Family finds stability thanks to Interfaith

 

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Lily’s two children Briana (left) and Lorena (right)

Continuing unemployment rates, coupled with San Diego County’s high cost of living creates significant hurdles for low-income families working towards self-sufficiency. While the economy recovers from the recession, 1 in 4 families still remain below the poverty line. Thankfully, the Family & Social Services Program at Interfaith Community Services helps over 19,000 individuals chart a course towards independence and self-reliance each year.

Lily, a client of Interfaith’s, came to the organization after a friend recommended she apply for an apartment through the Family Housing Program in December 2013. While she was initially forewarned that there was a waitlist for the program, Lily was ecstatic to move into her own apartment with her two children, Lorena (4) and Briana (2) in October 2014.

“We had been living in my parents house,” said Lily. “I didn’t have a job and it wasn’t my own space. It was really hard. I was shocked to find out there was a place like Interfaith to help us get on our feet.”

While settling into their new 2 bedroom home, Lily and her children began attending life-skills workshops and counseling sessions, in addition to working with a case manager. Lily says that learning how to be a parent while in the comfort of her own home made all the difference in her outlook on life.

“I used to be hopeless,” said Lily. “I didn’t know how to be a mom, I didn’t know what I was doing at all. Now, I work hard for them every day.

Today, Lily works as a receptionist at a local smog shop in Escondido and is expecting her third daughter, due in January 2016.

“Now I know there’s someone out there to help us,” said Lily. “That gives me hope for our future. I thank Interfaith every single day.

Interfaith Community Services is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit social services agency. For information on how you can contribute to the organization with either monetary gifts, in-kind donations, or through volunteer work, please contact Interfaith’s Chief Development Officer, Robert Adams, at radams@interfaithservices.org or by calling (760) 489-6380 ext. 206.


Interfaith awarded grant to expand veterans employment programs

 

VAInterfaith is excited to announce that it has been awarded a $444,444 grant from the California Employment Development Department as part of its highly successful Veterans Employment-Related Assistance Program (VEAP).  With grants distributed to nine local entities with ongoing VEAP programs, Interfaith is honored to be a recipient of these funds.

“The VEAP Program is designed to bring veterans to the front of the hiring line – as a way to show the state’s appreciation for the many sacrifices that veterans have made for all of us,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning Jr.

These new funds will allow Interfaith to enhance its overall veteran’s employment program, as well as improve partnerships with labor groups, business associations, and regional employers.  Additionally, the grant is intended to ensure the program’s overall sustainability.

With Interfaith proudly serving over 1,000 veterans each year, this new funding will provide vocational training for unemployed and underemployed veterans, helping them in their transition to civilian careers that will pay livable wages.  We look forward to supporting and connecting approximately 80 veterans to new career opportunities through the VEAP Program!

If you would like to learn more about the ways Interfaith Community Services supports our local veterans, please click here.  To learn about how you can donate to Interfaith’s veteran’s programs, please contact Chief Development Officer Robert Adams at radams@interfaithservices.org.


Interfaith announces Filipa Rios as incoming CPO

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It is with great excitement for the people we serve that Interfaith announces Filipa Rios as our new Chief Program Officer!

Filipa brings a truly unique set of skills and experiences to this demanding leadership role.  She understands Interfaith’s work and programs, both through her past role as Senior Director of Client Services at Community Resource Center and more recently through her leadership building the North County 25 Cities Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement system.  Filipa builds strong and meaningful relationships with internal and external stakeholders, a hugely important factor in an organization that is built on strong and meaningful relationships with 100+ community-based organizations, 355 faith centers, 2,000+ volunteers, 140 staff, all nine north county municipalities, the VA, HUD, and the County of San Diego.

Filipa has taken on increasing levels of responsibility and leadership throughout her career.  She has coordinated and been a part of implementing a diverse set of behavioral health programs at Catholic Charities in the Bay Area; she oversaw a transitional housing drug and alcohol recovery program in San Jose; she managed an affordable housing portfolio over three communities, including 146 apartments; and she developed a continuum of services at Community Resource Center in Encinitas, including their innovative Ways to Work program and a Workforce Development Social Enterprise funded by the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund – a very prestigious accomplishment in its own right.  Filipa holds a Master in Public Administration. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the field of Public Administration at the University of La Verne.

Interfaith is truly fortunate to bring Filipa on board in this major leadership role; as our Chief Program Officer, she will be in charge of all Interfaith’s direct client services.

Please join us in welcoming Filipa Rios to Interfaith Community Services!


Volunteers, Donors, and Community Supporters enjoy The Big Thank You

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This June, over 300 of Interfaith’s volunteers, donors, community supporters and staff gathered at Felicita County Park to say “a big thank you” to those who show an exceptional commitment to both Interfaith and our local community. A Hawaiian-style luau, guests enjoyed Polynesian food, entertainment, games and more with family and friends.

While guests mingled around a stage featuring hula performances, Interfaith’s program staff were scattered across the park in booths containing a beanbag toss, cakewalk, hula-hoop contest, shaved ice and cotton candy machines. Attendees of the event were also greeted by staff with leis, invited to take Hawaiian-themed pictures in a photo booth, and were served beverages in commemorative cups that they were encouraged to take home.

Interfaith is grateful not only for those who attended this year’s Big Thank You, but also for those who support our organization every day. Interfaith was founded on stewardship, collaboration, and compassion, and our biggest “thank you” goes out to the volunteers, donors and community supporters who make our work possible.

To view a complete album of the photos taken at this year’s Big Thank You, please click here.


Volunteer Profile: Marilyn Galloway

 

IMG_8397Marilyn Galloway began volunteering with Interfaith Community Services over five years ago and has proven herself to be a true leader. A regular in the pantry, Marilyn volunteers every Tuesday, distributing emergency food packages to individuals and families beginning at 8am and ending her shift only when all clients’ needs have been met for the day. She also has regularly helped with administrative tasks for both the Development and Volunteer Departments, as well as during the annual Holiday Adopt-A-Family program.

In total, Interfaith estimates that Marilyn volunteered over 200 hours and passed out over 28,000 emergency food packages last year alone. She is a true inspiration and example of dedication to our organization – we are extremely lucky to have her!