FESCO

Rating: 4.61 stars   46 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 21455 Birch St., #5 Hayward CA 94541 USA

Mission: Family Emergency Shelter Coalition serves homeless and low-income families using approaches that instill or restore dignity, self-respect and self-reliance, so that families, their individual members, and the community are strengthened. FESCO was founded in 1986 by a group of churches to help address the needs of the growing number of families with children who were becoming homeless. The 30-member Coalition now includes churches and community organizations. FESCO serves families of all configurations—2-parent families, single dads, single moms, and all children under 18.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I had some free time and had a skill set that I really believed would be valuable to a non profit. I am doing well for myself, so I decided to give back and wanted to do it locally. I did some research on the internet and found this non profit. Small, local, great cause...
I decided to jump right in and was very excited. After volunteering for about a month, I had mentioned to a colleague about the work I was doing and was very surprised when she was familiar with FESCO and let me know that she worked on their walk a thon's planning committee and was not impressed. She encouraged me to do my research before volunteering any more time or energy to FESCO.
After putting on my detective cap, I learned a few things that did not sit well with me.
I learned that the organization itself is about a $1.1 million organization and their new ED makes almost $100,000.00/ year! ( almost $15K more than the previous ED) Do your math..that's ridiculous. I also learned that almost half of the staff , that work directly with the people they serve, qualify for food stamps themselves because their pay is so minimal.
Understanding that a poer-house ED is worth almost $100,000.000/ a year, I wanted to find out what qualifies this salary.
I found that the ED came from another, similar non-profit, where she was supposedly passed up for several promotions. ( gotta love the internet and staff that will tell all) I do understand that this happens all the time to qualified individuals, so I kept digging. A friend of a friend is a Hayward Rotary member and I found out that FESCO's ED is also a member, so I started asking questions. Seems that the consensus is that she is " a lunatic" and very " narassic" .
My time is valuable and there are plenty of good , deserving non -profits that could all use a great volunteer. I , myself, cannot spend another minute or ounce of energy on a non profit that is led by this ED.
I feel sorry for the people that depend on this non-profit to help them get back on their feet, but between the waste of resources and the reputation of the ED, I will be moving on to the next non-profit.
Please, do your research before volunteering at a non-profit. Their salaries and backgrounds are all public information. Just ask!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

My family and I have been supporters of FESCO for several years. I recently became FESCO's representative from All Saints Church, as a member of All Saints Parish. I have toured FESCO's facilities on 3rd Street and Banyan house I can tell you FESCO does an excellent job of providing help to families both in an extremely organized and loving way. FESCO does more than provide a place to stay; they help people with counseling, resources for housing, and support so they can again become productive members of society, with the tools to succeed. My own mother was once homeless as a child, and it was with the help of a Shelter similar to FESCO that enabled her and her sisters to get back on their feet. I believe FESCO's work and mission is very valuable, taking at risk famiies and helping them again become self-sustaining!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

its my 1st time being in a shelter, but the environment at where i and my kids choose to stay at was not really like a shelter for me is like a home. the staff are great and my overall being in a shelter for the first time was excellent.

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

yes

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

nothing

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have to say that this was one of the most organized places I have ever helped. First, let me say that the work of the shelter manager Larissa is outstanding. She made my experience so pleasurable, that I have asked other friends and family to help out this organization. I know she may not have realized what a impact that she had on me that day, but I will continue to support any organization that has staff members like her. Thank you FESCO for all of the help you provide to those in need!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered for FESCO by helping provide an updated library in their family area, updated the landscaping, and donated cooking items at Banyan House. In my experience with other services for the homeless, all too often it is a hand-out and not what the person needs or wants. FESCO doesn't profide a "handout", they provide a "hand up". They have created an awesome program that offers guidance and a proven way for struggling parents and families to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining! An awesome model for any service agency!

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

I have seen the families using the facilities and services and I get the importance that this organization offers to them. The Kitchen offers each family staying their own frig and table with chairs. It is as much a space for families to get through their tough times with dignity and as much normalcy as possible. I saw the warehouse of donated items offered to families when they first move in to their new homes. I

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

Find more donors so they can help MORE people!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Create before and after pictures.. help to show how the organization is growing and thriving.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I learned a skill of including others in what I am wanting to do - allowing many people to contribute.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

My experience helped me to appreciate what I have and realize I don't need as much "stuff" as I have now.. and that giving to others really makes me feel more connected to humanity. I appreciate that I hope to never be without a home or the means to provide for my family and those who are in that situation deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. It is not an easy place for anyone to be. I learned deeper compassion for others.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

FESCO is an organization that gives a hand up, not just a hand out. They keep families in crisis together, and offer life skills training to help the families keep from falling into destructive behavior. The best thing to see is when former clients come back to volunteer - the cycle of giving comes full-circle. As long as there is a need, FESCO should be allowed to provide their invaluable services.

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

Talking with shelter residents, hearing their experiences.

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

Focus fundraising on activities that have worked in the past.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

FESCO is supported through a coalition of churches, businesses and individuals. I am on the Board of Directors as a representative from my church. Throughout my ten year involvement with FESCO I have met many families who have benefited from FESCO with housing, therapy, skills training. Whenever and wherever I meet families who received FESCO services, they overwhelmingly share positive comments and more importantly, almost always ask about a specific staff person ("Is so and so still there? Oh, good! They were such a help to me!"). I was approached in a grocery store (while wearing a FESCO t-shirt) by an employee who shared she and her daughter lived at FESCO 15 years earlier and that the experience changed her life (and she wanted to know if Clarence was still the house manager - yes, he is). The primary fund raiser each year is the Shelter Shuffle – a 3 mile walk at the San Leandro Marina. It’s become quite a family affair as two or three of my sisters, two brothers-in-law, two nephews and two nieces have become involved as well – helping with registration, driving the shuttle vans, setting up course markers, and most important of all - getting our friends and co-workers to support the walk financially. My family has participated in the fund raising auctions, the back pack giveaway (for residents and former residents) and my niece helped develop a garden at Banyan. I know that FESCO provides great services with very little money. Unfortunately, the programs are not sufficiently funded through government money, and FESCO turns people into tax payers! Through emergency food and shelter to case management and counseling, FESCO staff helps families develop a plan to address their immediate and longer term needs and then helps them implement the plan. They help families develop the tools they will need; finding and keeping a job, saving money for a security deposit and rent, budgeting, therapy and parenting skills training. This is the dignified way to move families from homelessness to self-sufficiency. I’m proud to be associated with FESCO and share the good news about FESCO wherever I go!

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

exceptional people who demonstrate they have big hearts and capable hands.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering for FESCO for a little over a year. I have been very impressed with how much they are able to do for their clients with very little money. FESCO provides counseling and life skills training that enables clients to make the changes they need to make in order to provide a stable environment for their families. The success rate is excellent. I have observed the families in FESCO's facilities and have consistently been impressed by their apparent happiness, and the good behavior of their children. The staff members appear to be devoted, and are definitely hard working. The Board consists of unpaid volunteers representing various religious and business organizations that provide support to FESCO. Some members put in many, many hours raising funds for FESCO--their willingness to do so amazes me. Other members contribute in other ways, using their professional expertise to benefit FESCO. Board meetings are work sessions, where problems are discussed and solutions sought. The use of other volunteers has been improving rapidly since FESCO hired a volunteer coordinator last year. The only big problem is money. Support was adequate until the downturn in the economy; now FESCO is scrambling for money. It would be a great sadness if it were unable to continue doing its good work.

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

probably serve all the homeless families with children in its service area, and have lots of money left over

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

Hello World, I would like to tell you how FESCO helped me and my children to live a happy and successful life. We went thru there program in 2003-04. They helped me to manage my income to where I understood savings, paying bills ect... They also provided a save place for us to live well going thru there program called a transitional house. After 5 years of being out of there program they still continue to help with food boxes, clothes, and things are just not in the budget all the time as the economy prices go up. All it takes is a phone call and they gracefull are there to help. Even if you need to move they will still continue to be of service as to give you help with listings of places that are resonable to rent. They also have a backpack program that helps every year and Christmas is also a great help for the children to continue to have a fabulous holiday!!!

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

They don't make you feel ashamed of needing help. They also help give you strengh to continue in the right direction.

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

great, helpful and organized.

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

help alot more families!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 3 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

MY EXPERIENCE WITH FESCO WASN'T VERY GOOD. THERE WAS TO MANY STAFF CHANGES (HOUSE MANAGERS, DIRECTORS). STAFF WAS NOT ALL ON THE SAME PAGE. RUBY WAS THE HOUSE MANAGER AT THE TIME AND SHE DIDN'T START WORKING WITH ME ON HOUSING WITH DORRIS UNTIL IT WAS TO LATE. ABOUT A MONTH OR TWO AT THE MOST BEFORE I MOVED. WHEN I LEFT THERE I HAD NO PLACE TO GO. THEY TOLD ME OH WELL, YOU HAVE BEEN HERE TO LONG. I DESERVED HOUSING. I DID ALL I COULD WITH MY CHILDREN AND MY JOB. IT HAS BEEN OVER A YEAR AND ME AND MY DAUGHTERS ARE STILL BOUNCING AROUND FROM FRIEND TO FRIEND. I AM STILL WORKING AND I AM ALSO TAKE CARE OF A TERMINALLY ILL CLOSE FRIEND BUT HIS BACKGROUND IS PREVENTING US FROM FINDING A PLACE. HE IS VERY WEAK AND CAN BARELY WALK BUT WE CAN'T FIND A PLACE TO ACCEPT US. WE HAVE TURNED IN NUMEROUS APPLICATIONS BUT KEEP GETTING DENIED BECAUSE OF CRIMINAL AND CREDIT HISTORY. ONCE I HAVE LEFT THER THEY HAVE BEEN AWESOME. THEY HELP ME EVERY YEAR WITH BACKPACKS AND CHRISTMAS PRESENTS AND FOOD, WHICH HELPS MY CHILDREN HAVE A DECENT CHRISTMAS.

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

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

NOT FAIR AT THE TIME. THERE WAS A LOT OF FAVORTISM.

Ways to make it better...

I WOULD HAVE GOT HOUSING.

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

GOOD FAIR STAFF MEMBERS. PEOPLE THAT TELL YOU THAT THEY WILL WORK WITH YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THERE WORD BECAUSE WE TRUST THEM AND I GOT LET DOWN.

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-4-01

 
Flag review