October 27, 2016


September 1:  We kicked off the month with AHF’s iEngageU Event: “Hunger in our Community – Evaluating Impact” at the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Jim Floros, CEO, started the event off with an overview of the current hunger issues in our community and Executive Director Anahid Brakke of Hunger Coalition encouraged all to participate in Hunger Action/Awareness month because awareness can create change.
ahf-hungerThe staff at San Diego Food Bank (Vanessa Franco, Vice President of Operations;Daniela Murphy, Direct Service Manager; and Callie Brust, Nutrition & Wellness Educator), along with Courtney Huff of Harder+Company Community Research discussed their AHF-funded work on both the organizational capacity assessment and the Senior and Backpack programs evaluation and measurement tools.

As part of the evaluation a literature review was conducted to identify appropriate evaluations and measurements. This first step assisted them in drafting the Nutrition Initiative Measurement tool. They will begin using this tool in the fall to focus on knowledge and awareness of nutrition education elements, community resources and behavior changes of participants.

September 7: HUD recently released a notice of funding for a Youth Demonstration Project that would create a system to end youth homelessness. In total, ten communities will be funded (six urban/suburban/rural and four rural). Both San Diego & Imperial Counties are developing initiatives in order to submit applications. Today, I sat in on the first meeting in San Diego to discuss development hosted by Dolores Diaz, Executive Director, Regional Task Force on the Homeless, with many of the key stakeholders at the table. If you know of others who may be interested, please suggest they contact Dolores by email (dolores@rtfhsd.org).

September 8: Today, I joined the Imperial Valley Homeless Task Force as they currently work on many of the same issues, including the Youth Demonstration Project. Led by Kenneth Woods of Catholic Charities and Orlando Johnson of 211 Imperial County, the collaboration continues to make progress towards their coordinated efforts.

In the afternoon, I headed back to San Diego to have lunch with Community Housing Works staff Senior V.P. Jorge Riquelme and CEO Sue Reynolds, and others. They’ve expanded their work to include services that meet the growing needs of residents and are looking for best practices and partners to accomplish their goals.

Michele met with Jessica Kort of the Foothold Foundation to discuss their work and the link (or “foothold”) they are working to be for collaborative efforts in San Diego. Foothold Foundation’s current efforts have placed fellows in collaboratives throughout San Diego including Communities of Excellence 2026, Live Well San Diego, and San Diego Impact Investors.

pasted-image-0In the evening,  Michele attended Outdoor Outreach’s (OO) annual Lead the Way event. OO, led by Executive Director Ben McCue, uses outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, snowboarding and more to inspire youth that come from challenging situations. One of the statistics mentioned that night is that the youth leaders that participated in OO programs come from neighborhoods with over 40% unemployment rates.

September 9: Michele began her morning at The Equity Event hosted by San Diego Grantmakers. The half day conference line up had some amazing subject matter experts including Rinku Sen and Jose Antonio Vargas. The event examined personal perspectives, practices, and barriers to progress that impact the many aspects of equity. Congratulations to CEO Nancy Jamison and Senior Director of Learning and Programs, Beeta Jahedi for such an amazing event.

pasted-image-0-1September 10: I spent a good part of this afternoon at the San Diego Blues Festival to support the work of the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the sunshine and great music, but seeing how many were supporting the Food Bank as well! James Floros, CEO hosted the event and concert attendees brought food to support the people the food bank serves. More than 3,583 pounds of food was collected to help those in our community!

September 11: Today, I attended the American Liver Foundation Flavors of San Diego event. Congratulations to Scott Suckow, CEO, American Liver Foundation for his successful gala. Each set of tables were served by area chefs and I learned a lot about the work of ALF.

September 13: Michele started the morning with Dionicia Lozoya, Executive Director at the Foundation for the Children of the Californias. The Foundation supports the Hospital Infantil de las Californias based in Tijuana. This hospital serves children on both sides of the border, but they have found that they don’t know the actual number of U.S. residents they currently serve. The reason being is clients incorrectly believe that they have to be based in Mexico to receive services. Due to San Diego’s proximity to Tijuana and lower cost for medical services across the border, the availability of health insurance for San Diegans to access services in Mexico has created a medical tourism industry.

Later that day, Michele met with Ramon Hernandez, Associate Director for the Center for Community Health at UC San Diego in City Heights. One of the center’s many programs is the University Link Medical Science Program (ULMSP). ULMSP works to develop a diverse healthcare workforce by ensuring that disadvantaged community college transfer students are provided access to the sciences. By creating learning communities and mentorship opportunities, ULMSP is able to continuously engage with students. Michele was pleasantly surprised to hear that 40% of the students that are part of ULMSP return to their communities to work and give back upon graduation!

Since Michele was in the building, she stopped by to see Anahid Brakke, Executive Director at Hunger Coalition. Anahid shared a quick update on the many exciting things happening at Hunger Coalition. One of the biggest is the integration of the Hunger Advocacy Network, formerly housed at the Jewish Family Services, into Hunger Coalition! This integration puts San Diego hunger advocacy efforts in one place. In addition, the recently released Rx for CalFresh report details how food insecurity screenings can be integrated into the healthcare setting.

September 14: I spent part of this week in Seattle with Foundations for Youth Success. Over the past 2 years, this group has learned best practices from around the country for ending youth homelessness. It seems this topic is gaining momentum and interest these days! One of the most memorable stories was listening to the youth with The Mockingbird Society (TMS). One young man, through his work with TMS, has advocated in D.C. and sits as the co-chair of a statewide campaign with Trudi Inslee, the First Lady of Washington State! As he was telling the details of his work, he said he was really excited to have been accepted into a new program called “Rapid Re-housing” because he was now hopeful he could end his homelessness. This goes to show how far the homelessness of our youth affects individuals all over the country.

cvccAs for Michele, she headed east to Imperial County to visit Comite Civico de Valle. Michele met with Executive Director Luis Olmedo and several staff to discuss their asthma intervention program Respira Sano. Current funding is coming to an end in early 2017 and they are brainstorming ideas on how to continue the much needed program for the families of Imperial County.

Later, Michele met with Misty Lee, Interim Executive Director of the Imperial Valley Boys & Girls Clubs. With three clubs in the county and recent funding changes, they are considering how to alter programming in order to have a larger impact.

Michele’s last stop of the day was to attend the monthly 211 Health Access collaborative hosted by Orlando Johnson, Liaison for 211 Imperial County.  On the agenda for the day was Christina Olson, Health Program Coordinator from the Imperial County Local Health Authority Commission. Christina shared an outline of the recently awarded California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative funding. The funding of $850,000 for three years is for a community-wide effort to improve health outcomes in Imperial County. Imperial County will be focusing on  asthma intervention within the county.

September 15: Michele shared coffee with John Correia, Associate Director of Development at the San Diego American Diabetes Association. ADA shares an office building with AHF, and among other points of discussion, was getting to know those that we work and share space with. So, those that work in building 5060 Shoreham Place, be on the lookout for an invite to our building BBQ!

During lunch, Michele joined Alicia De Leon Torres, Grants Manager at Survivors of Torture International, for their annual luncheon. Within the past year, Survivors clients came from 45 countries speaking over 104 languages. Survivors of Torture is a unique resource for San Diego’s providing Individual & Group Therapy, Psychiatry, Social Service Case Management, Medical Case Management, Psychological Evaluations, Medical Affidavits, and Interpretation to torture survivors.

ahf-somaliSeptember 17: Michele spent part of her Saturday at the Somali Bantu Association of America’s (SBAOA) Second Annual Raja=Hope! festival. SBAOA provides services to empower Somali Bantu and other refugees during the process of integrating into American society.

September 19: AHF hosted an iEngageU event with LeSar Associates to bring Los Angeles County staff here to talk about their programs with San Diego County staff. These programs specifically target ending homelessness and how the roles of various county departments can work together to help solve this issue.

September 20: I started the morning with John Ohanian, CEO, 211 San Diego and his board learning about the status of their person-centered model and the Community Information Exchange. This pivot will be huge for our community and ultimately be able to share data enabling whole person care coordination!

Afterwards, Michele and I were part of a very big announcement! Congratulations to Greg Anglea, CEO, Interfaith Community Services, for not only a successful annual meeting, but also on being the awardee of our 2016 Innovation Initiative! Interfaith will build a Recovery and Wellness Center in the North County to provide an alternative to jail and hospitals for those in need of assistance.

s21September 21: Today I began my morning with the San Diego Nonprofit Association (SDNA) as a panelists along with Danny Melgoza, Deputy Chief of Staff to Supervisor Greg Cox, County District 1Sue Botos, VP Community Relations, San Diego PadresKelly Prasser, Manager, Outreach & Engagement, SDG&EAngie Lasagna, VP Community Relations and Neville Billimoria, Facilitator, SVP, Chief Advocacy Officer, Mission Federal Credit Union.

After the introductions, we discussed how our organizations work with the community, and what is most important in serving our constituents. Common themes throughout the discussion were the importance of leadership and collaboration.

Later that afternoon, I met with BH Kim of Impact Without Borders to talk about the Dickinson Farms Project. Stephani Norton, Founder, Dickinson Farms, participated in the first Unreasonable Institute lab and has emerged as a leading project for success.

September 22: Fun times this afternoon at 211 San Diego. Our grant to support their work in Imperial County has been enhanced with a GIS (Geographic Information System) map of need, 211 calls and service sites to show where there are strength in services, as well as where there are gaps. This map will continue to be informed by the community as well! Awesome work Nicole Lasky!

Michele attended the monthly San Diego Grantmakers Food Funders Collaborative where food-focused community groups comes in to share their work. This month, Archi’s Acres presented their work in the community. Archi’s Acres is a B-Corp that grows organic produce and employs veterans, offering workforce development skills and opportunities to own their own farms. This organization is a great way for veterans to re-integrate into the community, gain their independence and infuse locally sourced food.


September 27: Michele was selected to take part in the Golden State Learning Series offered in partnership by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers. She joined 24 other California grantmakers for the first of five sessions. On this day, the two hour session focused on Supporting Non-profit Resilience with a focus on leadership and financial capacity building. Michele shared with me that she is looking forward to strengthening her skills and learning more about various grantmaking approaches and practices from the statewide cohort that she can bring to AHF.

nancy-michele-ahfHave questions or comments about AHF in the community?

Contact Executive Director Nancy Sasaki or Program Officer Michele Silverthorn to learn more about AHF in the community and how we work to advance health and wellness.

Upcoming Events on the AHF Community Calendar

  • Nov 3: FTEH-SD Summit on Youth Homelessness
  • Nov 4: Mission Support grants applications close
  • Nov 16: Imperial County National Philanthropy Day and San Diego National Philanthropy Day
  • Nov 30: AHF Grantee Benefit, CEO/Executive Director Event (not open to the public)

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