First Face At Interfaith: Stephanie Rassette

 

Stephanie headshotStephanie Rassette has an extensive career dedicated to social services and the non-profit sector. While earning her Bachelors of Social Work from Point Loma Nazarene University, she worked at the Salvation Army – Door of Hope as an Associate Clinical Social Workers and later at the YMCA and San Diego Youth Services. After graduation, Stephanie continued her education at Florida State University where she earned her Masters of Social Work.

Stephanie joined Interfaith Community Services in 2013 as the Social Services Program Manager and was promoted in August 2014 to the Director of Social Services. Day-to-day, Stephanie monitors client needs and offers guidance to the development, implementation, evaluation and expansion of all social work services at Interfaith. She was awarded “Community Partner of the Year” in 2014 by the San Diego Hunger Coalition and is an integral component of not just her department, but also our organization as a whole.


Nutrition and Basic Needs Client Success Story

 

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Jessica, Jacob, and their two children

One of the first ways Interfaith Community Services helps vulnerable community members achieve self-sufficiency is through our Nutrition and Basic Needs Program, which provides emergency food supplies, hot morning meals, computer access, as well as shower and laundry facilities.

Jessica and Jacob both came to Interfaith separately, before they were a couple, seeking food and employment assistance. “We didn’t need a handout,” Jessica commented. “We just needed to catch a break.” Jessica credits the Nutrition and Basic Needs Program for providing essential emergency food supplies to help feed her family as she worked to gain employment and overcome periods of homelessness.

Jessica also praises Interfaith for helping her secure three of the last jobs she has held, including her current full-time employment at Lowe’s Home Improvement. Jacob reports he was constantly using Interfaith’s employment services computer lab to brush up his resume, look for jobs online, and practice interview skills before landing his full-time job at a local bakery.

“We had lost pretty much everything – and then we found Interfaith,” said Jacob. “At first, we had no idea this many services were available to us, but we continued to use this organization as a tool and we kept getting better.”

While both Jacob and Jessica independently worked with Interfaith’s programs to achieve their goals of self-sufficiency, they unexpectedly met, married, and became parents to a baby girl. Soon after, they enrolled in Interfaith’s Family Housing program to secure stable housing for their growing family as they worked to gain employment stability. They were diligent in saving, putting away every paycheck towards their new home. They also learned ways to become a stronger family through individual and couples counseling. Six months later, they were able to move into their first apartment with their two children.

“We are each other’s biggest motivators and have always kept our chins up,” said Jessica, “but we couldn’t have done it without Interfaith. I am so thankful for what I have and so grateful for everything we’ve been given.”

Today, Jessica and Jacob are settling into their new three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment and are considering several volunteer opportunities with Interfaith to give back to the organization they say has given them so much. “We plan on keeping Interfaith in our lives for as long as possible,” reports Jacob.

While Jessica and Jacob thank Interfaith for their success, Interfaith remains grateful to supporters of the Nutrition and Basic Needs Program. Most recently, a grant from the Genentech Foundation empowered Interfaith to continue providing nutritional assistance to vulnerable families. Interfaith thanks the Genentech Foundation for their support of efforts to end hunger in San Diego’s North County region, as well as for their dedication to helping families achieve self-sufficiency.


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Incarnation Lutheran, Poway Hosts Interfaith ‘Day of Beautification’

LCI Nov 161[1]

At the end of 2014, over 100 volunteers from Incarnation Lutheran Church in Poway descended upon Interfaith Community Services to participate in a “day of service.” After an inspirational kick-off, volunteers fanned out with one group deep cleaning the Interfaith kitchen and nutrition center, while others painted a family housing apartment and trimmed trees at the Tikkun House. Volunteers also made 300 sack lunches, 200 hygiene kits, as well as greeting cards and holiday placemats.

LCI Nov 16 3[1]A big thank you to key organizers, planners and facilitators: Pastors Luther Symons and Karla Seyb-Stockton, Mindy Bugai, Joyce Miller, Jan Bailey, Steve Hasset, Brad Draper and John Lundblad. The congregation made a significant impact on the environment at Interfaith and the clients we serve!

For information on both individual and group volunteer opportunities, click here or contact Chelsea Buck, Volunteer and Donation Services Manager, at 760.489.6380 x 218 or by email cbuck@interfaithservices.org.


Interfaith Invites You to Special Groundbreaking Event!

 

Interfaith Community Services is excited to invite you to the groundbreaking of our new Veteran and Family Resource Center!

February 11, 2015

11:00am – 12:00pm

250 N. Ash Street, Escondido, CA 92027

Light lunch and refreshments will be served

Vet and Family Resource Center rendering

A rendering of the new Veteran and Family Resource Center

 

Interfaith begins a new chapter!  Through the generosity of Dorothy and Tom Hawthorne, Interfaith has purchased a 10,000 square feet former medical office building at 250 N. Ash Street in Escondido. In 2015, this facility will be remodeled and transformed into the new Veteran and Family Resource Center.  Please join this groundbreaking event that will perpetuate our mission of Helping People Help Themselves.

The new Veteran and Family Resource Center will include:

  • 20 bed Veteran Recuperative Care Program
  • 12 bed Recuperative Care Program
  • Social Services intake and programs to build self-sufficiency
  • Specialized Veterans Assistance of San Diego intake and support programs

Together, this new center will empower Interfaith to expand its services the a greater number of North County homeless, veterans, and low-income individuals than ever before.

Please RSVP for this special event to Chelsea Buck by February 6, 2015

760.489.6380 x 218 or cbuck@interfaithservices.org