On Tuesday August 21st, the Oceanside Chamber’s Oceanside Young Professional Network (OYPN) did a tour of Solutions for Change led by their Development Associate, Forrest Folen. The tour started at their main campus at 722 W. California Ave in Vista where their resident housing is located. CEO Chris Megison, a former marine, was available for a Q & A session after telling members the story of how deeply he and his wife were moved by a young girl living at a homeless shelter they were helping at in 1999 that they decided to form Solutions for Change that same year. Since then, Chris and his organization have changed the lives of over 2,200 children and their families through their organization.
The group then met with a resident to hear her experience through the program. She told them how Solutions for Change helped reunite her with her family. Forrest explained that Solutions for Change offers a 3-year “Solutions University” as a robust leadership development program for homeless families. They focus on housing these families in a drug & alcohol-free environment first. The next step is to connect them with job skills needed for long-term employment & financial stability. Forrest led the group to Solutions Farms to see that firsthand, which was just ten minutes from the main campus. The unique farm uses aquaponics, in which nutrients are sourced from the fish they keep there. The produce is sold and distributed to local schools and restaurants, some even calling it “Solutions Salad”. If you’re dining in North County, be sure to ask your server if the lettuce is from their farm.
Solutions for Change will be opening a new campus in Oceanside in October. Stay tuned for their ribbon cutting date. For more information on Solutions for Change and their programs please contact Forrest Folen
760-941-6545 or visit www.solutionsforchange.org. For more information on the Oceanside Chamber’s OYPN program, please contact our program’s director, Emerald Lowe at Emerald@oceansidechamber.com or (760) 722-1534 ext. 110.