Did you know? Working helps further recovery more than any other single thing – more than therapy, case management or medication alone…

I am Martha, a 33 year old single mother of two wonderful children, Jesse (13yo) and Abigail (8yo) who are my inspiration for a better life and future for our family.

Earlier in 2013, I graduated with an AA degree in Culinary Arts and secured a job. Unfortunately, I lost my job and we became homeless. Our family experienced difficult times and got entangled in the web of systems impacting our ability to move forward.

That is when I came to SHIELDS for Families. I enrolled in their Homeless CalWORKs Families Project (HCFP), and participated in the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) component. SHIELDS, HCFP and IPS provided me with the support I needed for my family to become self-sufficient again. We moved into a shelter for a year, received therapy, case management, and employment services such as educational training, resume workshops, interviewing skills, job training and linkage. All the services and support paid off…

My job developer helped me secure a few short-term employment opportunities while I participated in IPS services. Recently, I applied for a position with the Los Angeles County Department of Public and Social Services (DPSS) and my application was accepted! I am so excited to have secured a long-term, stable career to provide for my family.

I cannot imagine where my children and I would be today, or what could have happened to us, without the support of SHIELDS, HCFP, and the IPS component. Thank you to all those who believed in me from the beginning and provided me with support through all the difficult times until the end; Jeremy Argo, Shelia Nelson, Joyce stone, Ana Gamez, Martha Ascencio, Torrie Wallace, and Angelica Sanchez-Enriquez.

Thanks to your assistance and encouragement, I can be proud of the example I set to my children by navigating various systems to advocate for our futures and I am confident that I can overcome any challenge facing my family. I will never give up and will always keep love, faith, and God as the important things in my daily life.


SHIELDS for Families serves 10,000 children and families annually!
Help families like MArtha’s this holiday season…

New toys, gift cards, and financial contributions
11601 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90047
(323) 242 – 5000 x1209

Interested in “adopting” a program, hosting a toy drive, or other ways to donate? Contact Stephanie Moss at smoss@shieldsforfamilies.org or #(323) 242 – 5000 ext.1209

SHIELDS for Families, Inc. is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. Therefore, donations are tax-deductible according to local tax laws.

SHIELDS needs your help to continue developing, delivering, and evaluating culturally-sensitive, comprehensive service models that empower and educate high-risk children and families – please DONATE today!