Our Community-Based Partnership Initiative, FLOSS (Family Life Outreach Support Services) is a component of Reintegrating Alternatives Personal Program (RAPP).
The overall objective of FLOSS is to support and empower family participants to break negative life cycles to become viable members of the community. By utilizing RAPP’s strong and long-standing ties with the Southeast community, FLOSS will serve at-risk youth and low-income/TANF eligible families. The primary goal of FLOSS is to work diligently with families and at-risk youth between the ages of 7 and 18 to actualize its potential for community independence and economic success through the creation of realistic strategies at self improvement and the removal of traditional obstacles to personal progress in the areas of family enrichment, community health, education and employment.
Clients include residents of Ward 8 in general and specifically those who reside within a 10-block radius of Ainger Place, a designated “hotspot” located in Southeast Washington. The program objective is achieved through four areas of concentration: Mentoring Youth and Parents; Tutoring Children and Adults; Life-Skills Building Workshops and Outreach Programs that focus on violence/crime prevention.
In many ways, the complex problems and challenges that confront the Ward 8 community today are typical of many large urban populations found in major cities across the country. The Ward 8 community is, however, unique in that it has developed a growing resource base in recent years that taps the strength of its residents and the positive, good will of many citizens who have faced these problems with determination and concern for others. RAPP is one at the forefront of providing resources for hard-to-serve populations.
Many of the families living within the “hot spot” area are afflicted with low self esteem, low academics and negative life experiences which have, in many instances, caused individuals to drift into delinquent behavior and family dysfunction. These negative behaviors seem to pass from generation to generation in many families within the targeted population. A comprehensive plan for family services provided through FLOSS and coordination of community and social services create a stronger and more vibrant healthy family, foster self-worth and improved academics and change the victim mentality to empowerment, and as a result maximize individual and family life potential.
FLOSS’s specific key goals and objectives for this initiative are as follows:
- To provide a nurturing and supporting relationship with a mentor who serves as a positive role model. This relationship should remain intact beyond the family’s participation in the program.
- To provide tutoring and a Mega Skills Program that will improve academic performance, reduce the drop-out rate and encourage college attendance for at-risk youth, and promote academic enrichment and continuing education for parents/guardians.
- To develop individualized Life Skill Building strategies that will heal those in need and build a positive foundation to eliminate the need and use of alcohol, drugs, or any other negative life influence including but not limited to gang activity participation.
- To provide community outreach services designed for violence/crime prevention.
- To provide tools to empower the individual by increasing/improving self-esteem and self-image.
- To provide tools to improve interpersonal skills with peers, teachers, other adults, and family members.
To provide families exposure to experiences that they might not otherwise encounter.
Specifically designed curriculums in these areas are developed and intended to promote improved parent/child communications, family bonding, personal, family and academic enrichment, individual and community accountability, expectations and responsibility, and changing the mentality from victim to empowerment. These curriculums will enhance ongoing program services (i.e., substance abuse counseling, parenting skills, domestic violence, anger management, etc.) made available to community residents through RAPP. Therefore, these additional services are made available to FLOSS clients, as deemed necessary for effective family development.
Families with additional needs identified through the initial interview, intake and assessment process will be referred to FLOSS’s collaborative partners for assistance. FLOSS implements various “best practices” strategies that include family preservation and crime/violence prevention models.
FLOSS supports Ward 8 in caring for itself and advocating for improved services and expanded resources to enable this deserving community to realize its greatest potential and overcome its most pressing challenges.