Be Inspired

Who is “Creating Lasting Sustainable Change for Those Who Need It the Most”?

Posted on December 13th, 2014 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

His name is Jonathan Lopez, I like to call him “John.”

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He is my brother. He inspires me daily by his example. Here are some things he has accomplished, and these are just a few ways he has made his life’s work to help others…

Kaiser Permanente Program Provides Hope and Resources to Homeless Patients

By Michael Carter

Homeless patients are getting the help they need to rebuild their lives thanks to a unique program at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. Led by staff member Jonathan Lopez, the Homeless
Navigator Pilot Program aims to find shelter and other vital community services for homeless patients who seek care in their emergency department.

The program is the first of its kind for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. This unique program addresses the needs of homeless patients by using a coordinated approach that involves a dedicated team of staff and community resource providers. The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, case manager, administrators, and the Homeless Navigator.

Since its inception in April, 2012, the program has placed more than 576 homeless patients into shelters, transitional housing, permanent housing, and substance abuse treatment programs. That’s a dramatic increase from 2011, when just 25 homeless patients were placed in shelters during the entire year.

“We offer an atmosphere of hope and caring to our homeless clients and we are making a significant difference.” ~Jonathan Lopez

The program has been so successful in ending homelessness for Kaiser Permanente patients that it has become a new model of care for this vulnerable population. During the past year, the program has received many accolades, including the 2013 Community Impact Partner of the Year Award from Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and the Community Partnership Award from The Salvation Army in March 2013.

“Kaiser Permanente is not only a leading provider in health care, but now they are leading the way in health and human services through their Homeless Navigator Program,” said Ken Craft, president and chief operating officer for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The Mission is a non-profit agency serving thousands of men, women, children and their families in the San Fernando Valley.

“Through the leadership of Mr. Lopez, homeless people who come to the hospital are treated with dignity and respect and they are connected to community resources. The program links the homeless with service providers that assist them with accessing case management and wrap around resources. ,This unique program has been a catalyst in transforming the landscape of homeless service providers. Now, thanks to Kaiser Permanente and the San Fernando Valley Homeless Service Providers we are all working together to assist the most vulnerable in our society,” added Craft.

Here’s how the program works:

Lopez serves as a liaison between Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center and nonprofit community partners that offer an array of services, including shelter, food, clothing, job assistance and substance abuse treatment. That’s in addition to permanent housing which is the main component to ending homelessness.
Working with emergency medicine physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, and deputy administrators Lopez connects homeless patients with the services they need to end their homelessness.

Tom Gray, 46, credits the Homeless Navigator Pilot Program with saving his life. Addicted to crystal methamphetamine, he lost his home and job and had been living on the streets for many years. He came to the attention of homeless team after seeking emergency treatment for an abscess on his leg.

With the team’s support, Gray is now rebuilding his life. He is living at the Cabrito House, a sober living home for men overcoming alcohol addiction. He is also working as a sales representative for a heating and air conditioning company in Canoga Park, where he has been the sales leader for three out of 11 months. In his spare time, Gray gives motivational speeches to patients at the Tarzana Treatment Center, a behavioral health care organization that provides substance abuse and mental health treatment to adults and teens.

“Without this Homeless Navigator Program, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I would have gone back to the streets,” said Gray. “It’s a great program.” The homeless navigator team is committed to helping more people like Gray.

Last summer, Lopez expanded his scope of responsibilities, assisting homeless patients that had not entered the emergency department and consulted with dozens of homeless clients monthly after they were discharged from the ER. As the Homeless Navigator, Lopez develops community partnerships, through which Kaiser Permanente’s NavigationTeam is able to arrange for transportation and placement in local shelters, transitional housing and substance abuse treatment programs, when needed.

The goal of the Homeless Service Provider partnerships is to facilitate access to a continuum of care and coordinated services enabling them to identify long-term solutions to improve homeless clients’ living conditions and ultimately end their state of homelessness through permanent housing. Community Partners include the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, House of Hope, LA Family Housing, Columbus and Corbin House, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission in North Hollywood, the Bell Access Center, Genesis House and The Lighthouse, a shelter for women and children in Ventura County.

In addition the Homeless Navigator Pilot Program works closely with Tarzana Treatment Center, Northeast Valley Health Corporation, and the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center. The newest community partners include the Frequent User System Engagement System (F.U.S.E) and SSG Alliance – Project 40.

Paul Read, president of the Cabrito Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Cabrito House, a sober living house for recovering alcoholic men, praised Lopez’ hands-on role in assisting homeless individuals.

“It is a great privilege to work with someone as dedicated as Mr. Lopez. He works tirelessly to find people just the right place that will give them the best chance to regain their status in the community,” said Read. “We are fortunate to be a part of his team.”

The Homeless Navigator Pilot Program benefits not only homeless patients but the community partners as well.
For the past 18 months, Kaiser Permanente employees have volunteered to prepare and serve dinner at L.A. Family Housing, The Lighthouse, and the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. The staff also helped paint the library at The Salvation Army and partnered with the agency on several events. Joint activities include The United Way 5K Walk to End Homelessness, the 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and tuberculosis screening for residents of the organization’s residential substance abuse treatment program.

“We’re developing an interactive, supportive resource-sharing partnership with our homeless service providers,” said Lopez. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality of care for our homeless neighbors and to be the best community partner possible.”

*posted with permission from Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills

Jonathan shared this note he received from a colleague recently:

“Just wanted to congratulate you again for the Hope of the Valley award Saturday night.  Well deserved and truly a labor a love.  Where would we all be without the support of people like yourself and your ‘friends’ when things go bump in the night and you feel totally helpless, scared and hopeless…..  “

“Thanking you from the bottom of all our hearts…. Kaiser family & framily : )” 
 

14517984Jonathan Lopez with Kaiser’s Homeless Service Provider partners:
Ken Craft, HOTV, Tim Walker, Columbus House, Tim Pardue, House of Hope, David Faustina, HOTV.
accepting the

Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission 2014 CATALYST AWARD:

Presented to Jonathan Lopez, 

“Creating Lasting Sustainable Change for Those Who Need It the Most”

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Intentional Acts of Kindness

In 2015, Jonathan begins a new path on his journey as the V.P. of Development for Hope of the Valley. With his partners and community connections, he will lead the way in establishing a new facility that will offer transitional care for homeless and needy people when they are discharged from the hospital and have nowhere else to turn.

In addition to all that he does for the community at large, John is always there for me. He actively supports his own family and mine in everything we do and he leads our family with great pride and undoubted unconditional love. Joyful, joyous, caring, sensitive, funny, humble, celebrated and beloved, he is the best friend to have and of course, an amazing person to have as my brother!

Jonathan has been honored with many awards for his service and commitment to helping others. I am quite proud of him for that. My entire family is immensely proud of all of his and my sister-in-law, Jennifer Lyons Lopez’ work as they both devote their life’s passion to helping others. By posting this, I not only commend them for their actions, but it is my hope to inspire you to do something. Every little bit helps.

Together we can make a difference.

I wrote this post and shared the articles above for the simple joy and pride it brings me. I am not affiliated in any way with any of the organizations mentioned above, other than in connection to my family members who serve as employees or as volunteers.

A Prayer for My Friends, Do Not Fear

Posted on October 11th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Prayers

I was inspired by this letter I received that I will share with you. I hope that it helps you in your time of need my friend. These are concepts that I believe, they give me hope when I can’t explain things. When you ask for prayers (positive vibes, good mojo, a universal or cosmic hug) this is where I go…

Dear Friend, Prayer has the power to transform our fear into faith. Prayer reminds us that we are never alone. Everything we are, body and soul, is in the hands of God. God’s presence fills the universe, and He is as close to us as our own breath. No matter what pain sends our way, with God by our side, we can find the strength to confront our fears. With God accompanying us on our journey, no matter what the path, no one walks alone. God invites us “not to be afraid.” The Lord tells us throughout scripture that He is with us, and so we need not fear. In Christ, Father Pat Father Patrick J. Tonry, SM Spiritual Director Marianist Mission Province of the United States

Comfort for Those in Pain

Yesterday is gone.

Tomorrow has not yet come.

We have only today.

Let us begin.

~Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

Pain is limited…

It cannot cripple Love,

It cannot cripple Hope,

It cannot destroy Peace,

It cannot erase Memories,

It cannot silence Courage,

It cannot invade the Soul,

It cannot steal Eternal Life,

It cannot quench The Spirit,

It cannot lessen the strength of God’s Love for us.

Prayer for MizMeliz

Do Not Fear

Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you… Isaiah 41:10

 For Laura and Christine

Do You Have Character?

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Quotes & Notes

Character -- the willingness to accept (1)

Do You Love Your Life?

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Quotes & Notes

I started writing this on April 25, 2014. Sometimes the important observations get put aside in order to make room for important obligations. When I came across this draft, I was reminded how important taking time for gratitude truly is i my life.

I may say it a lot, but it is never enough…

I love my life right now!

I am grateful that I am going to be moving to a new home.

Soon there will be a new baby in the family (my great niece.)

My kids are growing into fine young men.

My husband and I are beginning to reap in the health, wealth, and happiness that we have sown.

 

“As soon as you recover or discover something that nourishes you and brings you joy, resolve to care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” ~Jean Shinoda Bolen

Did you catch that part about caring enough? “Care enough about yourself.”  Man – if nothing else, care enough about yourself. This makes all the difference in the world.

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We moved to a fine new home in June.

My family is all settled in and we adore it. Every single day I thank God for blessing me with the ability to afford to live in our beautiful home, to be able to enjoy our lovely neighborhood, and I ask for it to work out and last for a long time.  I am feeling pleased with myself for following through on the idea, for executing the plan, and for making our dreams a reality.

It took a long time to get here. Years.

Planning and preparing to move was exciting and I am still enjoying the ride.

It’s work, but the payoff is huge! I was in a state of disbelief at first. It took a few months to adjust. We are acclimated now. I am mostly unpacked. I say mostly, because we still have boxes in the garage and a storage unit to empty.  We accumulated so much in the past 18 years! I was bogged down with all that stuff. I feel much lighter now.

I feel free.

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 “Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” ~Alice Walker

I am carefully constructing my present existence.

I am taking the time to decorate my home and organize my closets. I am creating gorgeous and functional space for the activities, hobbies, and passions that my husband, kids, and I hold dear. I want those things to take priority. I want my family to love living in their space and feel like they are effortlessly moving towards the future they are dreaming about.

2014-08-24 05.58.24We all have dreams and aspirations.

It doesn’t change as you get older. I realize that now. What gives us hope for the future and a reason for living is having a dream. It may be a goal, or a task that you want to complete. You may have a bucket list of things to do, see, or accomplish. You might want to try a different profession or practice. There are so many things to do. There are endless possibilities.

We must keep dreaming!

“Your own positive future begins in this moment. Every goal is possible from here.” – Lai Tzu

We can draw on the experience of our past.

Everything that we have once been, done, seen, is a part of our fiber now. Our life’s journey is woven into our being. Whether we like it or not, it is. Yet our future is ours to create. We decide on each step to take. I have a choice about everything I do. I decide on everything I am. I am who and what I want to be. I choose happiness. I choose joy and love. When I think about the future, I do all I can to replace the worrisome thoughts that creep into my mind with thoughts of hope. (See my post on “Peace of Mind” 3-7-13)

created by Melissa Reyes via canva.com copyright Melissa Reyes October 2014 http://mizmeliz.com

“The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi

For my dreams to come true, I need to follow through.

I must care enough about myself to complete the plans that I make.  In order to make the best decisions for myself and my family, I honor the practices of self-care. I believe that taking care of my needs, knowing and feeding my own desires, striving to be my best self, is what enables me to be a leader. Nurturing my whole self makes me a better mom, wife, sister, aunt. These are the most important roles. I am also aware of the influence I provide for my clients, readers, friends, and groups that I am a part of. We are all a part of something. I try not to be a broken part. I want to care enough to be at my very best. I do this by honoring my core values.

To honor means to treat with high respect; it is a special privilege, it brings credit, it means to adhere to what is right or a correct standard of conduct, it is a matter of integrity, honesty, ethics, morals, principles, taking great pleasure, pride, joy, it is with distinction, an accolade, an award, a reward, a prize, a decoration, to applaud, to recognize, to celebrate, to commemorate, pay homage to, pay tribute to, sing the praises of, to fulfill an obligation or keep an agreement,
to fulfill, observe, keep, obey, heed, follow, carry out, implement, execute, effect. There are many ways of defining honor. Every definition can be applied here because my core values are worthy of the special honor they hold in my heart.

“When your values are the source of your actions, even the lows become a positive experience.” ~Sandi Amorin

Because a part of me must die for me to move on in life, I can celebrate the sad or hard times I have experienced.

You know what I mean, don’t you? I definitely don’t think that personal tragedies are a cause for celebration. I am not all happy, happy, joy, joy about devastation or hardship. I am sensitive to serious loss and the trials and tribulations that face each and every one of us at some point in our lives. But, being able to rise up from the ashes of those happenings and start anew is necessary. When, not if, but when we are able to reflect on our lowest moments in life we should be able to see what we learned and how we have grown.

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A rose bush has it’s thorns. Through the thorns, beautiful rosebuds emerge. Blooms burst out of the buds and the petals open up and exercise their full nature. After the roses are spent, the petals fall away and the flower dies. We cut off those dead parts so new flowers can bloom. The bush becomes stronger and healthier with each cutting. It’s roots grow deeper.

I am a rose bush.

Every thorn is a reminder of the hardships of life and my ability to protect what I love. Every rose is a celebration of all that is good and beautiful in my world.

Nothing lasts forever in it’s original form.

The memory of the bursts of vibrant color I have experienced will remain with me forever. The fact that I know what it felt like to touch and embrace the soft velvety petals has become a part of who I am. If I close my eyes and take a breath, I will always be able to recall how the rich perfume enveloped me. I will always have an awareness of the blooms that blessed my heart.

I will forget about the thorns. I will forget about the fallen petals. I will forget about trimming away the excess, the removal of the dead parts, the loss, the mourning. (See my “Hummingbird” post on Ordinary to Extraordinary.) Those memories will fade in time. I will never let the good thoughts and memories fade. I keep them alive. I will replant. I will grow. I will move on.

I will thrive!

I am living my dream. I am who and what I want to be.

I love my life.

Read more of my thoughts on life in my book, This is the Sound of My Soul.

Read more of my thoughts on life in my book, This is the Sound of My Soul.

 

Melissa Reyes, host of Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town Video Podcast copyright October 2014 http://mizmeliz.com

Join me on my talk show, “Ten Minutes in Tinsel Town” on YouTube

How Melissa Reyes Is Living Out Loud! @KeystrokesByKim

Posted on June 10th, 2014 by & filed under #SPARKLE Tinsel Town Tonight Interviews, Everything Miz Meliz, Quotes & Notes

“Living Out Loud”

I was honored when Kimberly asked me to participate in her Live Out Loud series! I am being featured on her website today.

Check it out at Keystrokes by Kimberly !

pin made with canva by Melissa Reyes for http://mizmeliz.com  2014

How do you “Live Out Loud?”

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