Interfaith moving its coastal operations to Libby Lake Community Center

Interfaith Community Services will soon have a new home on the coast.

As of April 21, services will no longer be offered at Interfaith’s current Coastal Service Center on Oceanside Boulevard. At the end of that day, staff members began packing up for a move to the Libby Lake Community Center, 4700 N. River Road, Suite C (scroll down for the interactive Google Map location). Operations there will begin May 5.

The move marks a rare opportunity to both save money and reach more of the people who are in need of Interfaith’s social services program – an chance that came along because of ICS’s relationships with the Veterans Association of North County and the City of Oceanside.

At the beginning of April, Interfaith’s veterans services program, Veterans Assistance of San Diego (VANC), transferred its coastal operations to the Veterans Association of North County building at 1617 Mission Ave. in Oceanside, creating a one-stop veterans resource center in cooperation with VANC.

Moving the veterans staff out of the Oceanside Boulevard facility left more room than was needed by ICS’s remaining social services staff. As a result, ICS was able to secure space at the Libby Lake Community Center, where other resident agencies like Vista Community Clinic, will expose more people to ICS’s programs and services.

Altogether, these moves will save Interfaith nearly $10,000 a month in rent, explained Craig Jones, interim executive director.

“One of the primary reasons we needed to leave is that the lease was up and lease costs were very high,” said Jones. “Because the Libby Lake facility is an Oceanside city facility, we will pay rent, but it greatly reduces the cost of what we’re paying at (the coastal center).”

The move by the veterans program created the chance to partner with some 30 other organizations operating out of the Mission Avenue building. Taking social services and other programs to the Libby Lake center provides a similar collaborative opportunity.

“We’re moving into a space where there are other community providers, specifically, the Vista Community Clinic and SER Jobs for Progress,” said Jones. “For our non-veteran clients this is an opportunity to have coordination and collaboration with other agencies to have a one-stop opportunity to serve clients.”

Both the new veterans and social services sites are more accessible to areas from which many of Interfaith’s clients come, added Jones.

The closing of the coastal center brings to an end most of the agency’s food assistance programs on the coast. The food pantry will be closed, with resources distributed to nearby food-service groups Brother Benno’s, Bread of Life, and the Salvation Army. That will reduce duplication of such services in the area. Limited food assistance will be provided to enrolled clients at Libby Lake.

“We worked hard to be sure the clients in this area will continue to have food assistance from our partners,” said Jones.

Interfaith Community Services moved its coastal office to the renovated Oceanside Boulevard site in November 2004, two years after agreeing to an alliance with the North Coastal Service Center. The two agencies merged in May 2003.

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Calvin Christian walkers raise $2,400 for ICS

March 28 was a beautiful day for walking at Calvin Christian School in Escondido and a great day to raise money for charity.

That’s what students did during the school’s annual Grandparents Day Walk-a-Thon. Each grade chose a charity to support and collected financial pledges to aid those charities.
The first- and third-grade classes chose the food programs serving the homeless at Interfaith Community Services as the charity they wanted to support. And they followed through with enthusiasm, raising $2,400.01.

Forty students in the two classes participated in the walk, with the third-graders averaging about 15 laps during the hour of the event, reported Anita Termaat, who with fellow teacher Pat Medendorp, led the third-graders. Termaat said the school was very pleased with the total collected, noting that it increased from the $1,379 raised last year for Interfaith.

Interfaith is incredibly grateful for the students, parents, and administrators at Calvin Christian for their incredible dedication and generosity! Their gifts will help so many of our clients in need this year.

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ICS to benefit from San Diego North Chamber golf tournament

The San Diego North Chamber of Chamber of Commerce is offering an opportunity to play golf while helping Interfaith Community Services.

The chamber is holding its second charity golf tournament Monday, May 12, at Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe and has chosen Interfaith as the event’s beneficiary. Click here for event details.

“We select different charities every year that are members of our organization. We selected Interfaith based on the great work they do in San Diego,” said Rich Kwiatkowski, director of business development.

Supporters of Interfaith Community Services are invited to join the chamber’s members and the general public in sponsoring or entering a foursome for the tournament. The chamber is hoping to attract a full field of 144 golfers for the scramble-format tourney, which tees off at noon.

“I think people will enjoy playing that course. It’s one of the better courses in San Diego County,” said Kwiatkowski.

“They host several celebrity tournaments a year. The course was just renovated. It’s got a lot of new features,” added Cathleen Galicinao, the chamber’s marketing and events manager.

Along with the golf, the event will feature a silent auction, a hole-in-one contest, a raffle, assorted games, and opportunities to win prizes at various holes on the course. An awards reception with appetizers and drinks will follow the tourney.

“It’s golfing with a purpose: a day of fun and networking while benefiting Interfaith Community Services,” said Galicinao.

Cost for a foursome is $800. Single players are $200. The chamber is offering a discounted price of $750 for groups registering using the code ACE. To attend just the reception is $30.

Tournament packages include greens fees, carts, range balls, gift bags, drink tickets, awards, lunch and dinner. To register, visit or call 858-487-1767.

“You don’t need many reasons to play golf,” said Kwiatkowski. “I think this is a great way to support the regional chamber and a great organization. It will be a good day playing golf with good people.”

Bob Adams, Interfaith’s director of development, is grateful for the chamber’s support.

“We are so appreciative that such a prominent group of North County leaders has chosen Interfaith Community services as the beneficiary of its annual golf tournament,” he said.

For more information and to register, click here. 


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Letter carries work to ‘Stamp Out Hunger’

The National Association of Letter Carriers will pick up more than mail on May 10, much to the benefit of food providers for the poor such as Interfaith Community Services.

On that day, letter carriers from more than 1,200 post offices will spread out across the country, collecting food donated by customers as part of the 22nd annual Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Interfaith will be the beneficiary of contributions collected by carriers from the Escondido and Orange Glen post offices. Typically, the drive has brought in nearly 75,000 pounds of food for the ICS pantry. Last year, no bags were provided in which customers could leave food. As a result, just 25,000 pounds were collected.

Jerry Morgan, food and basic needs manager at Interfaith, is optimistic that collections will return to the 75,000-pound level because of a generous donation that has allowed for the purchase of 62,000 bags. They will be distributed in Escondido a few days before the May 10 drive.

Customers are encouraged to fill those bags with nonperishable food that will be delivered to Interfaith.

“The ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ food drive is the single most significant food drive that we have every year,” said Morgan “It is held the second Saturday in May every year, which just so happens to be about the time we start running out of the food we collected during the Christmas holidays.”

That lull in donations is the main reason for setting the food drive on that date, noted Fredric Rolando, president of National Association of Letter Carriers, in a news release about the event. Many school meal programs are also suspended for the summer, leaving millions of children seeking alternate sources of nutrition.

“Summer is usually a slow time of the year for food donations, as schools are closed and people are on vacation,” agreed Morgan.

More than 120 million postcards will be sent to customers across the country to remind them of the drive. Last year’s drive brought in 74.4 million pounds of food nationally, bringing the total collected since the drive began in 1992 to nearly 1.3 billion pounds.

Locally, Interfaith will have its large truck parked at the Orange Glen Post Office as letter carriers return from their rounds May 10 with bags donated by people on their routes. Trucks from the Escondido Post Office will stop by the agency headquarters at 550 W. Washington Ave. to drop off their collections on the way back to their nearby office.

“It is a sight to see when five or six postal trucks are backed up in the parking lot waiting for us to unload,” said Morgan.

Helping with that unloading process this year will be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have pledged to provide all the needed volunteers.




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Interfaith set to host veterans wellness fair at new Oceanside center

Active-duty and reserve military members, veterans and their families are invited to attend a Wellness and Resource Fair, sponsored by Veterans Assistance of San Diego, in partnership with the Veterans Association of North County.

Access to employment services, education and housing assistance, veterans health and benefits processing, veterans advocacy and wellness resources will be available at the event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Veterans Association of North County, 1617 Mission Ave. in Oceanside. Admission is free.

The wellness fair is a kickoff event for the new partnership between Veterans Assistance of San Diego, a division of Interfaith Community Services, and Veterans Association of North County. VASD moved its operations from Interfaith’s Coastal Service Center to the Veterans Association building on April 1.

The event also serves as an open house for the partner programs sharing the building.

“It is geared toward the active-duty military, veterans, their families and dependents. It’s not just for veterans. Anybody can come,” said Dean Dauphinais, director of veterans services for Veterans Assistance of San Diego. “It’s also an opportunity for members of the public interested in what services are out there to come out and participate.”

Oceanside Deputy Mayor Jerry Kern is among the scheduled speakers. Some services will be available at the resource fair, noted Dauphinais.

“Hopefully some veterans and active-duty military will leave the event with strong leads on jobs,” he said.

For information on the Wellness and Resource Fair, call Rod Santulan at 760-529-9979.

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