet.

Does the group do fundraising?

The group has had two successful fundraisers, with more to come.  A Bowlathon for members, and a night out at CPK in Redondo Beach which raised over 4190.00 for gifts for members at the holiday dinner.

Is the group active in politics?

The group has met with council members and been involved in advocacy issues at the local and state level. Several members plus facilitators are involved in Disability rights organizations and are very active and successful

How are funds used besides the holiday gifts?

Funds are available through the non-profit for training and conferences attendance.  Funds have been used to provide a scholarship for Cable TV coursework, certificates, and production of cable shows such as the Mayor of Torrance Honorable Mayor Furey’s interview broadcast.

Who can join Pf?

Anyone who has a developmental disability.  Members come from all the South Bay cities and arrive at the meeting room via foot, car, bus, Access, taxi, and bike.   Transportation assistance is available for those who need assistance.

The mailing list/email list provides monthly flyers announcing the meeting and topics.  There is no cost except for the catered dinner, which covers expenses.  Facilitators are members of the community, parents, care providers and others who want to give assistance to the members. 

19
Sep

New Rules Mean Big Changes : State Council on Developmental Disabilities

Download a Document on all the new Rules!

Bruce Harrell

State Council on Developmental Disabilities

Los Angeles Office

818-543-4631

20
May

Disability Rights California Board Members

12
May

People First photos from California Pizza Kitchen

9
May

Senior Scene TV Show

I hope you are doing well.  I have completed the TV show for my Senior Scene.  It will be on tomorrow at 11:30 AM and 5:30 PM on Frontier Channel 31 and on Spectrum Channel 3 in the city of Torrance.  It is also on U-Tube and called “Getting Hired”.

Below is a link to the show so you can view it on your computer.   I would so appreciate it if you could show it to both the workers and the coach.

Just paste this link into your address bar and it will play after you hit enter.

Thank you all so much for helping me tell this wonderful story for my viewers.

I will get a DVD made and bring it to SVS, Salvation Army and Honda.

Hope Witkowsky

Producer/Host– “Senior Scene”

Torrance CitiCABLE

14
Apr

REALLY IMPORTANT FUND RAISER INFO!!! PLEASE JOIN US.

REALLY IMPORTANT FUND RAISER INFO!!! PLEASE JOIN US. (SEE FLYER BELOW)

PEOPLE FIRST OF THE SOUTH BAY/HARBOR AREA MEETING….

GARDEN ROOM OF THE TORRANCE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER….(BEHIND THE PLUNGE)  

 6-8 P.M. MONDAY April 24th, 2017

Download Pizza Fundraiser Flyer and Download Event Flyer

COME JOIN THIS AMAZING GROUP OF MEMBERS, MEET THE FACILITATORS/PARENTS AND GUESTS.   We have some STARS in our group……  Old Business, REPORT-Jimmy Estrada -his Video project involving the Mayor of the City of Torrance and People First. New Business…Michael Mueller and Rudy Brako were filmed for the upcoming production of “Senior Scene” for Torrance Cable….Hope Witkowski as /producer/host.

SPEAKER FOR THE EVENING…. Kim Sinclair, Executive Director Autism Society of Los Angeles. Kim brings more than 20 years of experience in both corporate and non-profit environments to ASLA.  Her career includes Fortune 100 experience in business and information technology, and most recently, contributions to a number of local non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles Area.  Including leadership roles at Golden Heart Ranch, FRED Conference, and SW SELPA.  She has a 12 year old son with special needs, and this involvement has opened the door to focus on processes, fundraising and program administration and development.  In her spare time with her husband and son, she enjoys cycling, walking the out-of-doors.

DINNER WILL BE SERVED, FOOD AND SIDES, — Burrito from Giant El Burrito, Chips, salsa, rice, beans, salad, desserts and drinks. ONLY $5.00 EACH!! J

We will open the meeting with David Oster leading the Pledge of Allegiance

SAVE THE DATE (MAY 10TH, 2017) AND JOIN THE FUN AND FUND RAISING FOR SELF ADVOCATES OF THE SOUTH BAY/HARBOR AREA…DELICIOUS ALL DAY EVENT AT CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN (CPK)

AT SOUTH BAY GALLERIA….1815 HAWTHORNE BLVD., REDONDO BEACH CA.

(FLYER ENCLOSED/ATTACHED)

 

SEE YOU THERE? QUESTIONS?? CALL BARBARA HANEY AT 310 944 3303

 

 

REALLY IMPORTANT FUND RAISER INFO!!! PLEASE JOIN US.

 

Barbara B. Haney, M.A.
Barbara Haney
Senior Employment Specialist
Social Vocational Services, Inc.

Corporate South/South
(310)-944-3303 x 113
fax 944-3304
bhaney@svsinc.org
www.svsworkssocal.com       

29
Mar

Councilman Herring’s Address to People First

Councilman Herring’s Address

People First of South Bay / Harbor Area

Monday, March 20 – 6 to 8 p.m.

Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Garden Rooms

Good evening! On behalf of my colleagues on the Torrance City Council, thank you for inviting me to be here tonight. 

It is inspiring to see all of you here, a group that is so motivated to help others.

People First not only serves as a support system for people with disabilities, but it also encourages progress, change, and acceptance on a broader scale. By coming together and collectively raising your voices, you are able to bring about positive change for so many people in our communities.

With a history that goes back to the 1960s, People First has long been a driving force in the national disability rights movement, with a start and a mission that is linked to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. By teaching members how to advocate for themselves, People First also teaches us all that there is knowledge and value and beauty in each and every person.

As you know, the City of Torrance works to provide the diverse members of our community with valuable programs and services that enrich and the quality of life for everyone. It is part of what makes this a great City.

With our newest commission, the Social Services Commission, the City has cemented its commitment to addressing the issues of that concern veterans, the homeless population, as well as children and adults with special needs.

We also are proud of our partnership with the Friends of Exceptional Athletes to fund the City’s special-needs sports programs that promote activity and camaraderie all year long. Torrance also has its own Special Olympics program that offers competitive sports and training at many City facilities.

In addition, Torrance is happy to be home to the 36-year-old PALS program – People Actively Learning and Sharing. This social club for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities is a wonderful resource in the City.

Torrance also has 275 acres of park space that is welcoming to everyone. We are constantly assessing how we can make our green space and facilities more accessible and useful to all, and this includes the recent addition of the fully accessible bocce ball courts at Columbia Park and ongoing work at other facilities to improve sidewalks and other infrastructure. A couple of the more unique spaces include the Treehouse for All at Wilson Park and the sensory-oriented Discovery Park.

Torrance Transit buses are, of course, accessible to all, providing transportation services so that people can get to jobs, community events and have access to shopping and other services. And The Torrance Community Transit Program is a resource for residents, giving those with disabilities low-cost access to transportation.

Torrance is also working all the time to bring new businesses to the City, which means new opportunities for everyone when it comes to employment. 

Of course, a noticeable project that has been ongoing is the renovation of Del Amo Fashion Center, a project that continues to bring new businesses and new jobs to the City. Torrance also has realigned with the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, a group that hosts a variety of workshops locally that help with career development and training.

While attracting and retaining quality businesses is a priority for all of us on the City Council, we also want to strengthen public service, improve school safety and modernize the City’s infrastructure. These are all things that can benefit all our residents and visitors.

Stevie Wonder once said “We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.”

Tonight, being here with all of you, is a testament to your ability to affect change, to make a difference and to overcome obstacles. Because the contributions that you make to our community are invaluable and appreciated.

Thank you again for having me here.

8
Mar

SOCIAL / RECREATION / FITNESS OPPORTUNITIES

SOCIAL/RECREATION/FITNESS OPPORTUNITIES

A PRESENTATION FOR HARBOR REGIONAL CENTER CLIENTS, FAMILIES AND CARE GIVERS

9:00 am – 11:00 am

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Harbor Regional Center, Torrance Conference Room A1/2

Join us for a morning filled with fun and interesting information! You will hear about a variety of opportunities that encourage socialization and making new friends. After the presentations there will be time to speak with each presenter and gather handouts from several other programs. Below is a list of just some of the information that will be presented.

  • Social Programs for a variety of ages

  • Weekday and weekend social outings for ages 5 years and older

  • Dances and Proms

  • Dance classes

  • Weekend and week-away Camps for all ages

  • A Dating App developed for people with developmental disabilities

  • Various Sports programs

  • Amusement and Theme Park discounts

  • State and National Park discounts

For more information or to RSVP, please email or call Kerry Ryerson at: Kerry.Ryerson@harborrc.org or 310-543-0686