Letter from Executive Director Jose Ramirez

Jose LA food bank award
Jose LA food bank award

Jose Ramirez received the LA Regional Food Bank’s “Tony Collier Award” in May for his leadership and commitment in the fight against hunger.

Our community needs us now more than ever…

For the fourth consecutive year, SFC’s staff and volunteers served over 100,000 meals to homeless guests. The hard numbers confirm what we see. Not only does SFC’s service area (SPA 4) have the highest concentration of homeless individuals in the county at 11,860, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 2016 Homeless Count, but homelessness has jumped 11% just from 2015, has increased steadily over the past three years, and there are 37% more chronically homeless individuals since the last count was conducted in 2013.

100 percent of families utilizing our Pantry Services fall well below the federal poverty level of $24,250 annually for a family of four. The average annual household income for the Center’s pantry guests is just $10,272. Seventy­four percent of their income goes to rent, leaving little extra to purchase food, let alone fresh, healthy food.

Last year we were able to provide much-needed health and stability for our homeless and extremely low-income guests by:

~Serving 106,520 hot breakfasts and nutritious sack lunches;

~Providing 16,064 grocery visits for families through our pantry services;

~Sending 415 children from our pantry service families to summer camps;

~ Serving 1,677 homeless guests through the shower program and distributing 3,477 hygiene kits

St. Francis Center is now in the fourth year of our strategic plan. Last year, we were able to accomplish the following:

  • Implement new satellite pantries at ICS and South Central LAMP
  • Add health and hygiene service hours and days of operation by expanding to three days a week.
  • Expand our resource department with the addition of a resource specialist position.
  • Add a chaplain position to our team.
  • Set date for annual board retreat and held retreat at start of new fiscal year with great board engagement and almost 100 percent board participation.

At this stage, our organization is well positioned to impart a greater impact on our guests. This fiscal year our goals are to:

  • Add a case management component to the Homeless Well-Being Program
  • Begin utilizing Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Homeless Management Information System for hygiene program guests in case management program
  • Implement a planned giving program
  • Implement a satellite pantry in Compton
  • Develop a succession plan for management staff
  • Continue with the exploratory phase of capital campaign discussions.

Will you join me in serving hope to our guests who need it most? Find out how you can help by visiting http://sfcla.org/support/

In Peace,