Updated: Mar 22
The 2020 holiday season was filled with inspiring and generous support for Compass families.
This year has been incredibly challenging for the homeless and at-risk families Compass serves. As the pandemic worsens, our families are among those most impacted with loss of employment and lack of access to essential resources. Many of our families struggle to afford rent, food, childcare and basic necessities.
In our 23rd year of Adopt-a-Family, we knew that this year would be different from previous years. In addition to our traditional Adopt-a-Family where donors physically drop off gifts for their adopted family, this year we offered options to provide digital gift cards or shop online and have gifts directly sent to a family in need. Early data showed Compass families owed a combined $550,000 in back rent. To address this urgent need, we decided to offer donors the option of helping their adopted family with rental debt in addition to fulfilling their gift wish lists.
“We knew early in the pandemic that back rent debt was going to put families at risk of eviction this winter,” says Abbey Leonard, Director of Development and Communications at Compass Family Services. “Our data shows that families lost an average 40% of their income. Many families are still not able to get back to work full-time and this debt will threaten the stability they’ve been working toward with us.”
The response to our call for help has been incredible. Compass Family Services matched over 600 donors with families in need and gifts are currently being distributed to the adopted families. With the generous support of individuals, families, community groups and corporate teams, over $400,000 has been raised to help pay off rental debt for Compass families. Compass client families who will benefit from this back-rent relief consist of previously homeless families who were helped into housing, and families at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Checks are already in the mail to landlords so that no family will fall into homelessness during this crisis.
Here is a message from a Compass client family:
“As an employee with the San Francisco Unified School District, I did not work this past summer. So, my rent got backed up and it has taken me months to catch up with my landlord. But, thanks to you, Compass Family Services for your staff and your programs that have helped us to pay our rent and really enjoy Christmas. We truly appreciate you and wish each and every member of the Compass Family Services staff, and your donors a very Merry Christmas.“
We are so grateful to our donor community, Compass staff and volunteers for their extraordinary effort and dedication to make this year’s Adopt-a-Family project a success! From generous donor contributions to Compass staff and volunteers delivering gifts, together, we are making the holidays merry and bright for our most vulnerable families.
If you missed out on participating and are looking forward to the 2021 holiday season, please make sure you’re on our email list for events and updates! You can sign up with the button below.