Growing Together

Check out the new community gardens at Monterey Pines and Cypress Pines, two affordable housing communities located in Richmond, CA. Spearheaded by Director of Social Services Alliayiah Smith, LifeSTEPS residents pitched in to help prepare the gardens, planting squash, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, peas and pumpkins.

“Creating and caring for these gardens has been an incredible experience. Residents of all ages have come together to grow their own food and they’re so excited to see the fruits of their labor,” said Alliayiah.


Meredith Chillemi serving on Orange County Office on Aging Steering Committee

Meredith Chillemi is serving on a new 15-member advisory steering committee, in partnership with the Orange County Office on Aging (OoA) and Charitable Ventures Orange County, to support the re-engagement of older adults in a post-COVID world.

As senior centers throughout Orange County begin to re-open and other programs return to pre-pandemic offerings, education and outreach efforts directed at older adults is critical. These efforts will need to address older adults’ hesitation, fear, mental and physical decline, and the long-term consequences of isolation. Similarly, organizations that serve older adults will need the tools and resources to ensure health and safety for staff, volunteers, and clients.

“In this role, I am pleased to collaborate with fellow aging services providers so that older adults may emerge from the last year, learn what they can do to energize their lives and get ready to thrive as part of the Orange County community again,” said Meredith.

Employee Spotlight: Patricia Koroiveibau

With her heart set on serving others, Patricia found a true home at LifeSTEPS three years ago. Her favorite core value is empowerment, which she believes is the key to helping residents build self-sufficiency. “I love having the opportunity to help people, whether it’s supporting youth through our after-school program or helping a family obtain rental assistance.”

LifeSTEPS launches Big Fun in the Sun

Summer is officially here which means we’re kicking off #BigFunInTheSun, LifeSTEPS’ eight-week after-school program, which prevents the summer reading slide and develops long-term academic and career success for our residents between ages 5-18.  The theme this year is “Reading Colors your World,” and we couldn’t agree more!  Stayed tuned for more about the colorful impact our reading program has on our youngest residents. And congratulations to our program coordinator Nadia for winning the 2021 Big Fun in the Sun promotional poster contest!