Victor Valley Family Resource Center in Hesperia is a place where those in need can get assistance and find hope.


The center has helped 800 people this year so far, and Alicia Seales is one who received help and now volunteers.


In April, Seales said she didn't have enough money to pay her bills after her weekly work hours got cut down to only eight hours. She, husband Sidney Seales, a military veteran, and their daughter Marissa, 9, stayed at a hotel after leaving their home.


When their tax return money ran out she called the center asking for a hotel voucher the volunteers found them housing right away, Seales said.


"Working and helping people is something I've always liked to do," Seales said. "Being one of the people that needed the help changed my perspective."


The founding director of the center, Pastor Sharon Green, can relate on a personal level to those who need help.


A pastor's wife, Green's abusive, unfaithful ex-husband filed for divorce after 30 years of marriage, leaving her with only $1,000 in the bank when she moved out in 2005, Green said.


"I was in a place where I had no money, no reliable car homeless," Green said, who was thankful her sister gave her a place to stay.


A "housing first agency," the center gets people off the streets and provide food, clothes and a place to sleep, Green said.


As a volunteer Seales said she offers encouraging advice and direction on how others can improve situations such as being homeless, addicted to drugs or a victim of abuse.


"If they choose to take the advice, next thing you know they're not in as bad a situation," Seales said. "They know that they can make it."


The center's logo is a phoenix bird because, "it rises from the ashes to become something new," Green said.


The center got its start in 2000 when the church wanted to provide counseling and homework help for its youth. Then the realization hit that they would have to expand the center's space to meet the great need in the community for food, clothing and assistance for those at risk of becoming homeless, according to Green.


It became a nonprofit organization in 2009, she said.


The center partners with other agencies such as Community Health Action Network, No Drugs America, World Vision, Community Action Partnership and others to provide, counseling, a place to stay for veterans, clothes, food, GED preparation, energy assistance and help with drug addiction, among others, Green said.


They also help seniors with every day chores such as laundry or picking up groceries, and would like to have an assisted living home for seniors, Green said.


In 2006, Bishop Charles Blake placed Green as pastor of Higher Praise Tabernacle Church, making Green one of three women pastors in the Pentecostal denomination from the Church of God in Christ, which has 8 million church members, according to Green.


"I think God was training me for doing just this it requires a passion and a compassion that I don't know you could get effectively any other way," Green said. "Funny how God will use what seems like the most devastating moments in our lives, to build someone up to change people's lives."


The center is located at 16000 Yucca St. and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, visit their website at www.VVFRC.com or call 760-669-0300. For after hours emergency housing help, call 760-987-0779. Donations are always accepted.