What if we could end the cycle of poverty instead of just treating its after effects?
More than six decades ago, Peninsula Family Service—then known as the Family Service Agency of San Mateo County—was founded to strengthen and maintain the families of San Mateo County. A three-room office at 1117 South B Street in San Mateo housed the staff: a full-time Executive Director and part-time Counselor.
In the 64 years since, our organization has grown to 150 staff members at 17 locations, and expanded to serve four counties: San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo. Though our programs continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of our community, our purpose remains the same; Peninsula Family Service strengthens the community. Rather than treating the symptoms of instability—homelessness, poverty, hunger, unemployment—we provide the tools and support to help children, families, and older adults overcome the barriers standing between themselves and a life of independence.
Our programs provide every generation with the opportunity to live healthy, stable lives:
- Our Early Learning Program prevents an achievement gap that begins before kindergarten, one that without early intervention will leave low-income children 63% less likely to attend college than their more advantaged peers. By providing high quality early education, Peninsula Family service can change a child’s trajectory forever.
- Our Financial Empowerment Program helps individuals and families overcome the high-cost of being poor. The daily struggle to make ends meet often prevents investments in the future and prolongs the cycle of poverty. Peninsula Family Service helps participants repair their credit histories, establish savings, and end their cycle of economic dependence.
- Our Older Adults Program meets the needs of the growing population of aging Americans. In 15 years, the number of U.S. adults age 65+ will more than double, accounting for nearly 20% of our total population by 2030. Peninsula Family Service supports healthy aging by keeping older adults connected to the community and the resources they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
Our commitment to ending the cycle of poverty requires more than a one-time handout. We create extended relationships with our neighbors in need, producing lasting solutions by utilizing a hand-up approach where participants develop the skills and habits to help become self-sufficient.
We can’t do it alone though. Big impacts require big collaborations, and we serve more than 10,000 people each year by partnering with federal, state, local, and non-profit agencies. We combine those partnerships with generous donors and dedicated auxiliaries, garnering results that are nothing short of life-changing.