Family Assistance Program, a non-profit located in Victorville, has just received a $1 million dollars donation from The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The money will be used to help with a solution to end youth homelessness.

The organization says that the funding will be used in the "expansion of Family Assistance Program’s current youth drop-in and community center in Old Town Victorville, located on the corner of 6th and C Street."

The expansion adds 20 beds to create an emergency shelter, a commercial kitchen, and a tiny home village with 14 tiny homes. The tiny home village is said to be the first created exclusively for transitional age youth that are experiencing homelessness in the state of California.

Family Assistance Program says that many complain about the homeless population in the High Desert Community.  The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has seen an opportunity to invest in a solution to the problem.

“I am excited that the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has recognized the need for youth specific services and is supporting this innovative project. If we do not end youth homelessness, we will not stop the pipeline of people who have had their childhoods destroyed by housing insecurity. This project will set these young people up for a lifetime of successes.” says Darryl Evey, the executive director of Family Assistance Program.

The million dollar project is expected to connect homeless youth with emergency services and other transitional programs, provided by Family Assistance Program, that include wraparound care in a part of the local community that needs it.

Family Assistance Program is currently providing homeless youth services through their youth drop-in centers, youth shelters, and transitional homes. This project will provide housing to any youth experiencing homelessness aged 18 - 24.

“We are deeply honored to support the Family Assistance Program and their first ever Tiny Home Village to help combat homelessness for the young adults impacted in Victorville,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman Ken Ramirez. “Our youth are the future and no young adult should ever have to experience not having a roof over their head. Investing in infrastructure that will provide future generations with the necessary resources to thrive is a top priority for San Manuel.”

Elected California Assemblyman Thurston "Smitty" Smith has been a major proponent of Family Assistance Program over the years. An official statement from the politician says he is “incredibly excited to see the increased services and tiny home village that will assist our most vulnerable youth population at the Family Assistance Program in Victorville. Youth homelessness is a critical issue that non-profit organizations like the Family Assistance Programs are tackling head-on. The generosity of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and their commitment to bettering our community is unmatched.” 

Statistics from the federal government show that California has more people experiencing homelessness than the states of Texas, Florida and New York combined. And unaccompanied young adults ages 18-24 who experiences homelessness is 4 times higher in California than in New York.