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!
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.
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.
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.
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.