As fall approaches, Foothills Family Resources is looking forward to the inaugural class of the most empowering service ever offered by this historic organization. The “Center for Working Families” will help move citizens of Northern Greenville County from crisis to self-sufficiency. I’ve talked a great deal about that move in previous columns, but the next two will explain how a small organization, located in a historic mill village, aspires to help our neighbors from Travelers Rest to Cleveland attain financial security and move towards happiness.
Let’s first talk about the word “crisis.”
A crisis is any situation which makes getting through the day a ”to do” item. It may come in the form of an empty cupboard, teenage pregnancy, crippling mental duress, lack of health insurance along with poor health, looming power disconnection, overdue rent or pending foreclosure, loss of employment or disability to name a few.
Most of us have felt at least some of these needs at one point in our lives but handling most or all of the above at one time qualifies as a crisis. This is where Foothills Family Resources meets many of our clients. Urgent services such as food, emergency shelter/utilities and Medicaid enrollment are immediately dealt with through FFR staff with the remainder of services provided by a diverse group of partners on site. These services include SNAP services from DSS, Nutritional Guidance from the Department of Health’s Women Infant and Children’s program, Therapeutic sessions from Greenville Mental Health, Pregnancy Counseling including Ob Ultrasounds from the Piedmont Women’s Center, employment services from Vocational Rehabilitation and educational daycare from SHARE Head Start.
This multi-disciplinary group of partners provides all services at no cost to this community or to FFR. In return, they are provided all the amenities of a modern office environment rent free. It is this leveraging of resources which allows FFR to provide more opportunities to our neighbors than any organization in Greenville County.
Once the crisis has been dealt with, many families will be afforded the opportunity to improve financial knowledge, gain much needed work skills, attain employment and change the course of their family’s future through the Center for Working Families. But there are no strings attached to crisis services. FFR has always been a place for our neighbors to turn when times are tough. Asking for food may be the first step to financial security, but it may also just be a means to get through another day. We respect each person we serve because situations are all unique; each client will get what is best for them simply because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s a pleasure to continue this conversation and I look forward to discussing financial education, job training and employment placement, along with the partners providing those services, in our next conversation. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.