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Stacey Hendler Ross

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Family Supportive Housing
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

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I work to increase the organization's visibility through public relations, help raise funds for operating and take part in planning for a new "green" replacement shelter.