By Paul Holston
Posted 7:10 PM EST, Sun. May 1, 2016
Crime. Poverty. Unemployment. Housing. Education. These are some of the many challenges Ward 8 in the District of Columbia is facing due to the area being rated as the highest [crime, poverty and unemployment] and the lowest [housing and education] in D.C.
While many organizations and volunteers are helping to fight these statistics within the nation’s capital, one particular organization is taking a proactive role on aggressively addressing these issues.–
For Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc. (FSFSC), an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, its aim is to continually build healthy families and thriving communities. It has been advocating for Southeast D.C. since the early ‘90s.
“We’re excited as we head into 2016, which marks our 20th year of serving families in Ward 8 and creating meaningful partners,” said Perry Moon, FSFSC’s executive director.
According to the organization’s website, the mission of the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc. is “to act as a catalyst to develop, nurture and sustain partnerships of residents, agencies, and institutions in the Southeast community and to create a healthy socioeconomic environment through which every child and family has an opportunity to achieve their maximum potential and to lead a productive life.”
The organization was formally established in April of 1996 from a Neighborhood Collaborative Capacity Grant created through the federal Family Preservation and Support Act.
“It [FSFSC] is here to support families with whatever their objectives and goals are. We provide the necessary resources for one to use; therefore, we are assisting in giving back to the community by helping them enhancing their living,” said Kuntumie Fadika, a family support worker for FSFSC.
“Whenever a family comes to our organization and asks for assistance, whether childcare, healthcare, housing etc., what we do is to help them reach their goals by coordinating them with the point of contacts for those specific objectives and aspirations.”
FSFSC offers numerous programs and services to the Ward 8 community including family support services, a care coordination and diversion program, a housing program, a men and boys program and youth aftercare. The organization also offers community engagement programs such as mini-grants that provides a way for the community to be provided additional resources, as well as a family support institute that aims to improve family relationships that spread across the community.
“There are critical issues that plague not only the capital city, but cities all across the world, including poverty, housing, drugs, crime, jobs, and most of all education. There are many people who see the problems but lack the resources and or connections on how to collectively attack these issues,” said Marvin Gay, a liaison for community engagement for FSFSC. “Daily, I am in the community promoting programs and services to residents and community-based organizations which can help maximize the potential of the people so that they may lead productive lives.”
With many more achievements and goals to accomplish, FSFSC intends on continuing to directly impact the families and children in a positive way in Ward 8.
“I feel like organizations such as Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative should be everywhere,” said Fadika. “Imagine saving a mother from losing her job because you helped provide healthcare. It’s the simple things that most people won’t say that changed their livelihood.”