History of FAMILIA UNIDA

Incorporated as a grass roots 501-c3 nonprofit in 1998 as the first MS organization in the United States to outreach to the Spanish speaking community. Familia Unida Living with Multiple Sclerosis, e.g. Familia Unida; was founded in the early 90’s by Irma Resendez after her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis when she was 28 years old and learned at that time there were no services available or accessible for the Spanish speaking MS community. Irma experienced paralysis to her lower extremities and was confined to a wheelchair for almost a year. The Resendez home became the casa of hope where Irma and her family shared love with their new MS friends, learned about free resources, shared tears and hugs and especially reminded each other that they were not alone. Resendez went back to school to obtain her Masters in Social Work then incorporated Familia Unida as a non profit organization. Our office has been located in the East Los Angeles County- Centro Maravilla Center, for the past 17 years! The organization was initially founded to provide support services and resources to the Spanish speaking living with Multiple Sclerosis, targeting vulnerable, low-income and immigrants living with MS in the County of Los Angeles. However with the large demand for services in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and with Familia Unidas' open door policy more and more individuals arrived for help. Familia Unidas' reputation grew among the community as the "one stop for information and referrals" with a cultural sensitive approach.

Familia Unida heard the community plea to expand the services provided, 10 years ago offically revamped the organization’s mission to widen the services scope and core principles to include support to anyone who was living with a disability, chronic illness and who were low income immigrants who faced similar challenges. Today Familia unida serves over 15,000 individuals representing a rainbow of cultures, disabilities and especially immigrants who are in need of assistance to be included in the economic growth of their community and who deserved to be counted. Those we serve often express gratitude for our services and linkage to resources that changed and improved their life. Familia Unida has earned the reputation as the “safe place that doesn’t turn anyone away”, “if Familia Unida can’t help you directly, they will find the place where you need to go”. We accept all that walk in our door or reach us for assistance via telephone, email and during our community in person outreaches. Familia Unida staff conduct initial assessment to evaluate if client requires in-house supportive services or a referral to appropriate community service providers, often times needing more than one service or referral.

The office is located in the heart of East Los Angeles. FULWMS continues to uphold its solid commitment to offer innovative and comprehensive programs and services that has received National and International recognition. The family centered service model respect and value the diverse population served. Our programs promote healthier lifestyles, social justice engagement, immigration education, socialization, family unity and the importance of being a part of the economic development of their community.

CARE Program

Counseling Advocacy Referral Empowerment
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The purpose of the CARE program is to work one-on-one with Familia Unida members. The CARE program objectives are to focus on providing supportive services such as counseling, referrals and advocacy for those with disabilities and their families. By forming a personalized bond with our members, this program is able to identify the real issues affecting individuals and/or their families. by providing supportive services that enhances their quality of life. We are able to empower our clients to be proactive in their choices related to their health, social service needs and receive a better understanding of their human and civic rights.

We also provide additional support to community resources, educational speakers and socialization is experienced at the Monthly Support Group Meetings, Kids Corner, Community-Health-Employment Outreaches, one-of-the-kind - innovative Wheelchair Wash Event that hosts over 2,000 community members during the celebration of the Americans Disability Act.

HAPI Program

Health Access Personal Investment
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The goal of the HAPI Program is to bridge fun innovative health access activities that are inclusive of the family while incorporating laughter, play therapy, exercise, expertise speakers, resources, educational materials/handouts in a manner that is in appropriate language, respectful, culturally sensitive and providing tools for long-term support that they can share with family members or refer to for maximum results.

We encourage that "knowledge is power" and reinforce the importance of communication and sharing of lessons learned and strengthening supportive services ties with family and friends for ultimate results and continued support.

Employment Network Services

Familia Unida Employment Services
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The Employment Network is comprised of national partners’ collectively working to find employment for the disabled. The FUES is a cooperative agreement based program between Familia Unida and the Social Security Administration. The primary goal is to assist qualified disabled individuals in receiving SSI or SSDI benefits to find appropriate jobs, promote and, educate employers. We believe that people with disabilities have many abilities and skills which merit successful and gainful employment opportunity.

The delivery of services ranges from conducting an individual work plan, intake of skills, evaluation of skills/disability, providing assistance with reaching a realistic goal for finding the best employer-employee match, job research, resume building, job coaching, interview tips and linkage to other supportive services in the community that will assist in the transition from not working to becoming gainfully employed.

LOVE Program

Leadership Opportunities Versatile Engagement
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The goal of the LOVE Program is to provide mentorship, work experience, or recieve expertise consultation from a diverse socio economic individuals/groups within the Southern California region. Through a competitive process, Cooperative Agreements are made with local Universities, students representing USC, UCLA, Cal State Universities, Local High Schools, Senior Citizen Organizations, Expertise Consultants and the Disabled Community. Participants in this leadership internship program commitment to a minimum of 15 to 25 hours a week.

We embrace participation from different cultures, ages, genders, disabilities and languages. We have found that our cross culture service model that is inclusive of the engagement of our community has been a transformational positive experience for all concerned that reinforces our mission of sharing LOVE that is contagious!

Events & Community Outreaches

Annual Wheelchair Wash & Monthly Support Group Meetings and more!!!
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Special Thanks To Heart of Compassion and Community friends for sponsoring the monthly Food pantry and surprise goodies. Every month Familia Unida's volunteers convene in the morning to transport food pantry to the Rosemead community center. Sometimes we are blessed to receive other surprise items line toiletries or clothing that is donated to our participants at the monthly support group meeting. Fresh fruit, vegetables, rice, bread and can goods are some of the items that are sorted and shared with all to take home and grateful that there is usually enough so that they can share a extra bag of food with their family or friends if they desire. We encourage all to bring recyclable bags to assist with cost and because we promote recycling and saving our planet.

Wheelchair Wash Sunday October 15, 2017Community Health Fair @ELA CIVIC CENTER

Come join us! From 10am-6pm Learn More

You are not alone ... No estas solo

Mission Statement: “Familia Unida Living with MS, provides unconditional love, hope and support to individuals and families living with MS and disabilities to Maximize the Quality of Life”

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  • Community Outreaches
  • Direct Member Services
  • Wheelchair Wash
  • Kids Corner Activities
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