Any Door Is The Right Door: A Look At Our 2030 Vision
History of Family Resource Centers
Not based in a branch, but outreach for communities
In the coming months, we’ll be introducing different aspects of our YMCA of San Francisco 2030 Vision by highlighting several programs that reflect them. Let’s begin with our 2030 Vision: (Building strong communities) where you can be, belong and become.
When thinking about our 2030 Vision, Family Resource Centers (FRCs) automatically came to mind. Our FRCs provide access to a variety of human services. These services seek to improve wellbeing through resources, service connectors and wraparound services that speak to a whole individual and their lifestyle. FRCs offer everything from diapers, program referrals for housing, food, job placements, mental health services, and even building software skills in Spanish or Chinese. FRCs’ goal is to limit the barriers that especially effect low-income residents.
Our FRCs still exist inside some branches, like in Bayview Hunters Point, but we also offer resource centers outside of our facilities. Founded in 1995, Urban Services was specifically chartered to guarantee access of various YMCA resources and services to various San Francisco communities. Established in 2003, Oceanview, Merced Heights, Ingleside (OMI) became the first FRC in our organization, with Western Addition following in 2006 and Potrero Hill in 2012. There are many programs that operate through Urban Services that aren’t tied to branches but rather, to the communities they serve.
This vision came from a variety of people - led by Chad Nico Hiu, Gina Gregory-Burns and Mike Robinson. It stems from the input of over 1,000 YSF staff, board, facility and community members sharing challenges and aspirations to co-create the future of our Y across all three counties we serve. YSF leadership partnered with Bay Area staff and board teams to explore what hopes and expectations our communities have voiced for the next decade and beyond. These expectations are heavily related to what we are seeing as a society.
COVID-19 and FRC Expansion
“Before shelter-in-place, we were operating full-time in-person, but COVID-19 changed the way we operated for two years. People were missing meeting in-person… -Betty Canton-Self, Education Liaison Director, Urban Services
With the pandemic exacerbating existing problems (food insecurity, truancy in education, housing crisis, job loss, etc.) in our communities, FRCs have seen an increased need in all services. FRC’s had to adapt, navigating different obstacles these past two years to ensure that our communities’ needs are being addressed – whether it is running food pantries to doorsteps or providing a hybrid model for programs, FRCs continue to ensure that these services are accessible for everyone.
Measure of Success
Here are some of ways our FRCs have been serving our communities:
6,071 case management/family advocacy support provided to families
40 tons of food distributed through FRCs and food pantries across the Bay Area
7 beacons where youth and their families are connected to wraparound services, mental health resources, food security programs, and more
Oceanside, Merced Heights, Ingleside:
Feeds 250 people per week through food pantry
Distributes PPE to 200 people per week
Provides diapers for about 50 families per month
Most in need services: Drop-in and Utilities
“Our measurement of success shouldn’t be someone’s reliance on our food panties. It should be getting our communities to a place where they become increasingly independent and secure.” -Betty
These are great measurements, but what is our long-term goal to the communities we serve? For YSF, our measure of success goes beyond economic wellness because we want to build strong communities towards a sustainable future.
A 2030 Vision of our Future and Sustainability
Any Door is the Right Door
To measure our success is to work towards equitable access and sustainability (environmentally, economically, and culturally). In order to build strong communities, we must imagine what that future looks like for everyone. This means ensuring that our Family Resource Centers are well-integrated in continuing to have access to the services and resources that youth and families need while moving them into self-sustaining entrepreneurial and academic endeavors. We want to provide spaces for wraparound support, making sure that all feel seen, represented and welcomed. Because any door is the right door at YSF. Our vision is that any Y program provides more than just access, but provides a space where anyone can Be, Belong, and Become.
“The three FRCs... we all work together and tailor the services according to the communities’ needs. [Ultimately,] we want to move our communities to sustainability to help families past crises [whether it’s] jobs, education...” -Natasha Matthews, Family Advocate, Urban Services
Any Door is the Right Door is the first blog in our 2030 Vision series. To learn more, visit www.ymcasf.org to give, volunteer or join our team!