May 22 at 11:46am

San Diego County Selects Interfaith for New Family Self-Sufficiency Grants

Interfaith Community Services is the recipient of a pair of six-year Family Self-Sufficiency contracts from the county of San Diego to provide social services to residents of Coastal and Inland North County.

The Family Self-Sufficiency grants will contribute to our effort to create an unprecedented level of regional collaboration for social services throughout North County

“The Family Self-Sufficiency grants will contribute to our effort to create an unprecedented level of regional collaboration for social services throughout North County,” said Richard Batt, Interfaith’s Executive Director. “We’ve established new partnerships with other agencies to significantly improve the effectiveness and the reach of social services – not only at Interfaith, but across the region – and this grant will greatly empower that collaboration.”

The services that will be provided include employment and job-readiness training, financial literacy, education, transportation and nutritional education and access to benefits and health care as necessary. Interfaith will partner with seven subcontractors to help fulfill those obligations, and may extend its network of partnerships in the years ahead.

Interfaith’s partner agencies include: Community Resource Center, Community Housing Works, Second Chance, Escondido Education COMPACT, Vista Community Clinic, North County Health Services and Catholic Charities.

“Bringing together organizations that are individually impactful gives all of our services greater reach and greater depth,” says Laurin Pause, Executive Director of Community Resource Center. “Each of the partner agencies in this collaboration has expertise in particular areas—from basic services to self-sufficiency in the form of permanent employment and asset building such as auto loans,” added Pause. “This partnership increases access to services that can change lives.”

Interfaith Community Services had been a subcontractor under the previous grant-holder, providing services exclusively in inland North County. Its selection to coordinate FSS services for all of North County is “a real vote of confidence from the County,” said Christina Entrekin, ICS director of social services. “Our goal is to help people recover from adversities and become self-sufficient”, she said. “I think for Interfaith it is a real recognition of the good work we do when we’re awarded grants totaling $725,000 annually.”

Family Self-Sufficiency is a federal anti-poverty and community-based case-management program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD provides funding for grants awarded by counties across the county. The program’s design is to help recipients of subsidized housing vouchers pursue educational and career goals. Services provided through the grant are geared toward keeping people housed and employed, explained Entrekin.

“The most exciting part for us is to go out and reach people in communities where they live. We will be able to hire and place client advocates and vocational case managers in both urban and rural areas and in Indian communities,” said Entrekin. “We’ll meet people where they are, rather than expecting them to come here for services.”

Interfaith was awarded $185,000 to serve Coastal North County and $167,000 for Inland North County for the remainder of the year. The full-year grants, renewable through 2017, are for $371,000 a year for coastal services and $354,000 for the inland area.

Interfaith Community Services, sponsored by over 300 faith centers, provides a wide range of programs to help hungry, homeless, and low-income people in North San Diego County. Programs include food and basic needs, shelters and housing, employment services, family and social services, children and youth programs, senior services, veterans programs, and addiction recovery. Each program is designed to “help people help themselves,” by empowering individuals to regain self-sufficiency.