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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

North County Interfaith Council, Inc. (dba Interfaith Community Services)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Interfaith Coalitions, Religion

Mission:

To implement programs for basic needs, social services, and personal economic development, which will empower the disadvantaged in our community. Share member concerns with the issues and deal with problems, which affect the religious community when by common consent, the members feel that moral leadership is needed to promote mutual understanding and respect among member faiths.

Programs: On any given night, Interfaith is providing housing and shelter to more than 400 men, women, and children throughout North County.  Our housing programs provide much more than just a warm bed to sleep in: vocational training, one-on-one counseling, connection to community resources, life skills development, and a wide array of social work strengthen Interfaith’s housing programs. Each year, Interfaith must pay $371,712 in mortgage payments towards our housing programs. With demand for all of our services at an all-time high, those funds are desperately needed for direct services instead of loan payments.  With this understanding, Interfaith has launched “Lifting UP Our Neighbors,” a capital campaign to retire $4.5 million in shelter and housing debt.

    

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with as a volunteer for Interfaith Community Services in Escondido for about 10 years. I help to prepare and serve a morning meal once a week. I have been so overwhelmed with the organization's caring, effective and loving attitude in the community. When I am serving breakfast I realize that Interfaith not only provides food for their clients, but also a safe place for them to gather, form a community among themselves, and discover all the services North County Interfaith Council can provide for them. I am impressed with the staff and the many services they offer. It is truly a wonderful organization and an asset to our community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have volunteered at Interfaith Community Services, in Escondido, five years. We spent our professional careers working closely with and serving people, so upon retirement, we began looking into how we could continue to both stay connected, and serve our community at the same time. Interfaith seemed like the perfect opportunity! We soon found out that volunteers were needed, and welcomed, in several areas. As we began to volunteer, we could see that we were always treated with so much respect and appreciation as members of the team! We've formed some great and rewarding friendships with the staff. We started out helping to prepare and serve lunches, one day per week, for the veteran's at Merle's Place. We've also had the opportunity to help with picking up donations from local retail stores and individuals in the community. Our current assignment involves organizing and distributing food for clients in the Interfaith pantry. As we've worked in our volunteer capacity, we've been able to see just how much the staff at Interfaith continually care for, and work hard for the clients who come through their doors. It's a great place to go if you want to see people caring for people! We're thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to help others in need. The experience has certainly given to us as much as we hope we've given to others!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church held a Day of Service wherein over 150 people participated in various projects including: landscaping, making hygiene kits, stocking the pantry, painting, and decorating a shelter for Christmas.

The staff at Interfaith were amazing with the organization and coordination of such a large event which helped the homeless.

Members of the church look forward to participating in this meaningful event every year.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where do I begin to sing the praises of Interfaith. I have been a volunteer for only about 5 months and get to work directly with the single people and families who come in for help with everyday needs. This can be for food, clothing, shelter, legal assistance and help finding work. They are handled professionally and with dignity. Many people have told me they do not know what they would do with out the help that Interfaith has given them.

My husband volunteers doing small home repairs for seniors which gives them the ability to be able to stay in their homes. He always has stories of appreciation of the people.

Interfaith is a light for some people when their lives seem dim.

Review from Guidestar

Cynthia124

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have done volunteer work for a number of non-profits over the years. Interfaith Community Services has impressed me from the very start. Employees and volunteers are extraordinarily professional. And: Things Get Done! In many non-profits, there is so much red tape that it can take forever for positive changes to be put into effect. Not at Interfaith. People love the work they do there, and I always feel so welcome and appreciated. And every time I leave, I feel like I have actually helped others!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Interfaith Community Services is a group of dedicated folks working to help the homeless, the hungry, those who need assistance with legal matters, counseling, and a myriad of other details that so many of us take for granted. Some need identification papers, some need food from the pantry. Maybe they have legal issues arising from living on the streets, so homeless court is there for them. Even something as basic as receiving mail when they have no home address. Full time employees, professional clinicians and volunteers all work toward helping wherever, whenever needed. I didn't know what to expect when I first started just by donating surplus food, but now thoroughly enjoy the interactions as seen from the behind the front desk. We are all part of the "village" trying to keep our fellow humans as human as possible.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I want to ask the question that laying people off would be the first step before considering the pay reduction of management that got a pay raise because of a merger that eventually failed. Who are the management that got those raises? Cut those pay first before laying off people.

Have the CEO and executive staff informed the board of directors the lives changed by these lay offs?

This is the first ever mass lay off that ICS has ever done. Susan P, would never allow this. Bring her back and replace all the C-employees and most of the directors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Interfaith in Escondido, Ca. provides food and necessities to the needy and houses and feeds veterans. I have volunteered several hours in the kitchens there with the veterans and the needy meals at the holidays and I has always been an awesome experience for me. They are very organized and very caring and are a tremendous asset to our community.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are few organizations like Interfaith. Their employees are strong, intelligent, and caring. They go far and beyond their everyday jobs in order to aid those in need. I began volunteering at Interfaith, and because of the cooperation, time, and information that the staff was able to provide, I was able to complete my graduate research through this organization. After volunteering for a year at Interfaith, I was offered a job as program manager for one of the programs. I worked there for another year and saw first hand how Interfaith affects the lives of families and individuals who are in desperate need. Interfaith opens its arms to all kinds of people and provides a wide range of serices. Some clients who are helped by Interfaith have just fallen a little behind and need some extra support, while others face more serious conditions. Interfaith is always there, collaborating with other organizations and institutions, and listening to what the community needs.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent four and a half years homeless in North San Diego County. Thanks to the miracles performed by the volunteers at NCIC and in particular the counseling services, I was empowered to get control and start making better decisions for myself. I'm no great writer, but there's a strong chance that I wouldn't have survived those bad old days had it not been for all of the giving people that have and continue to make North County Interfaith Council a place where miracles happen everyday in our community.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I've donated to Interfaith in the past, and my church works very closely with Interfaith on community programs. I've found their organization to be very people-focused, professional, and very efficient in using their available resources.

If you're a donor, a person in need, or an organization looking to have a positive impact on the community, Interfaith is a great organization to work with.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former employee and current volunteer, I've been involved with Interfaith for over ten years. While wrapping up my schooling, I knew I wanted to be part of this vibrant and life-changing organization. It's reassuring to know that the time and resources I give to Interfaith go directly to where they are needed.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While I worked at Interfaith many years ago- I can and still to attest to the fact that Interfaith helps so many people with food, shelter, job services and mental health issues that it is arguable the most necessary social services agency in the North County. The homeless, hungry and needy (which can happen to anyone!) need Interfaith.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Until I recently "retired" I volunteered at Interfaith for almost 24 years. I would not have given that much time and energy to a group that didn't actually solve problems.

Interfaith is without a doubt the most effective social service agency in northern San Diego County if not in the whole region.

Review from Guidestar

Ginger H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had the privilege of working with Interfaith in the context of a redevelopment project in North San Diego County. I was able to experience first-hand their commitment and dedication to their clients (in this case, their residents). I was very impressed with the care they took to ensure the best outcome for their clients.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've experienced Interfaith from a variety of perspectives - as a member of the community, as a professional seeking help for others, as a program monitor, donor, former employee, and more.

No matter how you look at it, ICS is a quality, compassionate, effective organization that creates dynamic programs that both respond to critical needs in the community and use experience and expertise to prevent problems in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Jeff M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently discovered Interfaith when I found a homeless man on the street. Since then I have been involved with many of the staff, who are kind and professional. Two weeks ago I found my best man from my wedding living homeless and intoxicated. With the help of the staff I got him into Sobering Services and that is changing his life. Any operation is the shadow of the leader, Suzanne is the Mother Theresa of North County, and her staff is a reflection of her spirit and vision.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization was started over 25 years ago when a Rabbi, a Priest and a minister gathered for coffee only to find that they had each donated to a homeless person who had come knocking the night before. Then and there they decided to pool their resources and refer all of their requests to one organization that being Interfaith. Now with over 425 Faith Centers as members we truly help lift up our needy and give them to tools to fish not just to take a handout. With almost 90% of our funds going to help clients we are also one of the most efficient organizations out there. Helping Interfaith is helping your neighbor in need!
Don Zech, VP Membership, Interfaith Community Services

Review from Guidestar

Monica T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our PASS program has parterend many times for food drives in benefit to Interfaith. They are a wonderfull organization.

Review from Guidestar

Melvin T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As part of The Salvation Army in North County, I have worked alongside Interfaith staff, volunteers and clients over the past two decades and am still impressed and inspired by the dedication, expertise and practical assistance that Interfaith Community Services continues to provide to the impoverished, homeless and disabled in our community. It is hard, demanding and costly work but the staff and their army of volunteers and supporters are there for the long-haul. Theirs is a demonstrated commitment to social justice.

Review from Guidestar