top of page

 

 

 

 

We are blessed to be completing nine years of service which has positively impacted thousands of lives, changed for the better.

 

1. We now have two active Life Skills Programs; a Secular Life Skills Course and a Faith Development Life Skills Course. Customers can choose their course, or even participate in both courses if they wish. The basic curriculum is the same with scripture content added to create a more faith-based experience for those desiring a spiritual connection.

 

2. In October we signed an agreement with Hope for Housing Foundation (HTHF), the non-profit arm of National CORE Renaissance, one of the largest non-profit affordable housing development corporations in the United States.  They have more than 9,000 affordable housing units in five states.  HTHF is a major provider of Permanent Supportive Housing in the San Diego region with nearly 200 units dedicated to serving homeless individuals, families, veterans and youth with disabilities. We are pleased to be partnering with HTHF by providing coaching and life skills services to participants in their Collaborative Housing Retention Intervention Program (CHRIP).  The program is unique to the area and is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care grants program.  CHRIP serves multiple communities in San Diego, with the goal of providing intensive intervention services designed to help participants maintain housing and avoid returning to homelessness. The agreement is for us to provide our Life Skills program and coaching for up to 17 residents at risk of eviction. HTHF is well connected with service agencies (about 20 program partners) that we will be working with, along with case management and property management staff, to help support residents by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to avoid recidivating to homelessness.  This presents a new opportunity to directly connect with several services agencies in a coaching environment that builds on our core life skill services in a very unique way.  This is a one-year program with an excellent potential for renewal. 

 

3. We recently received news that we will be offered a new two-year contract with the San Diego Housing Commission to provide our Online Life Skills Course with Coaching, in both individual and group settings. This a special workforce initiative grant that will serve two training groups of 20 youth per year, or 80 over the two-year program.  The end goal for the program is for participants to earn Medical Assistant certification at the end of the program.  Our role is to help the participants increase their life skills competencies and to provide coaching and support on a 1-1 and group setting, to provide support throughout the certification program.   

 

4. We continue to partner with and develop programs for Project W.E.S.T., a Transformation Living Program providing housing and drug and alcohol sober living support services East County.  They continue to add students to the Life Skills Program, in three locations located in El Cajon and Lemon Grove where they provide residential recovery support services for 50 residents. This month the CEO of Project W.E.S.T., requested that we add the Faith Development course and provide more curriculum facilitator support.  The faith-centric curriculum is a good complement to 12 step recovery programs and provides a spiritual connection to the core life skills curriculum that often resonates with those working on recovery.  

 

5. East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC) is a premier transitional housing facility in El Cajon. We have met the CEO  to discuss the potential for collaboration. She immediately understood our cognitive behavior approach and expressed her enthusiastic interest in both courses and wants to partner with Real Life Skills at ECTLC.

 

6. The Faith Life Skills Course was first introduced and developed for the Wednesday Ladle Bible Study and Fellowship offered by the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego.  The Ladle Director has since resigned and the program is on hold until a new Director is hired. In the meantime, the Choir director, has expressed an interest in the Faith program for his homeless choir. The Ladle experience allowed us to pilot the Faith program and to develop and test out the curriculum.  We now can use that curriculum with other service providers.  

 

 A New Chapter for Real Life Skills

 

Our research this year provided important learnings to jumpstart our programs. We have learned from our customers and advisors that we needed to:

            1. Provide facilitators and coaches for our Online Life Skills courses. Since COVID it has been a challenge to replicate the success of the live in- person classes via a virtual platform.   While agencies recognize the importance of Life Skills education for its clients, there are some challenges that require discipline and the need to coaching and the fostering of encouragement throughout the curriculum which can be a barrier for some in completing the course or for maximizing its benefit.  In most cases it is offered as choice and needs to be reinforced with facilitators who are former graduates of the program, that can explain the benefits from taking the course. In time, and with proper training, it is our belief that program graduates from agencies having lived experiences will become the best facilitators and coaches.

 

            2. Offer Customized content to meet the diverse needs of the populations we serve. This content will be further developed as we start providing services to various populations and are able to better assess the needs of each population.  We anticipate there will be unique differences between transitional age youth (TAY), seniors, those with substance abuse histories, chronically homeless and veterans.  Some might benefit more from the Secular versus Faith based curricula.  For example, participants in the CHRIP permanent supportive housing programs often struggle with managing their finances, behaviors relating to their mental health, or lack the understanding of what it takes to be a good tenant and neighbor.  Transitional Youth need consistent support and training for and access to jobs.  Seniors may need to learn how to use computers. We expect to play an important role in identifying, developing or partnering with other providers, to deliver the content that will help each person have success.  This information will also help us develop our program offerings and position Real Life Skills to be competitive for funding opportunities. 

 

This year we integrated our core curriculum and coaching program using software technology that has the capability to link real time live coaching with a program coach, to participants to enhance their life skills learning experience. We have also added QR codes for students to have easy access to our courses. It is these changes that have made it possible to attract our new customers and to provide a better array of services that are more likely to meet each participant’s needs.  

 

We continue to work with agencies that serve individuals, transition aged youth, and families who are homeless, in transition, participating in drug & alcohol rehabilitation, and those living in poverty, seeking better job opportunities. We seek to collaborate with organizations that recognize the importance of educating clients in life skills, using cognitive behavior theory to disrupt negative thought patterns, and those willing to offer an ongoing educational program for their clients.

 

Our goals for 2024 are:

 

1. Have a successful implementation of our Life Skills program with coaching with our new major customers, which will provide $40,000 annually in revenue, to serve 32 students.

            

2. Add part-time staffing resources of Coaches and Facilitators. James Robins, our Executive Director will be hiring and leading a team of former graduates as coaches. 

 

3. Pursue collaboration with agencies that include Urban Street Angels, City Tree School, Walk with me Program, and Be a Friend program.

            

 

4. Continue to develop program services and components. 

            a. Determine what service elements are most effective with various populations.

            b. Accurately assess the cost of the various program components so that we can negotiate better contract terms and seek grant funds that will result in additional resources to expand reach of programs and allow us to maximize impact in most cost-effective way possible. 

            c. Test out and tweak incentive program and use of former students as peer coaches.  

 

Our financial needs are to increase our infrastructure capability to meet the requested needs of new customers, program development and outcomes evaluations that will be necessary to successfully navigate this new growth opportunity and the corresponding challenges we are sure to encounter in this new chapter of Real Life Skills.  

 

We believe we are in a special place today where God has directed us that conveys our love for others and a mission to be fulfilled.  It is only through the generous financial support of our donors that we are able to realize our mission and find ourselves in the space we are today.  For that, we are greatly appreciative and forever grateful.  

ANNUAL REPORT 2023

 

                                                            Financial Highlights 2023

 

                                    Total income                                       $   50,850

                                    Functional Breakdown of Expenses:

                                                Program expenses                      37,901   72.3%

                                                Fundraising                                     2,606    5.0%

                                                Administrative                              11,930  22.8%

                                                     sub total expenses               $52,437

                                                Net Excess for the year            $-  1,587                             

                                                Net Assets Beginning of Year$   76,714

                                                Net Assets End of the Year     $. 75,127

            

 

                              

                                                              Board Roster & Officers

 

 

                        Richard Karlson        President

                                                            Co- Founder 

                                                            richardk@reallifeskills.org

 

                        Susan Zlaket             Secretary

                                                            Previous Board Director-Kiwanis Club of San Diego

 

                        Robinson                   Treasurer

                        Devadhason             CPA,MBA

 

 

                        James Robins           Board member

                                                            Executive Director

                                                            Co-Founder and Educator

                                                            Senior Facilitator

 

                        Bruce Menser          Board member

                                                            Board member-San Diego Downtown Fellowship

 

                        Raul Palomino         Board member

                                                            Executive Director -New Day Urban Ministries

                                                            MBA

bottom of page