Jessica is a 31 year old single mother with a six year old son. Three years ago she lost the job that she had for eight years and could no longer afford to pay her rent. She began to panic when her car broke down about the same time and she could not afford to pay to have it repaired. Jessica applied to temporary shelters but was denied any kind of housing until she was referred to FESCO. After being accepted at Banyan house, her living situation, along with her outlook for her future changed immediately. Through FESCO staff, she learned budget and savings strategies, got her son into childcare, began volunteering at a local grocery store, and began her job search. After four months, she was hired on full time at the grocery store and was able to start saving money to rebuild her life. Soon after, Jessica was able to move into a home of her own. She credits FESCO with helping her to move toward self sufficiency saying “the workshops, counseling, and classes…have given me the confidence to maintain a normal, happy life”.
Lanita came to the Les Marquis House with her three small children. While living at the Shelter, she took classes to become certified as a CNA and LVN and worked as a Medical Assistant in Pleasanton at night. She would push her two younger children in a stroller while her oldest son would skate board as they walked to the BART station to go to work.
She would take the children to child care while she was working at night and pick them up after her shift. They would return to the Shelter in the morning and get ready for school that day. Once the children were at school she would take a short rest, do all her chores, run errands, then pick up her children after school only to do it all over again.
She never complained or missed a day of work. She wore through 3 strollers during the time she was at the Shelter. Lanita became a favorite among the staff with her “can do” attitude. When other clients thought their obstacles could not be conquered, they would be told the story of “a lady named Lanita.” She is now employed with Kaiser and working toward her Nursing License.
FESCO participated in a donation drive through a co-marketing effort with Rita’s Italian Ice on April 14th. The first 50 people that brought school supplies to donate to FESCO received a free ice as well as coupons for a free treat once a week for a year! The event was advertised locally in flyers and posters, g, social media campaigns, and a television advertisement on the Bravo channel! The event was a great success. People lined up at 5:00am and created quite a scene on Castro Valley Blvd. They filled a 55 gallon drum to the top with pencils, papers, rulers, calculators, and other school supplies.
On April 13th, FESCO Executive Director Gay McDaniel was a special guest on local radio station 96.5 KOIT. During the 30 minute segment, Gay spoke about the needs of homeless families, the services that we provide, and information about the upcoming Shelter Shuffle Walkathon fundraiser. To listen to the show in its entirety, please click here.