The FuturoNow Healthy Marriage Initiative was established in 2006 to promote the benefits of healthy marriages to the public and to develop and implement culturally-appropriate marriage education programs in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
This project was a collaborative effort between TELACU, Urban Strategies and 25 faith and community-based partners. FuturoNow targeted more than 20,000 low-income Hispanic residents of Southern California in a five-year period, reaching 24,822 individuals. By participating in educational workshops, family retreats, marriage conferences and relationship classes offered by trusted community and faith-based partners, participants showed significant improvement in their communication, conflict resolution and parenting skills as well as an increased sense of commitment in their relationships. Teenagers were taught how to look beyond casual partners to find compatible individuals who would help build solid, respectful relationships.
A singularly powerful, effective marriage education program was created by uniting Urban Strategies’ and TELACU’s leadership experience within the Latino community with capacity building efforts, nationally-recognized experts in marriage education programming and deeply connected community and faith-based organizations (CFBOs).
The FuturoNow Fatherhood Project was initiated in 2011 as community-centered program addressing the responsible fatherhood needs of primarily low-income Latinos in a four-county region of Southern California. TELACU and Urban Strategies offered an integrated array of services in partnership with five CFBOs. Fathers enrolled in the program participated in marriage/relationship classes that used evidence-informed, culturally-appropriate curricula; responsible parenting activities in an experiential peer-to-peer supportive environment; and economic stability activities that included job preparedness classes, an array of certification classes, job training institutes and transitional jobs through a landscaping social enterprise. Participants also worked with a Family Advocate to develop a responsible fatherhood Individual Service Plan (ISP). Fathers were also given the opportunity to attend father/child or father/family events to increase quality time spent between fathers and their children.
The project resulted in the following:
- Nine percent increase in employment rate among program participants;
- 847 fathers completed 24-hours of parenting classes by our CFBO partners;
- 634 fathers completed 8-hours of relationship enhancement classes by our CFBO partners;
- 469 Fathers have completed 8-hours of financial management classes by our CFBO partners;
- 261 Fathers have completed a vocational certification program and/or a transitional job.
In 2013, TELACU and Urban Strategies began the Community Health Connectors Initiative, an outreach and education program funded by the California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California). The project focused on assisting low-income Southern Californians in a four-county region that was home to 52 percent of the state’s uninsured residents. This initiative purposed to launch outreach and education activities; increase awareness and understanding of health coverage options by promoting the value of purchasing health coverage, changing attitudes; and motivate individuals to take the next step to enroll. The goal was to increase the number of insured Californians, improve health care quality, lower costs and reduce health disparities through an innovative, competitive marketplace that empowers consumers to choose the health plan and providers that give them the best value. In 18 months, 125,000 Southern Californians in the target area were reached.
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