Friday, January 29, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Building Futures with Families

The rainy weather in the Bay Area this week made me grateful to have a home and curious to know who is helping our unhoused neighbors. That led me to today’s Feel Good Friday organization, Building Futures with Families.

What started in 1986 as The San Leandro Refuge for Women and Children is now Building Futures with Families. Their mission is “to build communities with underserved individuals and families, where they are safely and supportively housed, free from homelessness and domestic violence.”

Building Futures runs several homeless shelters across Alameda County, California. Some are warming shelters which open up when cold weather or rain is predicted. They offer a warm bed for the night, dinner, breakfast and a connection to housing services. Others are full-service shelters offering a warm bed, three meals a day, shower and laundry facilities, access to computers and telephones as well as permanent supportive housing assistance, linkage to medical services, financial literacy classes and children’s programming. Information on the specific locations and additional resources on homelessness can be found here.

Services for survivors of domestic violence include a safe house, which provides shelter and support services, and weekly support groups for both women and men survivors of intimate partner violence. For those who don’t need shelter services, there is an outreach team that provides advocacy, case management, counseling, and is also available for public education workshops. To access any of these services as well as find resources on domestic violence dynamics, safety planning and boundary setting guides for teens, click this link.

The final program focus is on supportive housing. Building Families has been a “Housing First” agency since 2007, which means their priority is to quickly connect their clients with housing. They do this by running a 52-unit permanent supportive housing community in Alameda as well as partnering with other agencies in the county to place people in permanent housing.

In the last year, as noted in the 2019-2020 Annual Report, Building Families has provided 29,883 nights of shelter, served 84,274 meals and housed 394 adults and children. You can read the stories behind the numbers at this link

If you’d like support Building Families you can volunteer your time, donate your money and amplify their work on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @buildingfuture5.

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