Social Service program at ICSC begins to yield results
By: Abeer Gaber
I have just recently started work as an Employment Services Case Manager. So, I am still in the midst of doing outreach to get a steady flow of clients. However, there is one client that my meeting with stands out in my mind. The client was an older gentleman who has lived in the Los Angeles area for a very long time and has had a difficult life. He came from a difficult upbringing and was in and out of jail for most of his life. He abused and drugs and alcohol for decades and it was the cause for one of his imprisonments. Until he, “found God” in his words and found renewed meaning to his life. He has been clean and sober of alcohol and drugs for four years. He has been coming to the Islamic Center of Southern California since he has become clean.
He came to me because he was interested in Employment Assistance. He sought and completed classes to be a Drug and Alcohol Recovery Abuse Practitioner from the CAARR(California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources) Institute. I believe that is a great way to give back to those who have helped him. He came to me wanting to find some kind of internship to use the skills that he has learned in order to become certified as a Drug and Alcohol Recovery Abuse Practitioner. So, I came up with the idea of creating a program at the Islamic Center to address Drug and Alcohol Abuse and bringing members of the center from different communities who have gone through these experiences and are certified to talk about them and how one overcome such obstacles. My Supervisor Soha, colleague Jenien and colleague Hatice and I are in talks to develop such a program and are gathering representative members from every community. I am also in talks with Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous about how to create such a program.
Abeer Gaber is the Employment Services Case Manager at the Islamic Center of Southern California. This is a joint program called Muslim and Arab American Resource Corps (MAARC) with Access California Services.