FOLA Stands Against Hate

Dear Friends,

I had intended to write something about National Women’s Month in general but now must write something more specific to our Asian-American sisters.  I am using this space to condemn racism of all kinds.  I hope that everyone who reads this post will take a moment to ask what they can do in defense of these appalling acts.  Some suggestions I just received from an Asian-American colleague are as follows:

  • Speak out in moments of injustice
  • Check in with your Asian-American friends and family
  • Call your local, state, and federal representatives to see what they are doing to support the Asian community
  • Follow StopAAPIHate on social media

My colleague also provided these resources:

Horrible things happen when “good people do nothing.”  Please take action and please be safe.


Mary Weaver

Executive Director

Friends Outside LA County

2020 Year End Report

Friends Outside Los Angeles County has great success with state-funded program

Dear Friends of Friends Outside in Los Angeles County!

Congratulations to our clients and our staff who completed our California Workforce Development Board-funded grant, Forward Focus, with flying colors!  Here are just some of their accomplishments:

What we were contracted to do
What we actually did
Enroll 135 parolees and county probationers (clients) into the ForwardFocus program
Enrolled 135 parolees and county probationers (clients) into the program
75 clients to attain an industry-recognized vocational training so they are more competitive for employment
75 clients attained industry-recognized vocational trainings
81 clients to attain employment
82 obtained employment

The jobs they obtained included the following:

Truck Driver

Warehouse Associate

Forklift Mechanic

Housing Attendant

Security Guard

Union Construction Trades (Plumber, laborer)
54 clients to retain employment
67 clients retained employment

Kudos to Helena Henderson, Case Manager, and Jose Cosme Sandoval, Job Specialist, who did this great work with our great clients under the leadership of Irena Seta, Director of Employment Programs!

The Day the World Changed – Update from Friends Outside in Los Angeles County

So, let me deal with the obvious first . . . yes, I am still here.  The top two candidates for my position turned down the job offer, perhaps due to the salary.  The Board is continuing the search.

I want to let you, our supporters, know that our clients are continuing to be served by our 22 member staff who are working safely from their homes. This includes services to individuals by telephone, text, email, and via U.S. Mail and workshops via a platform such as WebEx or Zoom.   I am in daily contact with our five managers who are in daily contact with the staff they supervise.  We are having weekly team meetings to check-in with one another, share information about new resources, strategize how to best deliver services, ensure that we are meeting the requirements of our grantors, and generally to keep spirits up.  And, I am in touch with grantors to ensure that we are providing services to their satisfaction while remaining in compliance with Governor Newsom’s order to stay at home.

Concerns include whether new grant opportunities will be made available down the road and how individual fundraising will hold-up, understanding that people for the most part are going to be focused on their own survival, including some who are losing their jobs.  But, one of my biggest concerns is that as I listen to press conferences and news sources whichI believe to be legitimate, I have yet to hear mentioned the special needs of nonprofits when discussions take place about what Congress is considering in the bailout packages.  I am, therefore, encouraging each of you to contact your representatives in Washington D.C. and remind them of the important work that is performed by our sector, providing services that will be needed now more than ever as human need escalates.  Please ask them to “have our backs” when the bailout packages are put together.  I also encourage you to go to this link and read the story from CNN which explains this need in greater detail:

Of course, your donations will be welcome, too, but I believe that advocating to Congress at this critical time is the most important act you can take on our behalf and on behalf of those in need.

Wishing you all good physical and mental health as we navigate uncertain waters from our individual lifeboats.

Mary Weaver
Executive Director