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FESCO

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Family Services, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

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.

Programs: During fy2016-2017, 54 families (125 children/73 adults) were served at fescos emergency shelter/transitional housing sites. While residing at either site, all families were provided with housing (14,478 bednights), meals (41,405), and an array of supportive services. Ninety-seven percent of families (163/169 individuals) served through fescos emergency/transitional housing transitioned into more stable housing (permanent/transitional) when they exited. Of 62 adults who exited either of these programs, 56% had earned income when they left. Fesco also served 4 families (5 adults/7 children) residing in its third street apartments (permanent supportive housing) and all sustained their permanent housing. Fescos children's program achieved the following outcomes in its support of children and their parents: 308 age-appropriate enrichment activities for infants/toddlers 101 parenting classes 317 bi-weekly children/youth groups for children 5 years and older 72 home health and safety visits 38 parents

during fy2016-2017, 31 families (49 adults/72 children) were served through fescos linkages rapid re-housing program. While in the program and for six months afterwards, families were provided with an array of supportive services. One-hundred percent of families (121/121individuals) served through linkages sustained their housing after completing the program. Of the 15 adults who completed the program, 93% had earned income. Another 60 families (176 individuals) were served through fescos homeless prevention & aftercare services. Services included counseling, food boxes, housing assistance, transportation vouchers, and donation programs, such as our back-to-school backpack drive.

fescos mental health counseling program provided 208 counseling sessions during fy2016-2017, including mental health assessments, individual, family, and group counseling and children's play therapy

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I stayed at the shelter for 2 months with my two children and had a really positive shelter experience. I have stayed in two previously and they really didn't assist me in finding housing, they just gave me more shelter listings at the end of my stay. FESCO helped me and my children get out of the horrible shelter cycle that most families like myself go though and found us a place to live. I am so grateful to the staff, Evelyn, Korri, Clarence and the coordinator Larissa. I recommend this shelter to anyone who is tired of not getting results or proper help. These people really care and make a difference!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Larissa Elizondo really saved my families life. We had nothing, and I mean nothing! She helped us get clothes, got my kids back in school and even helped me find a job after only 3 weeks of staying there. The staff is amazing, they work so hard to make sure that people have a chance to succeed if they put in the work to get there.

I can't say enough about her, Evelyn, Kori, Mr. Clarence and crew... They really did save our lives and we are forever grateful!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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!

4

Client Served

Rating: 1

I heard that FESCO use to be a good place, well it has not been since Carla Bell and Larrisa Elizondo have been really messing up families lives. I was promised so much by Carla all lies and Larrisa does not know how to do her job. She has no help for homeless families, but just hides never answers her phone or keeps appointment. My family and I were doing okay at Banyan House until I was moved and never had case manager never got any help and they put my things on the street and sent me and my children to the street. FESCO and all of the people that now work there are terrible people. Carla Bell is a thief that took gift cards donated for our children to get school clothes, and larrisa drinks so much she just h ides and is scared for her job, it is too badd that this happened under the watch of Cate Stean too insensitive to care anyway

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a single mother who had NOTHING and started giving up hope on everyone and everything that was going on in my LIFE and to make matters worse I became homeless. we had moved into FESCO SHELTER and I thought that maybe this was a place that wasn't going to help me out with the things that i needed help with but BOYYYYYYYYYYYYY was I WRONG!!! I went from having NOTHING to having SOMETHING (MORE THEN I WOULD EVER IMAGINE)...I'm about to get into permanent housing a place for MY KIDS & I to call home. (NO MORE HOUSE HOPING FOR US...) I can honestly say that I am truly blessed to have stayed at FESCO. FESCO is the reason why I able to SUCCEED in life. To all FESCO staff members (ESP. SARAH ) you ALLLLLLL are the BOMB.COM that's including the SHELTER PROGRAM COORDINATOR (LARISSA E.). being at FESCO makes me feel like...I WAS BLESSED WITH THE BEST SHELTER & I'M TO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED...I OFFICIALLY LOVE MY LIFE AND EVERYONE IN IT...I've closed the doors to all the dark days that I've had in life and now I am facing a stable and bright future...MORE POWER TO FESCO SHELTER...

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a single mother with three children and we are only one of the many familys who has experienced loosing our home and becoming homeless. Being in a shelter was something i never expected to have to go through. I was dissapointed and embarrased of my situation, but after meeting the other people here at FESCO, I learned that they were just the same as me. Just because I was homeless didn't make me any less of a person and it's okay to ask for help when you need it. FESCO has helped me accomplish goals that seemed so out of reach when I first got here, but with their encouragement and guidance my children and I have found housing and are ready to turn a new page in our lives. I can't explain in words how thankful I am to Larissa, Sarah, Evelyn, Naomi, Korri, Mr. Clarence, Dinyal, Theresa, and Carla. We will never forget this journey we took with all of you having our back, Thank you FESCO

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a mother of three daughter and we were going through a rough time, after leaving my husband and our house because he created the situation. as we were begining to falter in hope FESCO came into our lives and gave us strength and hope and courage in many ways.For example,FESCO provided us with a shelter and food as well as providing our basic needs.The staff were very supportive and they encouraged us to not give up and stay strong.They helped us feel like we were in our own home.FESCO gave us warmth and comfort which allowed us to look forward to and gave us hope to have a better life.We appreciate specially to Respected Larissa and Respected Sarah and Respected Clarance.Thankyou FESCO and more power.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I stayed at the FESCO Hayward house when I was 8 years old. That was almost 20 years ago, and I still remember the wonderful caring treatment my mother and I received. What they do is wonderful and I am so glad they are still serving needy families in the Bay Area.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Rotary Club of Castro Valley supports FESCO by collecting school supplies, sheets/blankets/ toiletries etc. and doing small projects when we can. The FESCO staff are always so compassionate and sincere. They work hard and are mission driven. We are proud to support their efforts.

1 Kathy234567891011

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Janet23456

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1 Meshill D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
7

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to FESCO at the Banyan House two years ago. My two children and I had been sleeping in our car and then in a very uncomfortable shelter that made us leave at 9am every morning. This made it hard for me to find employment with having to get my children ready and off to school and no time for myself. I was accepted into Banyan House and had my own room. I was able to make use of the resource room to seek employment and get myself ready for interviews. I was able to give my children the warmth and comfort of a home away from home. They were happy at Banyan all of the staff were so nice and helpful. Antoinette helped us to get into housing and in just 8 months we had a permanent place to live and I found a really good job as an administrator for a small but successful company. My family will forever be grateful to all of the people that make Banyan the warm and loving home that it is. It is with the structure and consistency of the House that we got on track in our lives. Thank You FESCO.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi I would just like to say thank you FESCO because you helped us so much. When my dad died I didn't know what we were going to do and hearing so many things about shelters I didn't want to put my kids in that kind of position, but we lost the house and didn't have anywhere to go so I called FESCO and told them we were in a motel and didn't know what was going to happen The Hayward Family Shelter part of FESCO took us in and after that everything got better. We followed the rules and the staff was great they helped us get back on our feet. We saved our money and moved out and my son got a job through the youth program which FESCO helped get my son into. FESCO has always been supportive and continue to help us when needed. Each and everyone of the staff members helped us and my hats go off to everyone of them because they do care about people and want to help but you have to do your part too and I get that now and how important team work really is. I see someone on the street that doesn't have anything and I stop and give them what I can because FESCO helped me and I never thought I would be able to help some one else. I appreciate it. I love each and everyone of them I carry them in my heart and take them with me whereve I go. My kids and I enjoyed being a part of FESCO.
So thank you very my FESCO Family, Sarah, Mr. Clarence, Evelyn, Naomi. Thanks to all you guys we have been able to reach self sufficiency, And Larissa is a big part of it, she goes way beyond to help us out!





1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Hector Maciel and i stay at FESCO shelter. When we first arrived to the shelter everything was clean and organized we were really impressed with how nice the place looked and how comforatable we felt. The staff immediatly helped us and took us to our room were we were going to stay. The room was clean and nice, it had the feeling of being at home. We were so welcomed my kids started to want to play and werent so shy anymore. Within a week of staying at FESCO we were started looking for housing and apply for jobs because the staff were so friendly and eager to help us and so easily to communicate with. This experience has been a good life changing experieance for me, my wife and my kids. We are so happy and very fortunate to be in this program, it has made me very happy and greatful to know that there are people that care and understand how challenging life can get especially when you don't have any place go or who to ask for help. THANK YOU FESCO for all the great work you guys do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to thank FESCO'S BANYAN house for being there for me and my family when I was facing homelessness. I had been incarcerated and lost custody of my children. I was re-unified with my children after I completed a live in drug program, but had to be in a place that was approved by Child Protective Services. I got employment and was renting an apartment in a drug infested area in Oakland. My Child Welfare worker was concerned not only for my children but for me being in that enviornment. I also could not afford the rent anymore and had to leave. My chldren and I were homeless for awhile and my Child welfare worker applied for us at Banyan and we were accepted into the program.The place is wonderful, it is quite and warm and the staff treat us with dignity and caring. Antoinet has applied for housing for us and I pray that we get approved into permanent supportive housing. We would be able to chose our own place in a good neighborhood and be safe and never have to worry about being homeless again. Thanks to all of the wonderful people that keep FESCO open and work so hard to help all of it's clients.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to FESCO/ Banyan House from a homeless shelter with my four year old son. I am very grateful to have a nice place that I feel safe in. Staff is very helpful to me. Antonette has been wonderful! She helps me on a daily basis with resources and informative information. She has been a very positive influence to me and my child. I am extremely happy and grateful to be working with Antonette! Thank you :) FESCO for being there for us

Client Served

Rating: 5

The economy has affected all people. I have gone thru two forclosures in two years. This is what brought me to FESCO. Looking for affordable house is hard with out the help of knoweledgeable people. Being at FESCO had given me time to look for a place I can afford. The staff had lots of knoweledgeable information if they did not have answers they took the time to find out what was needed. If I needed someone to talk too they took the time to give me the suport I needed. I was placed in a room with several other people going thru the program. The people I was put with where well screened to where I felt safe being in a room with them. Not having to worry about food or where I was going to lay my head at night gave me plenty of time to think about the things that where important. Getting my child to school and making sure she had a good lunch and support when she needed it. I know I can find the support I need at the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition! Thank You to all the staff! What a pleasure spending time with this organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

WHEN ME AND MY TWO BOYS STAYED AT FESCO IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST SHELTERS I HAVE EVER STAYED AND GLAD THAT I STAYED THE STAFF WAS VERY NICE AND ALWAYS MADE ME FELL AT HOME . ANYTIME I HAD CONCERNS I MET WITH LARISSA AND EVERYTHING WAS OK I LOVED FESCO AND WOULD REFERRED THIS SHELTTER TO ANYBOBY GOING THROUGH THIS EVEN NOW THAT I'M AN EXRESIDENT I LOVE TO VISIT AND I STILL RECEIVE SERVICES FROM THEM

Client Served

Rating: 4

FESCO gave me the opportunity to have my inmigration paper and now I am able to find a job and provide a permanent house to my daughter. I like Ms. Carla and Ms. Antonnete. Together they helped me to win my independence.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We came from a bad situation and were fortunate to stay at Banyan House and move on to transitional housing at 3rd St. While at Banyan, Antonette, really took the time to work with us and provided us with all the services available. The whole staff at Banyan were helpful. Everyone made us feel comfortable and still continue to help us to this day.

Client Served

Rating: 5

i like anntonet,carla and larisa there awesome and they helped me out a lot,give them a raise.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, My name is Denise Hill... I came to FESCO with my two sons, De'Jon Chew and Joshua Chew... I had no idea what I was in store for, but I tell you, it felt like home the moment I walked into FESCO... I've never been in a situation to where I had no where to turn, but after being laid off my job, and getting evicted for not being able to pay my rent, I had no where to turn. A very dear friend of mine called around and called me back to tell me that FESCO had space and for me to call and set up an interview.... I met with Evelyn and had the face to face 'phone screen' and after that she said I could move in that day....

Larrisa- Larrisa is the FESCO's fearless leader who is an Angel in disquise. So geniune and sweet and easy to approach

Sara- Sara is FESCO's 'go to' person.. Always helpful and informative

Donna- Donna is such a sweetheart... Always so helpful and tentive to your needs and makes AWESOME breakfast like you are at the Hyatt or something.

Clarence- Clarence, Clarence, Clarence... O My Goodness.. That man can COOK! He's a true blessing and so nice.

Evelyn- Evelyn is such a sweetheart... She's very nice and if you are mopping ANYWHERE in the house, you best stay off that floor cause she will let you know you are to wait for it to be dry first! I love her!!!!

Well less than a month went by, and a beautiful spirited person came in to speak with me and at the end of the survey, she said I was awarded a Section 8 Voucher for the Oakland area!!!! WHAT??????? NO WAY!!!!! I was so happy and I couldn't believe it!!!
THANK YOU FESCO! I've met so many great people/ the staff if phenominal and i'm very overprotective of the people that come there, cause they should be honored to be there. HEAVEN on EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a single mother of a four year old boy. We were staying with family but had no sense of security, boundries, or structure. It was impossible to guide my child with total chaos around me and had to leave. We entered a shelter for a couple months and was then referred to Banyan Transitional. The first day my son joined me at Banyan he said "Mommy we have our own room, I'm so proud of You!" It made me want to cry and I was happy to enter into a place that gave my child and I a feeling like home. We had our own space and the community acted as a family helping one another. The staff includes Antonette as Case Manager and Kori as assistant case manager. Antonette instantly referred me to programs that can accomodate my situation. I felt secure knowing that she was consistantly working on finding my permanent housing and resources that may help me succeed in my goals. She as well as Kori was very welcoming and kind to my son and I. He knows them as part of the family at"home". This experience was very emotionally ruff but I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be in a warm, safe environment like Banyan.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a single mother of three girls. A ten year old, a nine year old, and one year old. I was going trough a very hard time and didnt really have no where to go . My councelor talk to me about fesco the shelter. I didnt know what to expect and how my kids we're going to react to a new surrondings. I dont think I can never put in words how fesco the shelter made our staying here so comfortable for my kids and I . I have always been in a house where violance has been a part of our everyday living. Coming here has been the first place where my kids had a place where they aren't afraid. I felt like the staff here actually really cared for us. They have been like family to us.My kids and myself find it very hard to leave . They have been there to push me on and they showed me that I can do anything I put my mind on. I dont know what I would of done with out fesco the shelter ,Larissa has been a mentor to me. Every time I felt like giving up and lost hope I came to her . She would motive me to keep trying. Im leaving the shelter a better person a stronger woman a better mother. I have met a lot of people and learned a lot from every one. I am so glad a place like this is around. I want to thank you for giving my girls and myself a violance free inviroment and a place for the first time we can actually from the heart call a home. I know we can't stay here for ever but I cansay that I am very sad to leave but proud that I am leaving here with new friends and to me a new family.

Virginia C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

pandas4cheri

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

FESCO is a wonderful charity that services the community here in Hayward. The staff prides itself with treating all clients with compassion, dignity, and respect. They help clients individually set goals to build savings and eventually gain self-sufficiency. I began my program at Les Marguis House, moving on to Banyan, and then 3rd Street. Throughout my program, the staff at each location was always very supportive. Although the economy has taken a downturn, FESCO has continued to provide supportive services not only to current clients, but alumni as well, in the form of the Annual Backpack Drive, the Holiday food boxes, and the Adopt-a-Family. These events can take place thanks to the corporate and private donors who believe in the FESCO program. I have learned much during my the last 2 years with FESCO, having participated in various events during that time. I have spoken with friends, family, and colleagues in order to spread the word about homelessness. To educate others that the sterotypical picture of homelessness is not someone who is wearing dirty clothes and pushing a shopping cart. It is someone not unfamilair to yourself. It is parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. They have a family, they go to church, work, and school. The only difference is where they lay their heads at night. Thanks to programs like FESCO, they're sleeping in a bed instead of a car or on the floor somewhere. FESCO provides an invaluable resource in the fight against homelessness in our community. Please join us, every little bit counts. Thank you.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client at FESCO I have been in their shelter and I am now in the transitional house.They are a wonderful organization. The staff are so kind, The volunteers and all of the people who work for FESCO have made my family feel welcomed and have provided a wonderful Christmas for us all. I am so grateful to have theri support and love.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client of FESCO. I completed the program at Banyan and my case manager applied and got me accepted for Linkages 2 yr substidy housing. While at Banyan Transitional the staff was very instrumental in my getting my three children reunitfied from Child Protective Services. They provided Parenting and counseling for my family. They continue to provide support for my family and I, with food boxes, Thanksgiving baskets and Adopt a Family I still have my Case Manager who checks in with me weekly and continues to teach me money mangement and talk me through any stress I am feeling. She always shows care and concern and has great advice and reminds me to look at the solutions. The staff of FESCO give so much of themselves and want nothing from us except for us to succeed. The day I walked into Banyan I felt at home and was overjoyed to have a 2 bedroom unit for myself and my childre. I LOVE FESCO and STAFF and MANAGEMENT. They are wonderful people who myself and my family will always remember with the fondest of memories.

4

Client Served

Rating: 1

This is all about Fesco, This organisation is not helping any body, they want to show in their records how many families they are taking from shelters in a year, this is a kind of activity to get funds from the churches and communities, they are making families again homeless, just keeping families 3 or 4 months or few families 6 months, they wont show any other place to move out, they just sending out families without genuine reasons, they are fully correpted and only staff members tortures families for money and they need to record the testimonials if the families do not want to share their testimonial they will not help any thing, they did help those who gave good opinion about Fesco, they do not have any courtesy, every family is suffering in the house, if we talk each person in the house they will tell their pains and sufferings, staff will not give any respect to the residents, they behaves very rude to the residents, this is like a hell, we never recommend to any family to come here, there is no humanity here,the staff takes everything to their house food cleaning supplies everything, all kind of donations they takes home, donations also they does not leave for the families.

Comments ( 1 )

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fesco22671 12/11/2009

Obviously, FESCO has no control over the opinions posted on Greatnonprofits. It does not and cannot condition services on posting favorable reviews. Reviews are posted under pseudonyms, so we do not know who does and does not post reviews. FESCO's mission is to help homeless families move toward self-sufficiency. While FESCO provides a safe and supportive environment and many resources, it is up to the families themselves to make use of those resources to build better lives. All FESCO residents sign an agreement to follow the house rules that are necessary for successful congregate living, to make regular progress toward their self-sufficiency goals, and to perform agreed chores that are shared with all the families in residence. In fairness to all the residents, if a family repeatedly fails to live up to its agreement, the family is asked to leave in order to make room for another homeless family that will welcome the opportunities FESCO offers. FESCO has a grievance process that enables residents to take their concerns to senior staff, the Board of Directors, and the State Department of Community Services and Development Fair Hearings Office. FESCO’s staff are dedicated professionals who make significant personal sacrifices in order to serve families in need. We are proud of them and believe that the other testimonials on this site about our staff speak for themselves. Nonetheless, as a quality control measure, members of FESCO’s Board of Directors plan to interview residents outside the presence of staff to see if they have concerns or complaints about how they are treated. Cate Steane, Executive Director

13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been in this field for many years, and have worked for quite a few agencies. None of them can compare with FESCO. They truly care about the clients that they serve and if the client is working towards self- suffiency FESCO will provide all the services available to assist them, for as long as they need them. I have never experienced the level of commitment that FESCO administration has for the clients. They get to know them as individuals. It is not only the staff that work one on one with the clients that advocate for them, but all of FESCO from the Executive Director to the shift workers, give their all to the families. I also want to say thank you to all the wonderful Volunteers that give of their time, and all the contributors that support this wonderful organization.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!!

14

Volunteer

Rating: 3

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.

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

dear fesco, i just want to thank you and all your wonderful staff for all the love support and help my family received during our stay. during our stay we were able to accomplish many things. our family had undergone a terrible experience but with your facility we were able to get up and back on our feet. with the home cooked meals and activities not only for the kids but parents too we walked away with a stronger out look on our lives. thank you so much the life changing experience. we greatly appreciate all you have done for us. peace and blessings, the huey family travis and deborah huey.

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

FESCO was a Godsend to my family and I when we first arrived in the Bay area in 1992. We were newcomers and had no place to stay but FESCO provided us with a warm,friendly, positive environment. My husband, 3 kids, and myself were given priceless advice and instruction to get Jobs, our first place(including the furnishing of it), establishing a bank account, and very insightful financial information to assist in budgeting,saving, and establishing and maintaining good credit. FESCO did not stop there. They even contacted us to be placed on a waiting list for affordable housing. Thanks to their input, we were placed in a brand new apartment complex that provided programs to support youth in the community center located on the apartment site!!1 The insight and great advice from the staff and volunteers also helped to motivate our 3 kids to work hard at obtaining a good education. All 3 of our kids have done well. 1 is a graduate of UCBERKELEY, the second is beginning her Senior year at UCBERKELEY. Both attended on academic scholarships. Our last child is currently a senior in high school, an active member of the leadership class, involved in community service and well on his way to obtaining an academic scholarship as well. The study skills and habits that were enforced at FESCO helped them to accomplish a much sought after dream!! To this day, FESCO contacts us yearly to offer school supplies to help our kids to continue to pursue their dream of obtaining a quality education!!! We are forever grateful to FESCO,to Marilyn, Clarence, Pete, to all the FESCO staff and countless volunteers, THANK YOU for your kindness and support!!! This is a great organization for families who really want to make a positive and lasting change so that they too can one day offer the kindness and support they were shown at FESCO!! Please support this organization!!!! They really make a lasting difference.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a single mother of 2 boys, a 8yr old and a 6yr old that struggles with Autism, when I first came to Fescos' family shelter. First of all I would like to mention that there were a few shelters that would not take us in because of my sons disability but Fesco was very willing to take us in. The staff was very compassionate and helpful to our family and very understanding of my sons special needs. Although we only stayed for about a month and a half they were informed of an opening into transitional housing in Oakland (where my kids attended school at) and staff did an excellent job of making sure that my family would get into there, even after we had already left Fesco. I was very touched by that because it let me know that they really cared even though we were no longer staying at fesco. We stayed in transitional housing for about 6 months until we finally moved into our own apartment. We have lived in our place for 2yrs now. Fesco continues to assist us around Christmas (which is much needed) and with their back to school events that help me with backpack and back to school supplies, all which are things that I would be unable to do without them. Fesco has been a true Blessing for our family and we have not been homeless since. The staff at Fesco are Genuine caring people. Fesco is the best.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family entered the Les Marquis Shelter after my father had died and we lost the house that my three children had grown up in. We were on foot and had no where to go. We were welcomed into the shelter and began our journey with this wonderful organization FESCO. After being in the shelter a short time we applied for the transitional house Banyan. We were accepted into this program. The staff are so helpful and encouraging. Yes, there are rules, but they are for our personal growth and the safety of the community. We have lifeskills which I have benefited so much from. I have never had the opportunity to open up and share my hurt, and struggles, The staff is so warm that it makes this easy for me. I have shared many things with staff. I look at the staff and the some of the residents here as my family and friends.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fesco Family Shelter has been an answer to my prayers. I was crying out to God to pluck me up out of my living situation and place me somewhere where I could be happy and raise my children. I could not move out on my own, so I knew I had to get into a housing program. I have done everything I should be doing to achieve my goals and prosper. Therefore this organization has done everything they possibly can for me. I have been told by the chief program manager; Mary London that " we are going to take care of you for 5 years while you finish school... we want you to be ready to be on your own". As long as I work hard, I am taken care of. The Banyan House is much better than I ever thought it could be. I am at home here. The place is really nice, my 2 bedroom unit is wonderful and I feel so blessed. Ms Antonette, the senior case manager here, works overtime in all areas, and in love. I have noticed how she loves to be available for her clients to the best of her ability. She has made sure that I have been recognized for my achievements. All of the staff here are awesome. I really appreciate the care and the treatment we all receive here. It is nice to see so many spiritual staff here. All of them are unique and have nice qualities. It has been a real pleasure to have these folks a part of my life. I have security here. My children are treated with love and that is so important. I tried to go other places and this is the door the Lord opened for me and im am so grateful.

8

Client Served

Rating: 3

I was truly blessed to have been able to accept help from Fesco. I came from Tricity's family shelter with moderate expectations. I was provided not only shelter at Banyan and food but also a home away from my family. The room I had was clean as well as the other parts of the facility. The staff provided me with guidance and much needed support for myslef and my two children. Whenever I had a problem or just needed to talk the case managers were always there to speak with me and assist me with a resolution. Although Fesco is a business providing services I also felt like the staff were more like family members giving support, lending their ears and sharing my successes. They always encouraged me to continue in my success in school and added to my family stability by being especially supportive of my kids when I felt overwhelmed. Fesco was the help I received when I thought I only needed shelter. They provided much more in the way of enabling me to become more self sufficient and came alongside me in a stressful time. They gave me life skills that I was lacking such as budgeting and parenting classes that I still use to be a more successful person and parent. I want to just thank Fesco for offering me stability and the skills to leave a better person than when I arrived there.