Sunday, September 4th


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Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of the matter comes San Diego radio stations I'm Gary Lee. For decades now Jewish family service of San Diego has been a trusted community resource for individuals and families in times of need. Jewish family service is a home for people in search of better lives and for those seeking to make better lives possible. Joining us this morning is Jewish family service at San Diego director of social and wellness services Meredith Morgan Roth. And volunteer driver for Jewish family services on the go service. Barbara Manson. Welcome Meredith. Welcome Barbara. Thanks for having us good to have you on the show I've been actually trying to get Jewish family service on the show for awhile so I'm glad we were finally able to to make it happen. Tell us a little bit about Jewish family service substantiate how how long is the organization and around. I'm really pleased to say that we are nearing our century of services we started and back in 1918. I consortium woman who were very concerned with immigration issues with Jewish people coming through Mexico and basically remaining stuck at the border and so. From that initial immigration. Assistants. The agency over the last 98 years has morphed into one of the largest social service providers here in San Diego County. And how many years now. 9898. In the year 2000 eighteen will be a hundred. Well I knew he had been here awhile Panetta knows that because I actually I first got to San Diego in 1982. Actually do some work. For a Jewish family service. I just got here didn't have a job yet so I didn't do little work for you guys but what is what is the mission of Jewish family service. I've recently in the last two or three years jam fest has really tried to streamline its purpose. And we came up with what we felt worth the three most important areas of impact. The Ares of impact there most focused on that are assisting families with moving forward toward self sufficiency. Fostering community connection and my favorite of course that's the division I working and it is aging with dictating the can I do wanna talk a bit about those. In just few it's not that used to be located in Hillcrest yes. And that's where you are when I worked for you guys were you located now where are located I think turning main song Balboa avenue between the fifteen and a 163. Very centrally located so it's a really great community access point. As you mentioned that the mission. And that is pretty much. Your services the organization service is pretty much centered around those three major. Issues the three major goals. And let's let's talk about those if we could let's start with site empowering individuals and families to move towards self sufficiency. Well one of the things that we've really try to focus on it's not just you know. Assisting someone in a moment of crisis because if you don't actually assist them fully and holistic liaison and tight you know a bigger picture. Very often they wind and crisis repeatedly. So what we try to do is take clients whether it's families are single parents or. Or people with nutrition and security what ever that presenting issues is. We tried to give them the tools and us help them with assessing what can be changed through education. Or are maybe just some different support mechanisms. We have a variety of different programs that actually work towards that self sufficiency whether it's counseling services or food assistance we can chop. I wanna say job education and placement for people trying to enter the workforce. So that they would have better resonates in a better opportunity to actually gaining compliant they're seeking. We also have different types of programs to. Enable parents to be better parents we have one of the largest. Positive thirteen programs in the county we just received. I wanna say with another five years of funding in order to assist parents with gaining skills and knowledge on working with their children. In aid more efficient and productive way. Now you're organization. That you cater to all ages right and and throughout San Diego county and here you're services. Are available to anybody answer this surveillance every but I think that's actually very popular misconception about San fast. Is that it's each Jewish agency serving only Jewish clientele guy and it couldn't be further from the truth as we have an increase. Readily. Just to speak of our staff we've been extremely diverse staff. We have an extremely diverse population that we service. And again it's all fades all backgrounds on it is open to the public we do have an occasional program that is specific to Jewish clientele. An example would be our SOS program that's designed for holocaust survivors and tell us a little bit about that program. The Holocaust survivor program is there are geriatric care management. And geriatric care management is actually it's a program that assists older adults. And their families with addressing needs so it could be something as simple as assistance with scheduling medical appointments. It could be happening a Casey and into the home. And take some parents it's a little bit it's not home care but it's a little bit like a helping hand and then guidance through the aging process. With the SOS program. There's a little more of an in depth type of programming simply because we are very familiar with holocaust survivors needs and our experts in the field in assisting those families. That have the challenges and it's particularly SOS program which he won a plan is for low income holocaust the practice but we do service. In general how all types of holocaust survivors okay now another goal or part of your mission. Is. Fostering community connection. And engagement. Tell us about that how you doing that with Jewish family service we like to partner with other agencies in the community. So when we went to that strategic planning process and came up with this is one of our areas of impact. We wanted to reach out to other communities. Agencies that. Are doing things similar to us but not necessarily the same so we aren't duplicating services so we like to partner with. For example we can have a faith based organizations. There I wanna say City Council county supervisors will be really wanna be out there in the community so that one we can create. Synergies. Between different agencies within their government weather per profit or were there for nonprofit to create a stronger San Diego. And the third goal which is your baby on the head is supporting aging the dignity tells them that. The nineteen feet I'm supporting aging with dignity when he hit a certain age. Moving towards self sufficiency. Is not always realistic. So with each with dignity what we're trying to do is give this many on support services and opportunities for older adults. TH how they see fit and maintain our lifestyles whether it's in their own homes or whether it's an assisted living facility or whether it's out in the communities to the idea is to. Provide those services such as transportation. Social on wellness center's nutrition programs that. Gives older adults. The support they need to take age. As they find appropriate. I've done several shows signs with the organizations that deal with senior population here in San Diego and that is a big thing just give them the opportunity to live the rest of their life. How with dignity. Now you have several programs and and one of them is here you're on the go service more talk about that in just a few minutes but I'd I didn't want to talk about some of the other. Other programs and services that you offering and one of them is is your food mobile at a how does that work. What are so they'll program is there a similar we are contractor to the county of San Diego we are Abby to Clifford hot Kosher meals to homebound older adults and also younger adults with disabilities. The deals are prepared fresh daily. And packaged up and fits on we actually prepare those deals on our campus at the Jenner when Jacobs campus in the Leunen family kitchen. It's a brand new state of the art facility. And it's absolutely a wonder to watch we have a viewing window and it's amazing to walk by that kitchen actually see all those meals and motion. And then we have staff and and group of fantastic volunteers that actually take meals out into the community and delivered them to older adults. We also have a different types of food delivery service so you may be low income and going through whenever county programs similar to meals on wheels. And receive food that way that you also can be let's say recovering from surgery had a hip replacement. And it's something you just need somebody decent cooking for you for a couple of weeks you can actually call up and have temporary service is well. And we also have find that sometimes children from out of state. Will call and order food for their parents is surprise. And I sat and send nice packets Kosher food to their parents and other loved ones so this is the service. The food mobile it's not one that just goes around and and park somewhere. A food chuck we would love to have one pass it's of it's different than that I'm very special designed units that keep the food hot stuff because we do serve these as hot meals we also have frozen options available. But the clients do you receive a hot freshly cut Kosher meal on that delivery route the oral culture they are all Kosher meals yes and end what kind of meals we talk of all I must share through qualities exceptionally high and most people think of congress to dining or meals for seniors things like that you think of peas mashed potatoes. And media official caddie. That's not what we're doing our food is out of cooked fresh. We actually ship our meat and protein products in from the East Coast to ensure that the highest quality Kosher that we can buy within our budget. Examples would be. Which she doesn't it Prodi's sometimes we have stuffed cabbage rolls that's always a favorite on the menu sometimes it's something as simple as meatloaf. And we are also have their opportunity to serve salmon we actually search salmon out to the community. And what the people are receiving at the social wellness centers when it comes to lunch is the same food quality that the people that are home banner gang it's the same quality that our own staff and board eat so. Everyone has been really enjoying the food it's again it's very high quality making me hungry time. Another service of a Jewish family service to San Diego is your fixes service tell snuffed out that's an interesting one. That chipping sticks its service and we are one of the few Tony contracts here in San Diego where contractor through aging an independent service. Through their file prevention program and should just exit is designed to help older adults as well as their caregivers. To remain safe within our homes the whole concept behind it. Is to avoid Eric or reduce file rest. So we do things we go and assistant older adults it can be something we do simple doorbell installations. We tacked down carpet. Our big one that number one is we install hundreds and hundreds of grab bars. And these are all donation base there is no charge to cost to the client if they're able to donate happily we want to take it. But very often they can't if they can't afford you to buy their own grab our chances of their ability to donate is is pretty slim but we still want them to be safe. We don't two major home repair so that we don't go in and fix your plumbing may be a leaky faucet. But we're not gonna go ahead and Andy are reaching plumbing or large structural repairs. But think about hand rails grab bars lights. We do have a case for me to something just as simple as changing a light bulb because a nine year old should not be on a platter. So against fix it is also done by volunteers we have a lot of retired contractors and people was just fantastic. The spirit and they go out there into the community to make sure. That somebody is safe within their mom and this is this set particular program. Only for seniors it is only for seniors you have to be over sixty years old. And you do have to have some type of caregiver or somebody associated with youth who is concerned about you. So the term caregiver can be very loosely interpreted it could be a neighbor senior emergency contact person is your neighbors so it's always kind of a cent of people. But you also can have a caregiver. And the such as. You know a friend a family manner so it could be your child that's calling for you could be yourself it could be a neighbor you can call yourself that you just have to be able to identify. Who potentially your caregiver is that does not mean that their hands on living with the type of caregiver could just be concerned or are there any other requirements then for for somebody to take part in this in the service because there's multiple contracts throughout the account you there aren't really any requirements it's open to every petty. But we do is JE SS only services in certain zip codes if you call on you are outside of one of our zip codes. Do not worry we will connect you immediately with the agency that is contract to service your zip code. Very much the same with two mobile backtracking a little bit. If you call and you are outside of our service area and we're happy to connect you with another agency that does does some things similar. What is your services then now does that mean for anything has to do with GSM service you have a certain service area. I can say overall. For the entire agency weak service the entire county of San Diego that doesn't mean that every single project. Or program. Services every zip code within the county some are very specific to let's say we have a contract or program with a certain city. Then obviously we're going to be doing that service specifically within that city limits. Other times that depending on how we are funded through grants we BB. Selected to service. Let's say sixteen zip it's and another social services agency does another fifteen zip codes. I'm so we didn't things happened or that is if it's grant funded we wanna be unbelievably good custodians of that funding. And ensure that we're not to duplicating services so therefore that's why he sees some of these services not completely overlapping. Ultimately our goal would be to have at least with the aging and wellness services to have all of these parents overlapping but that's not the case at this time but we're working towards that. One other thing that you another program of yours and you mentioned this just for a little bit ago. And that's your social and wellness centers do you have more than more than one of these really. Do we actually have forced social wellness centers here throughout the county our oldest and our largest is the college avenue senator. And that is located in del Cerro it's also it's our oldest son or it's been around approximately eighteen years. Currently it's housed at our community this is the example of the community partner and fostering community engagement it's housed at temple Emmanuel. So we utilize their space and they are able to have their congregation. Enjoy aid the services of the center as well because they have an older adult population we have an older adults senator it's a beautiful example of community partnership in bringing services to older adults so what are some of the services that you provide at your social and well it's extremely robust program there operates five days a week and it also has transportation. Both touch on on the go and a little bit on the go actually provides transportation to and from the scanner. App that senator. It is a county nutrition program so are those fabulous meals I was talking about Kennedy Henneberg winning family kitchen. Are delivered and served hot and trash. Acts that sent aren't and that it's a donation based so if you were able to Tony thank you we've looked at it's four dollars and meal. But if you're not able to donate and this is only hot meal you're gonna get all day long or possibly you know week. It's okay come cumin I have my engineer and a welcome place with a lot of friendly smiling people. We have brain fitness we also have county fitness programs the feeling fit goes on there we also have community. A fitness through. I want to say our community college programs. We have our classes dancing we have incredibly fantastic performers can and so we have to live performances. Once a week we'll have a live performance. We do films and we also have education lectures and education series we have the museum of for example photographic arts. Come and every I'm gonna say about six months or so in a two series whether it's on digital photography. Or the history of photography so it's a really incredibly robust center. And the offerings changed so clients come and they've saw something on the news that they found fascinating. They can actually provide feedback and we look into written say if this is a great programming an idea where incorporated. Okay and is this opened everybody's just absolutely open to everybody I'm sorry it is just seniors but it is opens the population. If you are sixty years old that is our our preferred age sixteen out that if you're 55 we're not gonna tell you to go away you would not be able to eat. The donation based meal you still could have the meal that it would be a fee based meals seven dollars. And I did forget to mention that. Even though we we have that beautiful hot lunch option. This is our one sauce on wellness center that we actually have a salad bar seat can actually see it's alvare Rican decent client choice you can kind of build your own mail. And now let's let's talk about your ad on those service okay. Have a little little background information on that them and wanna talk to. To Barbara because of barbarism volunteer for the service that lets him that's very fortunate to have earned. How about a little background information though on the service. On the gala I was actually the brainchild of Brenda brothel Hammond she's my predecessors she is also the senior director of the teaching wellness division. She's been with Jeff fast approximately eighteen years. So back in 2004. That's an on the gas started as the brighten smiles program that Barbara now volunteers for it was a tiny programs she had done research for years. About best practices and addressing the needs of Trenton transportation needs of older adults here in San Diego. As there has always been pressure on social services and the community in general to find some transportation solutions. So she'd built this program and designed it so that it was sustainable and expandable. So there's a level of scalability to it. Brilliant lady. As the program progress again it started in 2004. I think we had five or six drive first. And only about twelve or fourteen writers and we felt super accomplish because we pulled off 365. Riots. In one year which now looking back we do that in a week means not a usual self. As the program progressed we became more and more well known we had received private funding from the Jewish community of the Jewish federation of Jewish foundation those they give us the seed money. And there was some private funders as well that brought this program really needed it kick started not this. Nice little five driver twelve writer program they wanted to really see it works as they invested and through that investment over the next couple of years. On the go exponentially crew and then in 2008. We were fortunate enough. To be operating at such aide leveled that we were able to apply for. Federal and county funding so the trans net tax on hotel tax that many people hear about on the radio all the time. That's finding actually is part of what fans on the go program. And we worked closely with San Diego association of governments and dad and they've they've been partnering with us and administering our grants. And watching our program this tanks are now. All the way in 2016. We have probably about it's I wanna say eight fluctuates. But we have around 275. Drivers are that volunteer Forrest. We have. About 17100 clients at every given moment. And I can say that since 2008 we had over 4500. Older adults and rolls and our program. So over the course of years runner but I bet it's a lot. Yeah now Barbara how long you've been doing this. Well I first found out about rights and smiles about five years ago when I retired from the health field I'm a registered nurse by profession. And when I retired I had no particular hobbies I had no idea what I was going to do. And I went online and I happen to see. This on the go program rights and smiles and ice which I think I'll give them a call and say if I can be of some sort of volunteer assistant. And I got in touch with the barreling Greenblatt who happens to be my immediate supervisor. And she said we just happen to be having an orientation tomorrow which he liked content. And I said sure I have nothing but time on my answer right now. So I went to the orientation. And I would say within an hour I felt like I had found a new family. Other reception was warm and friendly. There was nothing stiff about it. I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of the only thing that was really required a siren call back then was they did a criminal check. And they also did a check on my driving record. So I think that felt made me feel good dead the writers were having people in the program that had been screened to a degree right. And down so the next thing I knew I was ready to go on the computer which is extremely. User friendly. You can do it and your own leisure at home on your computer or your I pay it would every happen to have available. You can see what brides are available in your district. It's in chronological order. It tells you everything you need to know about the Ryder each issue where they live each issue where they're going. It shares you whether or not they have any particular. Disabilities or if they need to use a cane a walker they might have trouble hearing maybe their eyesight is pour. So you can make it judge been calling you look at this. By knowing whether this is somebody that you feel you wanna be. He wanted to take like if you can't handle a walker and that might be a little heavy for you to handle. Then you may not want a select that writes so it's very easy to choose. The person with their particular disability your handicap if you wanna call it that. Did you wanna say I didn't. I want you to chime in on the way the barber is describing as our web based scheduling software that was actually developed here are the go with the software developer. It is what is the key reasons why volunteers stay with our program our group was describing her experience. Volunteers self select we don't pick a volunteer and say hi here's a for our time blocking your far right volunteers can go on 24 sevenths. Access the listen rides. And completely determine who what when and you know wider dried things that okay their own they do they do they dictate their own schedule it's perfect I when I talk about that volunteer driver count going up and down. It's simply because we may have snow birds or we have the active military that when they're deployed they they go away from us and then we're back home bam they're back in action. We also have people that biggest what did you one Ryder weak in the me and others that almost two full time I had Tyler interact. It's a cave that I actually got my has been involved but backtracking a little bit I think it and they edit feature on the program that was very helpful for me. Is it you can take your cursor and you can see exactly the mileage distance between your home. The person you're picking up and where they have to go so you can adjust your timeframe has still how of fix your schedule. So it's it's so user friendly and there are weeks when I can due to wintry ride today and there are some weeks that I skip altogether. I even encouraged my husband who was teaching at the time that he should get involved in this because it was so rewarding. For me and I'll go into that in a minute on the types of rewards that I receive from it. But I he'd agreed to try it and he was doing an on his spring breaks and in the summer. When he was often and he retired this past year and now he does have full time. And I will admit we each have our own favorite writers that we like we don't fight over them and how are sever lions. But and you do you tend to have some that you may be get used to more than others. And they get used a year. And one of the things that I found especially surprising that I wasn't anticipating. And I did this. Was that they allowed meted network and find other things for me to do when I wasn't driving them for example. I was taking one lady to yoga two or three times a week. And I would come home and sit in front of the T very. And I could do something wrong with this picture so the next thing I knew I was buying a yoga mat and I was going and I was doing yeah look at. Another lady I was taking to bingo every week and she said why you come with me and animal played together. And I did and now I'm the bingo caller once a week now. So it. It was a wonderful way for media network on. I was much of her reader and one lady always had her Kindle went there and she says let me show you how to use it. And before you know what I was buying a Kindle so in many ways the rewards that I have received from this organization and driving these seniors I would say. My average. Senior that I drive is between the ages of 85 and 95. It's given me a whole new outlook on life there are so inspiring. I realize now that there is a whole another world out there I was thinking I was coming into a home base in my own particular life but. I see now that you can remain independent. One of the things that many of the writers would say to me that they felt. So see Ed that they had to be so dependent and that they couldn't drive anymore. And I saw it totally the opposite Iceland as a way of remaining independent. And I make that very clear to them when I'm talking to them and I say you know by calling up and the asking for the ride and continuing to do the things the social activities that you like getting to your doctor's appointments. And not bothering your family that you may be living went. For not having to depend on someone else. This is keeping new independent and that's keeping new young. Some great stories there so is so for me the rewards far outweigh any time that I might volunteer for this organization. That's great we have just a few more minutes left. I do wanna find out a little bit about how people can help you with your mission you are nonprofit organization. How can people help you. There's a variety of ways I'm Barbara that they create example we always need volunteers so one method of assisting Jeff fast and our and or on the go program. It's become a volunteer driver I can't stress enough how badly we need volunteers. And again barbers really illustrated it beautifully about what a wonderful experience it is. So it's at. One way to assist you can also donate we have a website. And there are several ways to donate you can donate vehicles that the value of the vehicle will be donated to a program of your specification or. Hordes to JF fastened general. You can also donate furniture. So by going onto the GFS website Arab lots and lots of different ways that you can help out this actually wonderful agency and if somebody wants to volunteer. In general war with the on on the go service how to go about doing again we have an entire volunteer page of the all of volunteer opportunities. So if driving isn't your thing they cheered computer programmer or you love to work in the kitchen. Or you love to work a social and what this hour and assist older adults with their activities there's so many different volunteer. Opportunities. We have over fifty different programs it's FS in the majority of them do require volunteer support so by going onto that website and going on so volunteer page. You can see all the different opportunities for volunteering whether it's a one off like he comes just a one group of bad or is it something that you want to commit to your anti repeatedly and Barbara. You would highly recommend. Be an eyebrow at a shadow of the doubt I think this is that. Greatest way to volunteer you make your own schedule you're your own boy was he can do is much you're his little issue like. And the organization. Shows their appreciation to their volunteers over and over again they have. Luncheons for us they do all kinds of activities to show their appreciation we get free car wash is I mean you can't ask for anything better sounds good. And you have all the well great Meredith then and Barbara thank you so much for being on the show today. And for all you do a Jewish fan service thanks for what you do in the community it's appreciated thank you for having us. That includes another edition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management. Of the and it comes San Diego radio stations episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Judd next week when my guest will be from my level clean sandy until then. I'm Carrie Lee. Have a great week.