Strong Families Meet the Challenge with Help by Lynn Berardo

Strong Families Meet the Challenge with Help;

By Lynn Berardo, Chair of the Family Resource Center Community Advisory Council.

Life is often a challenge. Strong families meet the challenge, survive and thrive. Most often they do not do it alone. Strong families know where to look for help and meet their challenges one at time. Family Resource Centers (FRC) form a safety net of help and resources to help families. FRC’s perform a wide range of critical services; it might be to refer someone grief stricken to counseling; to help another find affordable senior or child care; to find counseling for an unruly teen or nursing help with a new born baby. You think of the problem and an FRC is the starting point for help in each community. FRC’s are funded in part by each state. Only one agency in a community can receive funding to be an FRC. In Incline Village Tahoe Family Solutions (TFS) is the non-profit, social service agency that provides this service. Funding is fixed in a ratio to population base. This year Tahoe Family Solutions received $6500 to perform these services. To coin a well-know phrase, this is a drop in the lake of what it takes to deliver these critical services. Robin Glasgow estimates the actual costs to be between $28 and 30,000.

Who Uses These Services?

When someone comes to Tahoe Family Solutions, as the designated FRC Agency, help is given without question. Tahoe Family Solutions, like other FRC’s, is mandated to provide service in a way similar to the way hospital ER’s provide help regardless of insurance. Once a person/family is deemed to need further (on-going) services, data is collected on the person/family. Then they are either given sources of help in their community of residence or if they are Incline Village residents a “case-management” file is created and the client is seen on a on-going basis until their need or challenged is resolved. Fees are based on ability to pay and in the last three years those seeking service without means has increased significantly. Tahoe Family Solutions has served clients from newborn to 74 years of age, within all annual incomes. While demand for service has increased three-fold in the last three years, the ethnic mix served has remained stable.

How the Numbers Work – or Not!

In the past three years demand for FRC services has tripled as people stream through the doors of Tahoe Family Solutions located in the Parasol Building. To date in the 2011-12 fiscal year, there have been over 1225 individuals requesting Family Resource help. It does not taken a mathematician to figure out that the bill for this is not covered by $6500. So Tahoe Family Solutions is making a plea similar to that made by Red, White and Tahoe Blue. If everyone of Incline Village donated at least $25 Tahoe Family Solutions could continue providing these solutions with solvency. As Red White and Tahoe motto says, “It Takes a Community,” and it is so true. It does take a community to help make families strong…and Strong Families make a Strong Community.

Tahoe Family Solutions Needs your Help Building a Strong Families for a Strong Community

Please go to www.tahoefamily.org and make a donation. It can be any amount; it can be one-time, or recurring. Or if you prefer send a check to: Tahoe Family Solutions, 948 Incline Way, Incline Village, NV 89451. Please just do it and help us prove that this community has what it takes to support families and help them on their way to becoming strong members of a strong community.

Ethnic Mix Served by Tahoe Family Solutions:

52% Caucasian, 45% Hispanic, 1% American Indian, 1% African American, 1% Asian American

Resources Provided by Tahoe Family Solutions in the last 9 months.

236 individuals in ongoing Case Management families
457 referrals given to C.M. families
450 separate contacts with C.M. families
98 Food Stamp applications completed and submitted
100 Medicaid applications completed and submitted
5 Energy Assistance applications completed and submitted
10 Childcare Subsidy applications completed and submitted
23 Other applications completed and submitted (these include WIC, Disability, and Child Support)
1,225 separate contacts from non-C.M. families for referrals or information

Lynn Berardo has served on the Tahoe Family Solutions Board for the past 3 years. She is now the chair of the Family Resource Center Community Advisory Council. This body helps oversee the work done by an FRC. Meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is August 9th at 10am At the DW Reynolds Community Non-Profit Building—Parasol. Please call 775-298-0004 if you would like to be kept abreast of the meeting schedule, attend or become a council advisory member.