ARS Social Service Centers Assist Those in Need
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The ARS Social Service center held a Christmas party for children

The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS), Social Services
division serves the needs of low-income community members. ARS clients
have been new immigrants, refugees and the elderly, who have
difficulties in accessing services due to language barriers and
hardships in adjusting to their new lives.

The offices help individuals and families by providing them case
management services, and helping them become self-sufficient and
productive members of society. Services, which are provided, include
in person or by phone interpretation, counseling and translation of
information or referral forms such as:

General inquiry or relief, immigration-green card lost/renewal or
naturalization, employment authorization/placement, low income housing
application (Section or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP),
Healthy Families and health care, including Medi-Cal determination,
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Cash Assistance Program for
Immigrants (CAPI), access taxi or bus transportation tokens, access
telephone, and jury duty forms. The bus tokens from the International
Institute of Los Angeles are distributed monthly to low income elderly
and the disabled.

A social worker assists a community member at the Glendale center

The ARS Social Services staff provide services based on the
requirements of various grants, such as the Los Angeles County Refugee
Employment Program (REP), Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), and
Aging Grant (AAA), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) through
the cities of Burbank, Glendale, Montebello and Pasadena, and a City
of Los Angeles grant.

Uncertainty of the future of the ARS Social Services office in
Hollywood became a concern, after the grant funding was exhausted by
July 1, 2013. Due to limited private donations, the office continues
to operate with volunteer efforts. A fundraising event took place on
November 10, 2013 at the Hollywood Armenian Center. In attendance were
key elected officials, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Los
Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian (2nd district), who both
spoke in support of the ARS Hollywood Social Services office because
of their positive experiences with the ARS.

Hundreds have found employment through the Social Service centers' job listings

During Thanksgiving week, fifteen turkeys were provided by the City of
Pasadena Mayor's office (donated by Ralphs/Food 4 Less stores) and ten
turkeys were donated by Congresswoman Judy Chu (32nd District), which
were distributed to needy families in Pasadena. California Senator
Kevin De Leon's office (22nd District) donated eight food coupons ($25
each), which were distributed to needy families in Hollywood for

Boxes of canned food were donated by Chamlian Armenian School during
the Thanksgiving holiday, which we distributed to needy families in
Glendale. In addition, Chamlian Parent Support Committee Members
donated complete Thanksgiving family meals to four needy clients.

Sean and Nadia Shamsi's family sponsored a Thanksgiving party for
young children on November 26, 2013, at the ARS Regional Headquarters
in Glendale. More than 200 children were entertained by the Hoy Lari
singing group and received music CDs, along with frozen turkeys. ARS
Regional Executive Chairperson Lena Bozoyan made welcoming remarks,
and President Bako Sahakyan of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR),
accompanied by the Honorable Republic of Armenia's Consul General to
Los Angeles Sergei Sarkisov, spoke to the children about

The ARS Social Services provided arranged for needy children to
receive gifts at the ARS on December 28, 2013, in Glendale. Christmas
gifts have been received from Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School, Rose
and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, and Los Angeles City Council Member
Mitch O'Farrell's office (District 13).

The Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard's Christmas party was held on December
7, 2013, and the Treasure Little Children distributed gifts to the ARS
Sosse Chapter Saturday School on December 14, 2013, in Pasadena. They
were coordinated by the ARS Social Services.

Social service was always part of the ARS objectives, implemented
through volunteers. Since 1979, the ARS has served the community in
Southern California through various offices. Since 2000, the ARS
Child, Youth & Family Guidance Center assists low-income clients, who
need psychological services for acculturation, enculturation, marital
and personal issues.

With governmental funding cutbacks, it is up to the ARS membership and
supporters to fill in the gaps left by funding limitations. To donate
funds for those in need, please send your contributions to ARS Social
Services, 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202-2812.
Contributions can be made on-line by as well at the ARS website,, where more information is available.