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November 12, 2008

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November 12, 2008

I joined the governing board of Family Supportive Housing sixteen years ago when it was still named San Jose Family Shelter. I was attracted to it because of the word "Family". It soon became an important part of my life. Having retired from a 25 year career as a fundraiser for Stanford University, I felt that I could be helpful in finding sources of funding to assist what, at that time, was a new and strugling enterprise. Through these several years, (during twelve of which my wife also volunteered her services...as the organization's bookkeeper)I've seen hundreds of families, many of which were guided by two parents and many by only one, brought back to a life of self sufficiency. There's nothing quite as moving as hearing a young child say something like, "This is the nicest room I've ever slept in," or upon returning from the summer camp to which we send several dozen children each year, hearing a youngster (who never before had experienced anything like it) say "What a great week it was. When I grow up I'm gong to be a camp counsellor!" It's been a most rewarding 16 years; a challenge to do well while doing good. I most enthusiastically recommend serving such a cause for anyone who is at all interested in helping give unfortunate people, especially children, a hand up.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing homeless families get into homes, and children get a better start in life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I couldn't improve much on the work that our current Executive Director does.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the results.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Superb. Some of the most dedicated people I've ever worked with.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Make a tremendous dent in the homeless population total in San Jose.

Ways to make it better...

We had had more funds to do our work

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding and public awareness of the cause.

One thing I'd also say is that...

It has been a most important part of my life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 12, 2008

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October 12, 2008

This truly unique agency provides a service vital to the protection of families at risk. When a family looses their housing unless they live in the car there are no shelters that will take the whole family in. This is the service that Family Supportive housing offers with warm and tender care for each member of the family.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the families that are able to return to the community.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would work to keep the services that it provides in the publick eye.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the visable changes that you can see right away.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very professional

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

start and complete early there new and much needed facility.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to contribute.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

raingins money to keep going in this this economy.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Check us out!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 9, 2008

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October 9, 2008

In 2005, after having worked in the television news business in various parts of the country for more than 20 years, I decided to take some time off from the "professional" world. My focus turned to raising my three children and doing some community service work. Over the years, I had done many stories on homelessness and the agencies that served the homeless population. Having worked in the San Jose area for 14 years, I had run across The San Jose Family Shelter in the course of news coverage and was very impressed with it's mission. Family Supportive Housing, as the umbrella organization is called, operates services that not only provide temporary shelter for homeless families with children, but works from the very beginning to guide those families to self sufficiency. Before I left the news business, I had already met some of the families who sought help there. I began donating money and other items I thought people could use. But it was not until I ran into Executive Director Trish Crowder at a wholesale grocery store one day in the summer of 2006 that I really began to learn what a truly valuable operation FSH is. Trish asked me outright if I would consider serving on their board of directors and I was flattered and intrigued. I got to know a few other board members and a little more about what the organization did and I became a true devotee. For the past two years, I have worked to raise the organization's visibility in the Silicon Valley, helped to raise desperately needed funds for operating, and taken part in an ambitious and exciting capital project to build a "green" replacement shelter to better serve a critical segment of our population: families in need. It has been an honor to be involved with such a giving organization with a truly dedicated staff and board of directors.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Famiilies who are able to move into independent living situations, finding jobs, learning how to remain self sufficient, even in tough economic times.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Helping to make decisions on policy and practice and raising money for and awareness in the community about homeless families.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extraordinary. The staff and volunteers associated with Family Supporitve Housing are dedicated, talented and caring people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...complete the vital capital project it's planning in the form of a new "green" replacement shelter. The new shelter will offer homeless families the dignified atmosphere they deserve to get back on their feet and on the road to self sufficiency.

Ways to make it better...

I had stronger contacts in the community willing to donate more money.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of awareness among the community as to just how many young children, mothers and fathers are living in cars, on the streets, "bunking" on friends' couches, wanting to stay together and succeed as a family. And convincing those who have the means, to donate to this organization.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 8, 2008

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October 8, 2008

Family Supportive Housing addresses the core needs of homeless families. They recognize the importance and value of keeping the family together and the need to educate to break the chain of homelessness. The programs they offer to develop the domestic skills needed to become self sufficient is the greatest insurance policy we as a community can give the children in these homeless families. The shelter also walks the talk by creating and enforcing it's own budget and skills as an organization. It is the most efficiently run non-profit I have been involved with or aware of. The first time I toured the shelter and entered the daycare center all the children were sleeping except one. She was a little girl being held by the daycare worker. She was only about two years old. She looked at me and stared wondering who this man was. She looked frighten at first but as she continued to stare at me, a smile came over her face. The look was as if she felt like someone had given her hope. This is the moment for me, when I decide I would fight for this little girl and others like her so that they will eventually rise out of homelessness and stand self sufficient once again. I received ten times the reward from the shelter from my involvement. They can and do change a child's life. The most precious possession a child has is not his/ her home, toys, clothes or any other material thing, but it is their family. The shelter fights to keep the family together.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

every family that passes through it's doors.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to offer the programs to insure the chain of homelessness is broken.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the final approval of a new shelter to be build on a new residential site.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely passionate and committed to the shelter.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

complete it's capital campaign to build a new shelter, to better serve it's residents. It would also create an endowment fund to help ease it's dependence on private funding.

Ways to make it better...

We could educate the public more to the programs and effectiveness of this organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

public awareness and funding from the private sector.

One thing I'd also say is that...

contributing to the shelter helps our entire community.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Intero Real Estate Services

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 8, 2008

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October 8, 2008

I call Family Supportive Housing "the little train that could" because Trish Crowder, Executive Director has created a warm and welcoming environment as an oasis in the middle of an industrial area. Holidays are celebrated, nutritious and good smelling food is provided and you receive a smile from the front desk when you walk in. FSH will be moving to a new home in a residential neighborhood in the near future, but the oasis in the industrial neighborhood has been the launching place for many successful new beginnings filled with hope and I for one will not forget how one person created more than shelter.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of clients that have successfully found housing after being in the shelter.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope I could do as good a job as our current E.D.-

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the dedication of the E.D. and seeing the kids laughing and having fun.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and always pinching a buck to help as many people possibility.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

relieve the monthly anxiety about the bills, payroll, recruiting the top people and so much more. The bottom line would be that more clients could be served and benefit from the excellent success this agency stands for.

Ways to make it better...

the amount of funds needed were there and the summer months would not be so stressful for our Director.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money, money and money-

One thing I'd also say is that...

there is no fat on this organization and I hope the picture changes soon.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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