Seniors Receive Vaccinations at Bellflower Terrace

Great news! Last week, 60 LifeSTEPS residents and their caregivers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Bellflower Terrace, an affordable housing community for seniors located in Bellflower. The vaccines were provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to support community vaccination centers in California and across the country.

Since many residents haven’t been able to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine through their health care provider, the seniors expressed gratitude and thanks to LifeSTEPS for holding clinics steps away from their apartments. We’ll continue to work with our partners to ensure that affordable housing communities are prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine and have access to the vaccine through on-site or nearby vaccination clinics. We are committed to taking care of our residents and supporting each other to stay healthy.

Kathy Cao helps bring food stability to residents

Meet Kathy Cao, one of our amazing LifeSTEPS’ Directors of Social of Services. There are many words to describe Kathy: trustworthy, go-getter, creative, passionate, patient, resourceful and adaptable. Kathy’s ability to work with kids, families, and seniors from diverse backgrounds is one of her largest strengths.

When COVID-19 hit, Kathy started a food program at one of our senior sites. Although she experienced challenges due to an initial lack of resources, Kathy began networking until she succeeded. Needless to say, Kathy’s food program brought food stability, relief and joy to the residents.

Kathy’s focus on the well-being of her residents is unstoppable, and we’re so proud that she’s part of the LifeSTEPS team.

Responding to food insecurity

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already dire problem of elder hunger in California and across the United States. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 7.3 million older adults are food insecure nationwide and this number is expected to increase. In response to the pandemic and the increasing need for food assistance, LifeSTEPS tripled its commitment to improving the quality of life for low-income, older adults and families throughout California by delivering food commodities.

With March designated as Older Californians Nutrition Month, LifeSTEPS would like to thank our partners who have helped us provide nearly $762,000 in food support to our older adults and families during COVID-19. Thanks to the generosity of local food banks and food pantries, YMCA food donations, home delivered meals, Grab and Go senior meals and Great Plates, we have been able to provide food baskets to seniors and families facing food insecurity during these uncertain times presented by COVID-19. We are so grateful to have this support.

Food is an essential part of living, and many people haven’t had access to the food they need both before and during the pandemic. We are proud that our LifeSTEPS team, with the help of our partners, helped reduce hunger by distributing food baskets to seniors and families in need at nearly 340 low-income apartment communities across California. By reducing hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition, residents will live healthier and more independent lives.

Preventing Homelessness During COVID-19

A single mother of three children in Chino Hills, California was struggling to pay rent. She lost her job due to COVID-19, and was relying on her son’s SSI benefits to keep her family afloat. Caring for her son with autism and helping her children with remote learning made it difficult for her to find new employment. After applying for unemployment benefits and not receiving assistance, she feared she and her children would lose their home. She turned to LifeSTEPS for help, who provided critical intervention and rental assistance until she could get back on track. She now has a new job, and the family is back on its feet.

March marks one year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the crisis, LifeSTEPS has provided more than $550,000 to keep struggling individuals, families and seniors across California from losing their housing. By helping residents stay positively focused on solutions to problems, such as falling behind on rent, LifeSTEPS helped prevent homeless, minimize anxiety in the household and help our residents stay out to debt during an unpredictable climate.

Low-income housing communities have been hit hard by COVID-19. At LifeSTEPS, we’re thrilled by the success of our rental assistance program and intervention tactics and we’re proud that we helped residents find stability and security during these challenging times. Rental assistance helps keep residents safe and in their homes, allows our residents to focus on finding employment, budgeting, helping with children’s school work and most importantly, feeling like there was hope.