Families Forward Serves Exponentially More Families in Need Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Friday, May 08, 2020

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Families Forward has seen an exponential increase in requests for service since social distancing measures went into place. Families the organization serves are those that are most likely to be negatively impacted by the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

From March 16 to May 1, Families Forward provided food assistance to 3,865 families—more than 18,000 individuals. To put this number into perspective, for the entire month of February, Families Forward provided food assistance to a total of 241 families.

Additionally, Families Forward has received nearly 200 requests for emergency housing and employment assistance due to either job loss or decrease of wages since March 16. The organization expects many more requests in the coming months.

During March and April, Families Forward was able to help house 35 Orange County families, providing children who were previously navigating this crisis without stable housing a safe place to “Stay Home.” Families Forward also instituted a drive-thru program for food assistance that utilizes proper distancing and sanitation precautions to protect staff, clients, and donors. Through a partnership with the City of Irvine, two neighborhood food collection events have been held, bringing in nearly 100 barrels of food to help local families in need of food assistance.

“This pandemic has turned our world upside down. Now more than ever, it is vital that Families Forward remains open to provide essentials and food services while operating safely with the community in mind," said Madelynn Hirneise, CEO, Famlies Forward. "Thanks to partnerships with the City of Irvine and businesses operating throughout Irvine, we have been able to continue meeting the increased need in the community and for that, we are incredibly grateful.”


Families Forward staff prepares to deliver food

Families Forward staff prepares to deliver food


Families Forward continuously looks for ways to innovate and adapt to a changing environment and explores new avenues to aid the community. It has operated all of its programs remotely since March 16, without interruption, including conducting meetings with clients and partners over the phone or through video conferencing, digitizing forms, and implementing the use of electronic signatures.

Families Forward exists to help families in need to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, food, counseling, education, and other support services. Starting with five rented apartments in 1984, Families Forward has expanded to work with hundreds of families to regain economic independence and find a stable home for their children.

Category: COVID-19, Communnity Hero