Since 2017 First Call For Help Fostoria has connected individuals and families who have basic needs to the resources available. The services of FCFHF are free, confidential and available to persons in Fostoria. FCFHF works closely with local and regional provider agencies to fill the needs, avoid duplication and streamline the process of helping others. It is a service of United Way of Fostoria.
In 2018, 545 clients were helped with an average caseload of 50-80 clients per month. The total client interactions were 3,961.
Compared to 2017, this year’s requests showed an increase for help with utilities and transportation, while housing continues to be the greatest need.
· Adequate housing and dealing with homelessness, 40%
· Help with utilities, 24%
· Food, 9%
· Transportation, 8%
· Other, such as medical-related needs, school uniforms and supplies, and
In response to the ongoing homeless situation, which includes people who are not able to go to “the same place every night to sleep in a safe and sufficient space,” St Vincent de Paul Society, Salvation Army, FCFHF, and United Way of Fostoria formed the Homeless Solution Core Team. The team studies the changing situation and shares data. So far it has streamlined and coordinated some of the processes. In December they agreed to share information through a secure network, as they continue to work towards more permanent solutions.
Libra Martin, FCFHF Program Director, secured nearly $14,272 in direct-to-client help from a regional foundation and area churches. A Community Development Block Grant funded 18 families to prevent homelessness for a total of $19,772. As a class member of Leadership Seneca County, she and her classmates raised nearly $56,000 to provide back-to-school items for more than 1,100 Fostoria students.
As FCFHF grew and developed this year, opportunities for client coaching and case management became evident, especially for clients who have multiple needs and complicated situations. In 2019 the United Way Board increased FCFHF hours to accommodate these clients.