Moving Forward Together

News

Jul 5 2023

Vox

Shala Waines, the founder of San Diego’s monthly Soul Swapmeet for Black entrepreneurs, turned to JFS’s Hand Up Cars program for car financing and financial counseling. “Helpful is not even the word—it’s been a lifesaver,” says the single mom, who uses the Elantra to build her business, get her teenage daughter to school, do errands, and make UberEats and DoorDash deliveries. Hand Up Cars helps working parents with low-to-moderate incomes and challenged credit histories. The program also paid for a new transmission for the Elantra, which after five years is nearly paid off.

Jul 5 2023

Encinitas Advocate

Encinitas will continue with its Homeless Action Plan, despite a small decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness throughout coastal North County, based on January’s annual point-in-time count. Encinitas is bundled with Solana Beach and Del Mar in the homeless count; the total number of unsheltered people in those cities dropped from 76 to 73 in the past year. Oceanside and Carlsbad also saw decreases. “Quite frankly I don’t really put much credence in the numbers,” said Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz. JFS operates a Safe Parking lot in Encinitas.

Jun 30 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Jewish Family Service operates several guaranteed income programs, providing no-strings attached cash payments to low-income San Diegans to help them make ends meet. The money is provided for families and older adults to use at their discretion and is being studied as a way of helping stabilize people on the brink of becoming homeless. As Michael Smolens writes, “The growth of the program comes in the wake of a major study that suggests an extra $300 to $500 each month could have made the difference in keeping many people in California from falling into homelessness — or could help them pull out of it.”

Jun 20 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

JFS is expanding services to help food-insecure San Diegans by making our grocery-style food pantry, The Corner Market, more accessible by expanding evening hours five days a week as well as our online ordering, which offers curbside pickup. This, in response to increased demand as thousands of low-income families face higher food bills after losing pandemic-era benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the end of March. “As the SNAP benefits are going away, people are trying to stretch all of their limited resources as much as possible,” said Kristine Stensberg, JFS’s Senior Director of Nutrition and Aging Care Services. JFS volunteers at The Corner Market are also helping clients sign up for CalFresh benefits.

Jun 20 2023

KPBS

San Diego welcomed more than 400 refugees last quarter, according to Ross Fackrell, JFS’s director of refugee resettlement. JFS offers refugees support with housing – permanent and temporary – along with employment. “We walk with families and individuals through longer periods of time, particularly in the area of economic empowerment,” said Fackrell.

Jun 16 2023

SD Jewish World, SDNews.com, The Star News, The Alpine Sun, The Californian

The San Diego County Senior Transportation Program (SDCSTP), operated by JFS’s On the Go, is expanding its free ride service is to make sure all older adults have access to safe, reliable transportation that meets their mobility needs. SDCSTP will be available to low-income older adults in certain zip codes, whether they are ambulatory or utilize wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Those who do not meet low-income eligibility requirements may still access On the Go, which offers affordable, flexibly options.

Jun 5 2023

San Diego Business Journal

JFS CEO Michael Hopkins is a finalist for San Diego Business Journal’s 2023 CEO of the Year Award. The award recognizes contributions to organizational growth, leadership, and community involvement.

Jun 1 2023

San Diego State Fowler College of Business

JFS’S chief financial officer Bernadette Griggs — who earned her undergraduate accounting degree at SDSU while working full-time and raising two sons — is profiled by the Fowler College of Business. A math whiz, Bernadette grew up in a home with no running water or electricity in the village of Hopkins, Belize. She came to the United States as a teenager, which helps her empathize with young immigrants and DACA participants. “JFS was a perfect agency for me to join because of the invaluable work it does in the community,” she says. Bernadette was recently named CFO of The Year in the nonprofit sector by The San Diego Business Journal.

May 30 2023

Times of San Diego

JFS is one of 23 local nonprofit organizations receiving a grant from the Early Childhood Initiative at the San Diego Foundation and the Dr. Seuss Foundation. The grant will support our work on early childhood education and resources for families with young children.

May 30 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Foundation (SDF) and the Dr. Seuss Foundation are awarding $1.15 million in grants to 23 local nonprofit organizations, including JFS. The grants will support early childhood education and other resources for families with young children, including literacy. “When we invest in affordable quality early education,” said SDF President and CEO Mark Stuart, “we’re investing in our region’s families and the local workforce.”

May 29 2023

San Diego Business Journal

The San Diego Business Journal has named Mike Phillips, JFS’s Senior Director of Patient Advocacy and Health Services, as one of its 2023 Top Professionals in Behavioral Health. Mike is being recognized for overseeing several programs dedicated to supporting the behavioral, mental, and emotional health of more than 70,000 people a year.

May 24 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Our immigration system is broken,” says Kate Clark, JFS’s Senior Director of Immigration Services, as she calls on the public to hold elected officials accountable for rebuilding the immigration system. The Border Patrol recently created a horrific humanitarian situation, detaining hundreds of migrants between the border fences. San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services, which is operated by JFS, stands ready to continue to help asylum seekers, despite restrictive new border policies imposed by the Biden Administration after Title 42 was lifted on May 11.

May 21 2023

The New York Times

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services, which is operated by JFS, is assisting Afghan refugees who were U.S. allies during the war but were left behind when American troops left Kabul in 2021. Thousands are fleeing the country, fearing retaliation from the Taliban. Many know the Biden Administration is clamping down on immigration but are risking the perilous journey from South America through the Darien Gap, which is being advertised on TikTok, Facebook, and WhatsApp by smugglers claiming it is safe. Once in Border Patrol custody, they are considered “aliens,” subject to deportation. The Afghans qualify for humanitarian parole in the U.S., but few have been approved.

May 19 2023

KPBS

Humanitarian groups, including Immigrants Defenders Law Center and the American Friends Service Committee, are calling attention to what they call human rights violations by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Since the lifting of Title 42 border restrictions, the San Diego Rapid Response Migrant Shelter Service, which is operated by JFS, has seen as many as five times more migrants per day than average, according to JFS’s Kate Clark, Senior Director of Immigration Services. Clark says JFS is coordinating the processing of asylum-seekers with federal partners, including the Department of Homeland Security.

May 18 2023

KPBS

Vista City Council Member Katie Melendez says the Civic Center parking lot on Eucalyptus Avenue will be a great location for JFS’s new Safe Parking lot, which is expected to open in August. JFS will provide case management services to help participants find stable housing. “The lot in Vista will be pretty similar to the one in Encinitas,” said Chris Olsen, JFS’s Chief of Staff. “It will also have 25 spaces.” Most of the people using the Encinitas lot are over 50 and have full-time jobs, he says.

May 18 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The long-term financial impact on 2,250 families and individuals receiving a $4,000 grant from JFS’s Recovery Action Fund for Tomorrow (RAFT) will be studied by the County’s Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics. “Inflation compounds the issues that were already existing for these families,” said Khea Pollard, JFS’s Director of Economic Mobility and Opportunity. Recipients are free to use the money however they decide. “The intent is we want the families to prioritize their needs,” said Alberto Banuelos, the Assistant Director of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency’s Self-Sufficiency Services department.

May 15 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The response from local community groups aiding migrants since the end of Title 42 is credited with helping the situation from becoming more dire. “We have seen – especially in our community – the ability for us to move forward together as a … community united in our values of welcoming the stranger,” said JFS’s Senior Director of Immigration Services Kate Clark. Customs and Border Protection has now processed the large groups of migrants the Border Patrol was keeping in open-air holding areas near the border walls.

May 11 2023

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Community groups on both sides of the border — including the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, WorldBeat Cultural Center, Madres y Familias Deportas en Accion, the Black Contractors Association, Interfaith Community Services, and Friends of Friendship Park — have organized a network of resources to help thousands of asylum seekers hoping to apply for protection after the end of the Title 42 border policy. People who want to donate or volunteer are being referred to The San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter (SDRRN), which is operated by JFS.

May 8 2023

SD Metro

JFS and San Diego county leaders have announced that low-income families and seniors hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic could receive $4,000 in cash to help them recover. The one-time grant is aimed at people living in certain zip codes hardest hit by the pandemic, particularly people at risk of becoming homeless.

May 8 2023

ABC 10 News

County leaders and JFS have announced that 2,250 applicants could potentially receive a $4,000 grant from a new program developed by JFS, called the Recovery Act for Tomorrow (RAFT). If chosen, the money will be transferred directly into bank accounts, and recipients can use it however they want. JFS developed the program for low-income families and seniors who are still being impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 8 2023

CBS 8

JFS will randomly select 2,250 applicants to receive a one-time $4,000 grant from a new program, called the Recovery Act for Tomorrow (RAFT). Low-income families and seniors in 39 zip codes who earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level can apply on the JFS website. The program is intended to help those still struggling economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 7 2023

San Diego Jewish World

San Diego County health officials announced a new program offering $4,000 payments to low-income families and older adults still suffering the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our communities have still not recovered,” said County Board Chairperson Nora Vargas. One-time payments “gives people the dignity to make their own decisions” about necessary spending, she said. The Recovery Action Fund for Tomorrow (RAFT) will be administered by JFS and distribute payments to 2,250 families and older adults who qualify.

May 6 2023

Times of San Diego

The County of San Diego announced a new program offering $4,000 payments to low-income families and older adults called the Recovery Action Fund for Tomorrow (RAFT), which will be administered by JFS. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made issues of inequality more stark,” said Nick Macchione, director of the county’s Health and Human Services Agency. Khea Pollard, JFS’s director of economic mobility and opportunity, said JFS’s current income assistance program is proof that direct financial assistance is well spent. “Families are buying food, they’re buying household necessities,” she said.

May 6 2023

Fox 5

One-time payments of $4,000 are being made available to thousands of low-income people and older adults who live in one of the 39 zip codes hit hardest by the pandemic, especially those who may be at risk of becoming homeless. JFS created and will administer the Recovery Action Fund for Tomorrow (RAFT). “This one-time cash payment can be life-changing for those recovering from the pandemic,” said Nick Macchione, director of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.

May 5 2023

County News Center

JFS and County Board Chairperson Nora Vargas announced that applications will soon be accepted for the Recovery Action Fund for Tomorrow (RAFT), a program developed by JFS and funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. One-time, unrestricted payments of $4,000 will be available to 2,250 low-income families and older adults hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. “At Jewish Family Service, we are already seeing immense benefits from a similar program we launched last year,” said Khea Pollard, JFS’s director of Economic Mobility And Opportunity.

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