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January 21, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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January 21, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

The staff at First Place are highly qualified and dedicated, and the organization is well intentioned. There are some serious problems however, which are masked by misleading and selective outcomes reporting. The often quoted educational outcome for example, which reports the percentage of youth who enroll in an educational program as a marker of success, is vague and misleading. This percentage represents only the percentage of youth who enroll -- as in sign up for a class, usually with strong assistance from a staff member -- at a Community College or vocational program. This percentage does not represent the number of youth who graduate from an educational program, nor the number of youth who even complete the course for which they signed up. Similarly, the percentage of youth who exit to stable housing upon leaving the program, which is touted as another measure of success, is again vague and misleading. Stable housing may include living with a family member, and could in fact be the exact same housing situation a youth was in prior to entering the program. So a youth who was living with a relative enters program, receives a rental subsidy and lives in an apartment for 2 years. Upon exit, that youth returns to live with the same family member. This is certainly better and more stable than homelessness or an unaffordable rental situation, but should not be portrayed as a positive outcome since it represents no actual change.

More inclusive, comprehensive and transparent outcomes would paint a more complete and detailed picture programs, and would help the organization identify and address areas for improvement.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Okay

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

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

August 20, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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August 20, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

As a former staff member I have a different insight on the agency. I truly believe the CEO Sam Cobbs is great leader and wants to continue to grow this organization into something great. The problem is that some of his executive team do not have the experience or knowledge that staff can believe or rely in. There is so much disconnect between the upper management and staff that it affects the staff's ability to be able to effectively serve the youth and it keeps the moral down. The outcomes are not real but an illusion that the organization needs to create to call itself the model for transitional housing. I enjoyed working with the youth and being a part of their lives but I was not able to provide them the real services they needed. Sam needs to stop creating job titles for senior management and fire and hire competent human resource recruiter who can then fire and hire the people who can really manage the organization. Until that time the youth will just continue to be placed high cost apartments they can never afford to keep and sit two years with baby sitter like I was who created case notes all night trying to convince my manager I was being effective in a youth's life.

The Great!

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

Youth who graduate from the program are not as better off as First Place says they are. We built relationships but then we kicked them out of housing and cut off those relationships and support just like foster care did.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 30, 2009

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April 30, 2009

I am a participating youth in program right now. First Place really offers good services to help youth with housing, helping us to get jobs, go to college, everything. I really like my youth advocate. She is really helpful and is always there to talk to me about housing issues or anything. She is just someone I can talk to no matter what. Just last week, my youth advocate and the education/employment coordinator took me on a field trip to the local fire department after I said I was interested in becoming a firefighter. It was really cool because I got to go out on a real emergency call and talk with people that actually do the work. First Place does a LOT for the youth and I am very lucky to be part of program.

The Great!

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

my own life.

Ways to make it better...

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

give more stuff to the youth.

More feedback...

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

my youth advocate and the way that she explains things to me.

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

always nice and really helpful.

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

expand and help more people like me.

Ways to make it better...

we had more incentives.

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

following the rules ALL the time.

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

the Fairfield office are cool folks.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

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1 previous review
April 29, 2009

I appreciate FPFY helping with budgeting bills and help with food vouchers and transportations. I truly like the support from having no mother to having 12 mothers who have helped in all areas of my ... more

April 29, 2009

FPFY is a wonderful program that has helped me budget bills and to save my money and has helped me get into my apartment. I'm so thankful to have my own bedroom a place where I can cook dinner and relax. Not only am I a participate with FPFY I'm also an employee. I'm happy with the people who have entered my life, when I first entered program I didn't have a mother now I have 12 who help and guide me with my personal life.

More feedback...

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

I would extend services for all youth in program and would give more youth job opportunites.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

I appreciate FPFY helping with budgeting bills and help with food vouchers and transportations. I truly like the support from having no mother to having 12 mothers who have helped in all areas of my life. Not only am I a participate but a employee of FPFY. I really like the family environment, it helps with discussing issues.

The Great!

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

developing skills and education and creating a path.

More feedback...

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

Having a job

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

people have been very positive in my life.

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

Theye extend more services and provide the increase of food vouchers and transportation. It could also help open more job opprtunites for youth in program.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

more

April 29, 2009

Well first place is a good program to get a great start in life. They have one on one help for jobs and resumes to help you get a job and complete your goals in life. Successful or not it the best way to save money and meet knew people. Note: learn to budget money, Build your credit with pg&e, learn to live in a new envionment,they set u up to live in good neighborhood. Youth Advocate to attend to your needs 24/7 hot line if needed.

Photos

The Great!

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

Other youth succeeding in program

Ways to make it better...

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

make it global

More feedback...

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

meeting new people

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

good

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

give everyone a one bedroom apartment and better the youth

Ways to make it better...

I had a one bedroom apartment

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

getting global making this a world wide organization

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

1st Place needs more money to help more youth in ways such as more BART tickets; gift certificates for less fortunate kids

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

more

April 29, 2009

I really love what First Place has done for my child and I. I like their many programs in one and how they love to help youth reach their goals. All of the staff are loving and caring. Special thanks to Deidre Goree. I really have a place for you in my heart. Lonisha

Photos

The Great!

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

the three years I've been apart of such an amazing organization.

Ways to make it better...

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

Do exactly whats being done currently.

More feedback...

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

Becoming independent and having a safe place for my daughter to rest.

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

Really nice.

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

Build more low income homes for the youth. And help them out if they should lose their job.

Ways to make it better...

I learned how to save money.

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

Irresponisbile youth. Not paying their rent and trying to get over on such a great organization.

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

I appreciate Diedre Goree.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

more

April 29, 2009

First place for youth is a all around wonderful program i myself is a alumni of the program and now an employee. so for me first place is not just a housing program but a career opportunities as well. i give all the thumbs up!!!!!!

Photos

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...

being able to get help to get on my feet in the adult world.

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

all the staff and volunteers are great and seem to have there hearts in what they do!

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

help house more youth and assist them in more things they need, along with have wonderful wonderful engaging events!!!!!

Ways to make it better...

if i could have kept my youth advocate forever.

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

First place is a life saver

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

more

April 29, 2009

First Place staff support really helps youth. The fact that they help your organize a plan for your goals and help you accomplish them is the greatest.

Photos

The Great!

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

The weekly support given to me.

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...

Having a place to call my own.

Ways to make it better...

I had more that two years of support.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 29, 2009

more

April 29, 2009

I'm a current First Place participant emancipating from program in July and I must say that First Place has been such a SAVIOR for me! I, honestly, don't even want to think about what would have happened to me after I emancipated from the system without FP. I'd been in the system since I was 4 years old, had no experience whatsoever in supporting myself and was not even close to ready to live on my own. First Place taught me the most findamental things I needed to know to support myself like how to create a budget and manage my money. They showed me how to enroll in classes and financial aid and how to find work. They offered workshops for all of these things... Actually the job I currently have (working at Safeway) I found through the Safeway Orientation workshop held at the FP office and I've just been recommended for my first promotion! They also gave me a Youth Advisor with whom I've created a trusting bond with to help me with the struggles of being independant. My FPYA has helped me in so many ways with my personal life and learning how to live independantly such as balancing work and play and prioritizing correctly so I can get my stuff taken care of. I sincerely believe that every county in the state, if not the entire country, should have a program like First Place. They have helped me so much in these past two years and, in July, I know that I will be ready to move into my own as a self sufficient, independant adult. THANK YOU FIRST PLACE! -Albert

The Great!

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

MYSELF! I can manage my money, know how to find work if I need it and can participate in college and financial aid I know that people are there to support me and I have never had that type of support my entire life.

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...

It's given me a chance to explore and find myself. I've been able to find what works and what doesn't in terms of being self sufficient. Also, I'm constantly surrounded with people who genuinely care about my welfare and, I have to say, thats nice for once.

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

Very nice and caring. While some of them may be tough and strict, I know its because they have my best in mind.

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

Change the world for foster youth!!! 95% of foster youth who emancipate this year will become homeless and with ten million bucks FP could eradicate that statistic forever!

Ways to make it better...

I didn't have so many FPYAs. I've had four or so since I've been in program and all of them have left for one reason or other.

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

funding! Foster youth aren't a huge problem for a lot of people because if you don't have any involvement with the system, its not really on your mind.

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

I LOVE FIRST PLACE!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 3, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

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April 3, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

The programs design to help foster youth with housing and other services is great. Im a former First place youth and the actual design is not what happens. I was placed in an apartment and was told my youth avocate would meet with me once a week but I was without a avocate for 3 months. First place regional manager told me it was due to miscommunication. I dont think it should of happened and they are a business and not communicating internal is bad. Overall I had housing at a reduced rent for a year and that was excellent and Im working on my second year of college. With first places help I was able to go to school fulltime and work part time and now Im in my own apartment without first place help. Im happy I had the year with the reduced rent.

Photos

The Great!

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

being a youth

Ways to make it better...

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

I would make sure all youth are getting their services.

More feedback...

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

Is learning their business aspects to know what I dont want to do in my business.

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

Some loved their jobs and did over and beyond to help me and when I asked others for help they would reply thats not in m y job desciption

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

Hire staff who enjoys working with people.

Ways to make it better...

If they would communicate with their staff and talk about what actually going on with the youth.

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

their lack of communication

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

First place has alot of growing to do

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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