In mid December the Family Resource Center at Eden Youth and Family Center was forced to close for lack of funding. An important resource for low-income families in South Hay-ward was lost. The FRC provided food, preventative health services for children and sen-iors, classes on nutrition and healthy eating, assistance with paper work for food stamps, general assistance, and Healthy Families Insurance and much more. In January and Febru-ary the Parish Food Pantry had an increase of over one hundred new applicants… a small indication of the number of folk that were being assisted by the Center.
The South Hayward Parish has been working with New Bridges Presbyterian Church, other non profits, and concerned community residents to find a way to re-establish at least some of the services. And news is encouraging. The Family Resource Collective is beginning to come together!
Located at the Westminster Hills Outreach Center, the Collective offers free space for any non-profit who wants to provide services in South Hayward. Desks, wireless service and hot coffee are available for staff and clients. Sue Merrill, the Site Manager, can help with scheduling to meet agency needs.
The Parish food pantry is providing food assistance with the Emergency Food Boxes. Thanks to Public Health Nurse Cathy Ahoy and the Cal State nursing students, immunization, basic health screening, and referrals as needed are provided Tuesdays from 1:00 to 4:00 PM to seniors and children over 10 years. The Citizens for the Lost (CFL) will also be joining the collective. This agency helps families navigate the systems when a loved one is missing or murdered. Planned Parenthood offers services to the community for 9:00 to 5:00 each Thursday. AlCo workers offer help with Medical and Food Stamp applications, by appointment. Nutrition classes and healthy cooking demonstration are available and an evening meditation class is coming soon.
Funds are limited for all of us, but the needs of the community are still there. By pooling our efforts, our skills, and our resources we can continue to empower South Hay-ward residents with the services they have identify. A few hours a week or a month can mean a great deal to someone who needs your help. The Parish hopes that those with concerns for the community will consider out-stationing staff with the Collective. If you would like more information on how you can participate call the South Hayward Parish office: 510 785-3663.
This good beginning has been made possible because others recognized the need in our community and responded with support. Many thanks to our friends at Neighborhood Spirit, the City of Hayward, Alameda County, and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. (orgs that made it possible….. with money!)