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December 2, 2011

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December 2, 2011

I have been privileged to serve on the Board of Directors for FESCO for the past eleven years. During this time, I have personally witnessed the agency's growth, unfailing support, and deep commitment to serving very low income and homeless families with children in our community. One of the biggest differences between FESCO and other shelters is that FESCO not only offers homeless families food, clothing, and temporary housing, it also offers mental health counseling, parenting classes, and links to community resources that lead families to a self-sustaining life. One of the greatest inspirations of my involvement with FESCO is knowing that homeless families with children are able to stay together during a time of difficult transition and move beyond the inequities of our social system. I am deeply grateful for FESCO's dedicated staff and outstanding leadership of our Executive Director, Cate Steane, who strive to fulfill FESCO's mission and vision to end family homelessness in our community.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 29, 2011

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1 previous review
December 26, 2009

I have been privileged to serve on FESCO's all-volunteer board of directors for the past 14 years. I have served as Board President and on several committees. In 1996 I created FESCO's original webs... more

November 29, 2011

As a grassroots organization with substantial volunteer support, FESCO has been able to do amazing things in our community with very modest finances! Hundreds of formerly homeless families are now productive members of the community thanks to FESCO. As an example, last year 83% of our families who stayed more than two weeks moved to more permanent housing.

The aim of the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO) is to enable homeless families with children to move toward self-sufficiency. FESCO provides both short-term emergency housing and longer stays in transitional co-housing, as well as food, support services, and education. It does all of these things and more with a caring and skilled staff and volunteers.

The Great!

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

over 16 years of involvement as a volunteer, as well as visits to the emergency shelter and co-housing units to talk with residents.

Ways to make it better...

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

The need is so great that the best change would be for FESCO to grow much larger to be able to house and serve many more families.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I was marginally involved in the early efforts to form the FESCO coalition in the mid-80s. About a decade later, I became a volunteer boardmember and have stayed involved ever since.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Raise more funds.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Obtain more secure sources of long-term funding such as endowments.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 26, 2009

I have been privileged to serve on FESCO's all-volunteer board of directors for the past 14 years. I have served as Board President and on several committees. In 1996 I created FESCO's original website and have been maintaining it over the years; look for FESCO at www.fescofamilyshelter.org.

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

FESCO - the Family Shelter is unique among programs for the homeless in the Bay Area in that it provides emergency and transitional housing and support services for families with minor children -- including families with single-parent mothers or fathers.

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

Dedicated, hard-working, and capable.

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

Provide housing, food and support to many more of the homeless families in our area. FESCO's has always enabled families to work toward self-sufficiency and continues to support them when they do achieve that goal.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

December 29, 2009

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December 29, 2009

As a board member, I had the privilege of cooking dinner for and having dinner with the residents of Banyan House just before Christmas. The hallway, dining area and TV room were decorated by the residents and staff. It looked very festive. The mother and children I sat and talked with sounded appreciative and positive about the help they were receiving from FESCO. They were looking forward to the holiday party they'd be attending the next evening at one of the churches that has been a big supporter of FESCO. Before I left, I was shown bags full of hand-made quilts that a local quilting group donated for their annual contribution to help make the holidays warm and cozy.

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

knowing how FESCO has positively worked to end homelessness for so many families.

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

incredibly dedicated.

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

pay staff for all the time and effort they put in to serve the residents. Less time would be spent of fundraising and appealing for funds and more time and effort could be spent on serving the homeless by providing needed counseling, food and housing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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