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Compass Family Services will serve more than 7,000 parents and children this year through nine programs that provide shelter, housing, childcare, mental health, educational assistance, and employment services. To provide enhanced support to help families through the pandemic and beyond, and as part of our strategic goals for improving services, Compass has recently expanded its Compass Family Resource Center (CFRC) program in the areas of workforce development and securing housing.

Compass has provided workforce development support to clients through case management programs for years, but it has not been a primary focus of the work. Now, as many families need help pivoting from careers that disappeared during the pandemic, they will receive dedicated job attainment and career preparedness support through this new Compass sub-program, CWORK. Parents will work with staff to address and remove barriers to employment, identify employment pathways, connect with training providers and – ultimately - be placed in employment.

The comprehensive programming includes one-on-one wellbeing sessions with a career success coach to develop healthy and productive habits. Participants will also learn how to track and improve their credit scores and how to track their CalWORKs benefits. A job readiness workshop and a barrier removal workshop series as well as virtual job fairs will all be available.

Compass is also partnering with Farming Hope through its Project Refettorio, which will provide a fine-dining experience where families can enjoy a meal and network within their community. Compass will also provide workforce related presentations. This project has in mind undocumented participants who are struggling to find employment to support their families.

Additionally, the expansion will place housing coordination services in the CFRC and will provide hundreds of families who are not being served by a Compass housing program with support and resources to identify and pursue affordable housing opportunities. Many options including below market rate housing are incredibly competitive and the systems can be hard to navigate without this kind of specialized support.

“We are dedicated to improving and expanding our programs to meet the needs of families in our community. This expansion is a response to exactly what parents are asking for - good paying jobs that put families on long-term paths to stability and better opportunities for their children,” says Compass Executive Director, Erica Kisch.

The new initiatives join the family resource center’s already robust suite of services that include groups and classes providing parenting skills and financial management; essential resources such as weekly groceries, diapers, and hygiene supplies; and referrals to other Compass programs for mental health services, childcare subsidy support, and more.

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