Established in 1992, the South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center is a school based non-profit organization that provides basic needs services, educational opportunities, family advocacy and bilingual counseling for children and adults.
Our mission is “to enable individuals and families to maintain their health, to achieve self-sufficiency and economic stability, to develop resilience in both parents and children, and to allow families to become a contributing part of our community.”
The Family Resource Center has a contract with El Dorado County Mental Health to provide mental health prevention and early intervention (PEI) services to the Latino and low- income communities of the South Lake Tahoe area. We offer depression groups for men and for women, parenting classes, socialization classes, couples relationship classes, advocacy, translations, and individual counseling by appointment with bilingual peer counselors.
In addition to PEI services, the Family Resource Center offers several other programs that promote resiliency in the Latino and low-income community. The Basic Needs program provides food in the form of monthly dry good commodities distribution, weekly bread, eggs, and milk distribution, and free clothing and shoes especially in the winter months. The center provides free oral and written translations, and health, housing, and job seeking advocacy. Energy and rental assistance is also available. The Center’s Parabajitos program offers children, youth, and teens the opportunity to develop self-esteem and a sense of belonging in the community by focusing on leadership skills, college educational goals, and community service. In collaboration with the Lake Tahoe Community College, the Center offers free English language classes Monday through Thursday and a Foster and Kinship Care Education Program every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in Spanish. Topics include: child development, positive strategies for discipline, and promoting resilience against gangs, and drug and alcohol abuse.
According to the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Latinos are identified as a high-risk group for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. For example, a 1997 study of female high-school students found that the rate of attempted suicide among Latino girls (14.9%) was one-and-a-half times that of African American (9.0%) and non-Hispanic white (10.3%) girls. Studies have also shown that Latinos are twice as likely to seek treatment for mental disorders in other settings (e.g., medical facility or clergy) than they are to seek care from a traditional mental health provider. Combine these statistics with a relatively low number of Spanish-speaking mental health providers, and a strong and persistent stigma associated with mental illness, and we find significant mental health disparities and barriers to mental health care access for Latino populations.
We are open to the suggestions of the community to help reduce disparities for all citizenry and work to provide hope and opportunity for those in disadvantaged circumstances. We focus on education as a means to career success and provide support and encouragement to all who ask for assistance. Volunteers are needed throughout the year, and we encourage youth and adults to assist us in a variety of volunteer activities.