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Tom McDonnell

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2 reviews

Review for FESCO, Hayward, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

over 16 years of involvement as a volunteer, as well as visits to the emergency shelter and co-housing units to talk with residents.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The need is so great that the best change would be for FESCO to grow much larger to be able to house and serve many more families.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?


How much of an impact do you think this organization has?


Will you tell others about this organization?


How did you learn about this organization?

I was marginally involved in the early efforts to form the FESCO coalition in the mid-80s. About a decade later, I became a volunteer boardmember and have stayed involved ever since.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Raise more funds.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Obtain more secure sources of long-term funding such as endowments.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Board Member & Chaired the Board Development committee and served on the Coalition Membership committee. Crafted an animated presentation to be used to inform potential supporters and partners of FESCO's mission, programs, successes, and needs. Recruited walkers and se.

Review for FESCO, Hayward, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

FESCO - the Family Shelter is unique among programs for the homeless in the Bay Area in that it provides emergency and transitional housing and support services for families with minor children -- including families with single-parent mothers or fathers.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated, hard-working, and capable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide housing, food and support to many more of the homeless families in our area. FESCO's has always enabled families to work toward self-sufficiency and continues to support them when they do achieve that goal.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Board Member & I updated the webpage to include information about the annual Adopt-a-Family program (holiday toy and food drive) and to add a video of the recent raffle results.