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Families Forward

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Emergency Assistance, Family Services, Human Services, Scouting

Mission: Families Forward exists to help families in need achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, counseling, education and other support services.Our Values:Dignity:Honor each individual through an atmosphere of respect, trust and confidentiality.Empowerment: Inspire self-sufficiency through the development of courage, confidence and pride.Accountability: Accept responsibility for commitments and accomplishing our goals.Community Spirit: Realize our vision through teamwork, cooperation and collaboration.Hope: Share a belief in new beginnings and allowing dreams of the future to emerge.

Target demographics: families

Geographic areas served: Orange County, CA

Programs: The housing program, including both transitional & rapid re-housing, provides qualified homeless families with immediate access to housing. Collaborating with partnering local apartment communities, families forward assists families with moving into apartments or moving into one of our 28 condominiums. These families are provided with targeted support services throughout their participation in the program. This year, 90 families, 324 children and their parents, participated in this program. 93% of these families remained stably housed, and on the path to greater self-sufficiency, upon leaving the program.

the homeless prevention & community services program helps families avoid homelessness. Families forward provides low income children and adults with access to necessary services to help them maintain their stability, including: food assistance, counseling, employment coaching, financial and life skills education, and seasonal supportive programs. Our food pantry, career coaching, backpack, community resource fair, thanksgiving and adopt a family programs are included as part of homeless prevention. Keeping families in their homes during a time of crisis is preferred when possible to avoid homelessness. The food pantry, staffed by volunteers, distributed to 6,167 individuals an estimated $544,194 worth of food last year. Approximately 260 community food drives were held and many other donations were made by individuals, families, businesses, schools, faith and civic groups. The career coaching program helped 187 individuals develop the critical skills they need to find a job and increase their income. Families forward supported education by distributing backpacks full of school supplies and clothing to 1,044 children in grades k-12. The community resource fair brought together 57 leading service providers to offer free health screenings, legal advice, financial counseling, workshops, and children's activities to 711 children and adults. For the thanksgiving program, 723 families received baskets of donated holiday food organized and distributed by volunteers. For the adopt a family program, through the enormous generosity of the community, approximately 1,740 children (over 633 families) received gifts for the holidays. The community cares program has 71 healthcare professionals who generously volunteered their services to provide 100 medical services at no cost to families in the housing program. Also, newly launched in the latter part of the fiscal year is a community counseling program that provided 54 individuals with counseling services.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This year I am adopting a family for Christmas. We have grown children who had wonderful trees and presents as kids, I would love for a family less fortunate to be able to experience the joy of children with their faces glowing on Christmas morning. Those remain some of my favorite memories to this day. On Giving Tuesday, I broke down my giving into categories. I wanted to support cancer survivors (I am one), an animal shelter (I rescued 3 kitty siblings 8 years ago), my local food pantry (I also donated about 50 pounds of food), the Trevor Project (I am concerned by the lack of support for LGBT youth), and a foundation that provides safe haven for abused women and children (no one should have nowhere to turn). In these uncertain times, this year's giving seemed more crucial than ever. #GivingTuesday #MyGivingStory

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi to whom it may concern.
Me and my husband and 3 kids and one on the way. We live in a motel and can not save any money to get into a apt every 21 days we have move for 2 days that means all our belongings have to be out.. And all we need is a little push and help to move forward out of this situation. My husband is not from here and cant get a great job but still works... also I loss a baby September 2016 so I was going through a rough time. If u guys can help in a my way I would appreciate it... please hear us out ... 6572010861

EVPLisa

Donor

Rating: 5

Families Forward provides excellent case management and heart for their clients who struggle to stabilize themselves caught in a catastrophic life situation of loss of a job, health problem, divorce, or domestic violence situation coupled with financial devastation. This organization comes along side each family member to provide hope and strength to breath in and hang on and believe they will get through this "situation". They provide the tools and resources to help their clients process and grow through the difficult journeys in life.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

People think affluence comes with the Irvine address but that is not the case. There are families in need and FF does the necessary job of giving help of many kinds, from housing and furniture to clothing to school gear for kids. Ever since we moved here seventeen years ago we have recommended FF as the best local charity to contribute to.
We have seen the joy of parents and kids getting the necessaries to start school, from new sneakers to backpacks and notebooks at end of summer. Families Forward helps make changes in people's lives.

1 BethFolger

Client Served

Rating: 1

Unreasonable expectations. They insisted I take a drug test with paperwork that had misspelled my name then demand that I come in when I was unable to do so. They threatened they wouldn't help me if I didn't immediately submit a test when I had no way of arriving there until the following day because I had other obligations that demanded my immediate attentions. I feel this is a judgemental organization with unacceptable demands. I didn't find this program useful at all, if anything they were judgemental and unhelpful.

Scott L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I count it as a privilege to provide Families Forward with this letter as support.

As one of the county's strongest homeless advocates, HomeAid has not only been instrumental in building buildings to house its homeless neighbors, but counts it a privilege to have played a part in expanding the capacity of its service provider partners. A sterling example of this synergy has been the partnership of HomeAid Orange County with Families Forward as a united force working together to change lives.

HomeAid Orange County’s initial pilot project was with Families Forward with the renovation of two farmhouses to serve homeless families. These two modest farm houses proved to be the start of the growth of Families Forward to be one of the premier homeless service agencies in Orange County. The vision and purpose of Families Forward is strong and effective and we have been honored to have been a part of the story.

In looking back over the nearly 20 years of our partnership, we are pleased in the knowledge that in some measure HomeAid has had a role in assisting Families Forward with its efforts to end the cycle of homelessness for those who enter their system of care.

Thank you for giving us that opportunity!

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Families Forward is a transitional housing organization that helps families to learn to succeed on their own, or just get through a rough period in their lives. They assist with money, food, personal and career couseling, and a system of support that has been very successful.