Illumination Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless adults and children in order to break the cycle of homelessness. More than 55,000 people are homeless in Southern California each year – 32,000 children are part of that number. The Illumination Foundation brings hope to families by providing them with stable housing, health care services, mental health counseling, case management, and life-saving basics such as food and clothing. M.E.M.O. at UCI has partnered with two of Illumination Foundation’s programs: the Children’s Resource Center and the Recuperative Center.
At the Children’s Resource Center, M.E.M.O. has the opportunity to host an activity day with the kids at the center. 45 children who are living in transition and at-risk of homelessness are served every day in an after-school setting. In the last hour of their programming, M.E.M.O. steps in to facilitate an “enrichment activity” for the children by doing a variety of activities related to health, nutrition, and exercise. We want to encourage the kids to learn about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle while having fun at the same time. Some activities we have done include Dental Hygiene Day, Nutrition Day, and Exercise Day.
In Orange County and Los Angeles, Illumination Foundation runs the Recuperative Care Centers which offer a clean place for homeless people to recover from the hospital after an injury or illness. These patients are typically strong enough to leave the hospital but not strong enough to go back on the streets. M.E.M.O. volunteers participate in fun, relaxing activities with the patients and also offer care packages that M.E.M.O. prepares as a group at UCI.
Painting wooden toys with patients at the IF Recuperative Center.
Learning about Proper Dental Hygeine!