Family Resource Center to lose its funding |

Family Resource Center to lose its funding

Women, laughter and the smell of homemade lasagna filled the small meeting room at the Family Resource Center April 18.

But the Tuesday night Women’s Support Group may be enjoying the last of its sessions.

The Family Resource Center may be forced to close its doors in June, when its main source of income runs out.

A grant distributed by the California Office of Child Abuse Prevention has kept the center open for four years by covering more than 80 percent of its funding. Prior to receiving the OCAP, the building was “The Welcome Center,” a facility with limited services, which was funded through Healthy Start grant money.

In addition to supporting the Family Resource Center, the OCAP grant provides the primary funding for Boys and Girls Club, Family Solutions, Mother and Sons and Families and Schools Together.

According to Family Resource Center Coordinator Delicia Spees, allowing the center to shut down would be an incredible injustice to the community members who depend on its services.

“The Family Resource Center runs based on this money, completely,” Spees said. “Anyone can come into the (center) and the services aren’t duplicated anywhere else in the community. It’s not fair to take this away from these people.”

The Women’s Support group, which is conducted in Spanish, is one of many services provided at the resource center.

The group addresses all types of issues, ranging from sex to finances to family conflicts.

“I think this is empowering these women,” counselor Manuel Jimenez said. “That encourages them to get involved in their children’s lives and with the rest of the community. It makes them better citizens.”

The support group, led by Spees, offers Latino women a chance to share their struggles and triumphs with their peers.

“There is a language barrier that makes them feel very secluded in this community,” said Spees, who is bilingual.

Rosario Martinez attends the group regularly and said it has helped her learn about the difference between laws and culture in Mexico and in the United States.

“Since we’ve immigrated here, we’re alone,” Martinez said, using Spees as a translator. “We need to know more about our own people as well as what this culture is all about.”

Martinez said she is learning how to integrate into the community.

“That is what I would like,” she said.

Ana Sanchez has utilized the resource center for six years, and learned to speak English through the English as a Second Language program.

“Now I’m going to (Lake Tahoe Community College,)” Sanchez said. “I have a multicultural class. This place has helped me a lot.”

Sanchez also commented on the free child care at the center.

“Many people come to the school to learn English because they can leave their kids in child care and not worry,” Sanchez said. “If you have the opportunity to have your kids in child care, then you have the opportunity to study English.”

Sanchez said she relies on the resource center for a variety of things and hopes it can stay open.

“I think it’s very, very important to have this place because we learn many things, like what’s important for our families,” Sanchez said. “We learn about how we can keep the family together and help the kids stay away from problems. We get a lot of information about how to do better and better and to be a very good citizen.”

Spees said that a community buy-in may be the only way to save the center. If rent and some other costs could be donated, then spending would be greatly decreased.

Community donations are also acceptable.

“The Family Resource Center is run by the Community Oversight Council, so any contributions should go there,” Spees said.

For more information about donations, call the Family Resource Center at (530) 542-0740.

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