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Updates from FSC - July 2021

Hello FSC Members, Partners and Community Stakeholders,

We are thrilled to debut our new logo! We provided three logo concepts to our Membership, asking them to vote for their favorite and this was the hands-down winner! This logo represents the interconnectedness of the Collaborative and that we are stronger when we are linked together.

Like many of you, this last month has been very busy! We are excited to share some highlights with you in our newsletter: We conducted two site visits out to our members, have new FSC Executive Committee Members to introduce you to as well as other notable news.

Thank you to our Members, Partners and Community Stakeholders for your ongoing support and partnership with the FSC!

For the families,

Nikki Buckstead, Executive Director

Honoring Jean Wegener, Community leader

Jean was a pioneer in family homelessness. Dedicating the last three decades of her life to the work and to Serving People in Need (SPIN), she served as an FSC Executive Committee Member for the last 18 months and prior to that, worked to support the Collaborative, her agency, families and community. She was a force and we honor her spirit and legacy.

Last year, the FSC held our inaugural Hero in Family Homelessness Award. This award, open to our membership, seeks out those who go above and beyond in the field.

In honor of Jean, we are re-naming the Award the Jean Wegener Hero in Family Homelessness.

We will miss your fire and passion.

Learn more about Jean, HERE

Meet our new FSC Executive Committee Members

Lisa Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Casa Teresa

Lisa has served as the CEO at Casa Teresa for six years. During that time she financially stabilized the organization, run a successful capital campaign and launched an innovative program for women and babies leaving the program. Prior to Casa Teresa, she spent more than 20 years in healthcare philanthropy.

When asked why she wanted to serve on the FSC Executive Committee, Lisa said, “I am excited to serve I want to be part of a bigger movement to positively impacting homeless families.”

Jack Toan, Chief Operating Officer, Illumination Foundation

As a refugee whose family relied on the kindness of strangers, Jack understands first-hand the power of a collective community who cares and actively works to lift others up. His experience drives his belief in creating social change through action. In February 2021, he joined the Illumination Foundation as the Chief Operating Officer to help the organization in their mission to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. Prior to his current role, Jack had an 18 year career in corporate social responsibility at Wells Fargo where he oversaw more than $10M of the of the company’s charitable giving, volunteerism and community development programs in the Southern California Region. Jack holds an MBA from UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business and is a graduate of the Southern California Leadership Network but more importantly, he is a proud father of four amazing children!

When asked why he wanted to serve on the FSC Executive Committee, Jack responded, “No agency will solve the problem of homelessness alone so I am excited to join the FSC Executive Committee which has proven to be a best practice in collaboration to respond to this overwhelming need in our communities.”

Judy Rose, MSW, LCSW, Chief Program Officer – Human Options

Judy is a graduate of USC School of Social Work and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. With a commitment to the vision, Judy has spent her decade of service to Human Options focused on expanding services into our most vulnerable communities, creating innovative and sustainable programs, and developing collaborations with community agencies to reduce barriers and increase access for survivors of domestic violence.

Judy has served as a member of The California State Partnership to End Domestic Violence Public Policy Committee for over 6 years where she provides critical input regarding policy issues. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Early Childhood of Orange County Steering Committee and serves as the co-chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Judy has been a member of the Family Solutions Collaborative since 2018 and currently serves as a member on the Data and Compliance Committee.

Meet FSC’s Newest Member

We are excited to bring on Laura’s House as our newest FSC Member!

Laura’s House is one of the four Domestic Violence Providers we have as part of our Membership. Laura’s House mission is to change social beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space to empower families affected by abuse.

We asked Laura's House why they wanted to become a member, and they said, "We are excited to partner with Family Solutions Collaborative which will bring additional resources for those who are affected by domestic violence in the hopes of a more successful and sustainable recovery."

As part of our work to support all of our Domestic Violence Member agencies to ensure they are able to receive the full benefits of families being able to receive support to prevent or provide housing resources, the FSC has worked to develop a DV Integration Project, with Pathways of Hope, Families Forward, Homeless Intervention Services OC, Human Options, WTLC and Interval House. All members of the FSC. We are excited to bring this wonderful integration opportunity to Laura’s House as well!

FSC Conducts Member Site Visits

In June, the FSC Staff visited Illumination Foundations, Murphy House, emergency shelter for families, to get a tour and meet the staff. We were so impressed with their outdoor space for the kids, as well as the calm and soothing atmosphere available for the families. We toured their 3,224 sq foot home to see the common areas where families could congregate and cook together and saw an available space that they were preparing for a family to move into that evening. Thank you, Illumination Foundation, for your dedication to the families, community and FSC! (Above picture, FSC and Illumination Foundation staff)

We also visited American Family Housing and met with their staff at their facility in Midway City in Orange County. They manage 63 affordable housing units in Southern California and 75% of those are for families. They offer a variety of services to families in the Community. Thank you, American Family Housing for your commitment to families in the Community! (pictured left to right below: Mary Ann Ross, Nikki Buckstead, Katherine Rodriguez and Martha Marroquin)

Thank you, OC Fair!

In June, the FSC received 1000 tickets to the OC Fair, which were provided to many of our member agencies so they could give to families they are working with - in hopes of providing a fun time for their families.

Picture above: Pictured below: Michele Richards, CEO, Orange County Fair and Nikki Buckstead, Executive Director, Family Solutions Collaborative

We want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to a couple of our Executive Committee members, as they have been pivotal to building the FSC over the last year!

Carrie Buck, Executive Director of Homeless Intervention Services OC (HIS OC) term as FSC Chair for the past 18 months has come to an end, and she remains on the FSC Executive Committee as the Past Chair. Carrie ushered the FSC through COVID and lots of intense growth! She will remain active on the Governance and HR Committees.

We have a heartfelt THANK YOU to Elizabeth Andrade, CEO of Family Assistance Ministries (FAM) who has played and will continue to play an important role with the FSC. She remains active with us on the Data and Compliance Committee, and carries important historical knowledge of the FSC as well as a deep commitment to our success.

And a welcome to our new FSC Chair, Yvette Ahlstrom, Director of Housing with HomeAid. Yvette has been slated to move into the position of FSC Chair for over a year now and we are excited to have her in that position over the next year, as we continue to grow and expand the work the Collaborative is doing.

FSC Updates:

We have convened a Governance Ad-Hoc Committee as we finalize the FSC Charter. This document will provide information on the FSC structure. Participating ad-hoc member agencies are: HomeAid, South County Outreach, Homeless Intervention Services OC (HIS OC), Human Options, WTLC (Women’s Transitional Living Center), Salvation Army and Illumination Foundation

We received an incredible opportunity through the First 5 Children and Families Commission to increase capacity, provide training and technical assistance, data and evaluation as well as supportive services funding for our Diversion Expansion Plan. We are in the process of interviewing for a Project Manager to oversee this incredibly innovative project with our FSC Access Points and work to make a difference in the community!

Last month, Nikki Buckstead share the FSC Draft Leadership Vision with the Orange County Continuum of Care Board and we are one step closer to bringing that leadership vision to reality! Once complete, we will share that vision with our Members, Partners and Community Stakeholders.

Last month at the annual Orange County Mental Health Meeting of the Minds 2-day conference, Nikki Buckstead, FSC Executive Director was one of the presenters along with several other community leaders in the field of homelessness. You can watch the presentation HERE

Thank you to Helen Cameron from Jamboree Housing for being the moderator of our panel!

FSC Membership:

American Family Housing * City of Huntington Beach * Casa Teresa * City Net * Colette’s Children’s Home * Families Forward * Family Assistance Ministries (FAM) * Family Promise of Orange County * Habitat for Humanity of Orange County * Homeless Intervention Services OC (HIS OC) * HomeAid Orange County * Human Options * Illumination Foundation * Interval House*Laura's House *Mercy House * Orange County Rescue Mission * Pathways of Hope * Project Hope Alliance * The Salvation Army of Orange County * Serving People in Need (SPIN) * StandUp for Kids * South County Outreach * Women’s Transitional Living Center, Inc. (WTLC)

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