1. SSG Receives Three Year CARF Accreditation

    December 7, 2015 SSG has been awarded a Three Year Accreditation from CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) in Outpatient Treatment and Community Employment Services. This accreditation demonstrates that SSG programs meet a rigorous standard for quality and service excellence and conformance to internationally accepted standards of practice.

    CARF is an internationally recognized independent, nonprofit health and human service accrediting body. The CARF accreditation process entails an in-depth assessment and review of service delivery and business operations over a multiple day visit by several surveyors. We are pleased to have successfully completed this review and received the highest level of accreditation in our areas of specialty.

  1. Lack of Dental Care for Children is a National Problem

    August 26, 2015 Children from low-income households across the country are not receiving preventive dental care services, according to a recent news article. Even those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program tend not to be treated. As a result, the percentage of children from low-income backgrounds with untreated tooth decay is about double that of children from households above the poverty level.

    SSG is committed to providing dental services to children who would otherwise not receive treatment. Our Children’s Dental and Outreach Project provides dental health education and no-cost dental care to students from low-income families preparing for kindergarten through high school in 8 school districts. Learn more here.

  1. Task Force Puts Forth Workforce Development Proposal

    August 10, 2015 A California education task force recently approved a set of recommendations for closing the job skills gap in the state. Commissioned in 2014 by the community college system’s Board of Governors, the task force assembled a blueprint that will be presented in town halls in San Francisco and Los Angeles next month. Implementation of the proposal could begin as early as January 2016.

    SSG is dedicated to preparing youth, young adults and adults for the workforce. Our workforce development programs provide individuals with the skills needed to become productive and independent members of society. Learn more here.

    Photo by Arno KleineSchaars / CC BY 2.0

  1. APIOPA Featured in the LA Times

    July 27, 2015 Last weekend, SSG division APIOPA was featured in the LA Times for their work bringing healthful produce to Filipinotown, a neighborhood in which grocery stores and access to fresh produce are scarce. Together with OCAPICA, APIOPA runs the Roots CSA agriculture collective, which supplies fresh, culturally-relevant produce to Asian and Pacific Islander communities from small local farmers. Congratulations, APIOPA, for getting recognition for your programming! To learn more about APIOPA, click here.

  1. It’s Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

    July 13, 2015 Organizations across the US are currently participating in Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, named after the author and activist. The month is meant “to focus on building awareness about the importance of mental wellness and effective mental health care and inform the community about available resources.”

    No matter the month, SSG is dedicated to helping vulnerable communities on a variety of issues, including mental health. From PALs for Health, which helps Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients navigate the health care system, to Weber Community Center, which provides comprehensive outpatient mental health and substance abuse services to youth, SSG’s many divisions aim to meet the needs of Los Angeles’ diverse population. Learn more about our programs here.

  1. House of Reps. Puts Forth Criminal Justice Reform Bill

    June 29, 2015 Toward the end of last week, a bipartisan criminal reform bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. Titled the Safe, Accountable, Fair, Effective (SAFE) Justice Act, the legislation aims to decrease the prison population by, among other proposed changes, training prison staff in mental health issues and expanding recidivism-reduction programming. The bill has received support from a broad coalition that includes the NAACP, the ACLU, Koch Industries, and the American Conservative Union.

    SSG has a history of providing programming in the forensic treatment and criminal justice arena. Offenders and ex-offenders, as well as youth at-risk of offending, are eligible for services that are designed to decrease recidivism and facilitate reintegration into the community. Learn more here.

    Photo by Kate Ter Haar / CC BY 2.0

  1. Barriers to Health Care Persist

    June 17, 2015 A short while ago, Alliance For A Just Society released a study that reported families still face barriers when it comes to accessing health care coverage, despite the insurance mandate. The reasons include cost considerations, lack of access to information, and language and cultural barriers.

    SSG division PALS for Health works to advise vulnerable communities in the Los Angeles region on health care access. Staff have linguistic and cultural competency in a number of languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. Learn more here.

    Photo by Truthout.org / CC BY 2.0

  1. Los Angeles Homelessness on the Rise

    June 4, 2015 According to a recent count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has risen by 12% over the past two years. 70% of these individuals were not sleeping in shelters, but instead were taking refuge in cars or on the streets.

    SSG division Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS) assisted LAHSA with the homeless count. HOPICS has a long history of working to find services and shelter for those facing homelessness. Founded in 1988, HOPICS is a respected service provider in Los Angeles County that offers an integrated approach to addressing mental health issues, substance abuse treatment, reentry needs and homeless and housing assistance. Learn more about HOPICS here.

    Photo by Timothy Krause / CC BY 2.0

  1. Teen Obesity Linked to Alzheimer’s & Dementia

    May 19, 2015 A newly-released study found that obese teens have an increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. It is believed that the onset of insulin resistance in early life increases the risk of those health conditions down the line.

    SSG is dedicated to helping individuals work toward positive health outcomes. Our health programming offers a continuum of prevention and health services for individuals and families. SSG division Asian Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA) is specifically dedicated to improving/addressing the social, cultural, environmental, and political factors that contribute to the growing rates of obesity among API residents in Los Angeles County. Learn more about APIOPA here.

    Photo by Mike Licht / CC BY 2.0

  1. U.S. News & World Report’s 2 Most Important Caregiver Tips

    May 4, 2015 U.S. News & World Report recently published their “2 Most Important Tips” for caregivers to those with dementia. Why focus on caregivers for people with dementia? Because this disease poses to caregivers unique challenges that leave them particularly vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and isolated.

    SSG’s programs for the older adult population are designed to reduce health and mental health disparities for low-income older adults and family caregivers. Our older adult services are provided to individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds throughout Los Angeles County. To learn more about these programs, click here

    Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque / CC BY 2.0

  1. Substance Abuse in American Workers

    April 20, 2015 According to a new report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 1 in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. recently struggled with substance abuse. An analysis of survey data collected between 2008 and 2012 revealed that 9.5% of respondents were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year.

    SSG has a number of substance abuse programs that are designed to meet the diverse needs of the community through high-quality, innovative services. Programs provide an array of services related to prevention, treatment, and recovery. To learn more about SSG’s substance abuse programs, click here.

    Photo by Wisappe / CC BY 2.0

  1. Mental Health Parity Still a Way Off

    April 6, 2015 According to a recently-released report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “health insurance plans are falling short in coverage of mental health and substance abuse conditions.” While the law mandates many U.S. insurance provides cover mental health care like other widespread conditions, NAMI found that progress in achieving this mental health parity is slow going and happening in fits and starts across the country. Their report, A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care,” is available here.

    SSG has a number of divisions that are designed to decrease mental health disparities and improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations. A variety of programs offer innovative, comprehensive and culturally appropriate services to advance the wellness of diverse communities. To learn more about these programs, click here.

    Photo by MilitaryHealth / CC BY 2.0

  1. SSG/Weber Community Center to Tackle Humanitarian Crisis

    March 26, 2015 Special Service for Groups/Weber Community Center is one of a handful of non-profits to receive funding to provide critical services to refugee youth in Los Angeles County. In California, Los Angeles is the primary region receiving refugee youth, many of whom are fleeing a life of violence in Central America. The nearly $850K in funding comes from a collaborative of local, state, and national funders. Read more here.

    Photo courtesy of the California Community Foundation

  1. New Smartphone Attachment Will Test for HIV/AIDS

    March 9, 2015 A team of Columbia University researchers have developed a smartphone device that can test for HIV and syphilis. According to Science Daily, the mobile-powered device uses a finger-prick amount of blood to make a diagnosis in 15 minutes. Costing approximately $34 to make, and able to test at a “full laboratory-quality” standard, the device may one day be used to make “lab-based diagnostics accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones.”

    SSG supports developments that promote early diagnosis and increase access to healthcare. Our own HIV/AIDS program, APAIT, provides culturally-competent, linguistically-appropriate services to medically underserved communities living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS in Southern California. Learn more about APAIT and our health programs here.

    Photo by Samiksha Nayak, Columbia Engineering

  1. Children’s Dental & Outreach Project Gets New Home

    January 26, 2015 On Wednesday, January 21, SSG was thrilled to participate in the grand opening of the Family Resource Center, home to the Children’s Dental and Outreach Project and the Children’s Medical Clinic. Formerly housed in an old WWII Army trailer, the new La Puente building will allow more families than before to access basic health services that can help their children thrive.

    The expanded dental space has room for 2 dentist chairs. One is installed. The second space stands empty while the hunt for a chair donation is underway. If you have information on a potential lead, please contact SSG today!

  1. Weber Community Center Gets a Huffington Post Mention

    January 12, 2015 Blogging for the Huffington Post, Martin J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership, recently praised the work of SSG’s Weber Community Center, calling its work with South Los Angeles’ John C. Fremont High School “a sterling example of cooperation between school and community-based mental health professionals.”

    Weber is one of multiple SSG divisions that serve at-risk, economically disadvantaged children, youth, and families across various racial/ethnic and age groups at service sites located throughout the Los Angeles region. All programs are designed to strengthen families so that they may lead healthy, fulfilled and successful lives. Learn more here.