INTERFAITH FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS (IFRC)

1. Web Sites. Streetcats Foundation for Youth/SCMetro was one of the earliest non-profits on the web, in late 1994. Its award-winning Child Net now has 2.6 million users around the country each other. We have also created a dozen other major web sites, including Teen-Anon, One Heart for Kids, Young & Recovering, Sixties Net, Cityscentral.com, Teensurfer and Kidsurfer. Upcoming: Parent-Dex, Spiritual Zones, Positive Joy, Kidzoom, Youth-Counselor, Christian Teens Online and Jewish-Teens. In early February, 2002, we introduce City-Spirit, the first of a series of local city Interfaith Community sites, beginning with SF Bay Spirit, L.A. Spirit, Chicago Spirit, NYC Spirit and Boston Spirit, with Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Miami, Detroit and Wash.D.C. following in Summer, 2002. Each site will offer 30 or more featured congregations in its Metro area, Faith-based events and local music, youth activities, discussion boards, news and other media, Bible search, Faith community volunteer opportunities and more. Sites will be featured in a media campaign starting in late Feb.2002.

These sites, as well as our child.net, parentdex.com, teen-anon.com, streetcats.org, youth-counseling.net and youngandrecovering.com sites and YOUR own congregation web site ill become a focal point for letting people throughout your community know about the local INTERFAITH FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER.

2. Counseling Materials: Streetcats has already created its own counseling materials including. A 2-volume Youth Counselor A-Z with the best articles on the full spectrum of youth and family issues from A.D.D. to Teen Violence and local resources and hotlines in each geographic area: A Teen-Anon 12-step Group Leaders Guide and a Young & Recovering Group Leaders Guide. These contain the best counseling and leadership materials available on teen/youth alcohol and other drug abuse. There are separate editions/supplements for Hispanic, Jewish and Christian Youth and an almost-complete separate volume for helping GLBQ youth. These materials can be made immediately available to all staff counselors at your congregation and at nearby congregations you are collaborating with. There are also Streetcats-prepared handouts on addiction in the family and youth drug abuse and city flyers listing 30 or more helping hotlines for specific family concerns in each city.

3. Additional Materials. Streetcats has long experience gathering and deseminating material to other youth counselors, to teens, youth and families. Within 30-60 days, each Interfaith Family Resource Center can have on-hand and ready to distribute hundreds of copies of 60 different brochures covering topics ranging from domestic violence and teen pregnancy to alcohol and all other drugs of abuse, teen violence, suicide and bullying, childrens health, mentoring, Attention Deficit Disorder, gangs, runaways and street kids, building self-esteem and much more.

Each Center would have centrally-located racks of these materials, ready to distribute to anyone in need in the community or for counselors to consult.

4. Hotlines. In addition to your congregations main number and any counseling or pastoral counseling phone numbers, we would establish a California-wide Interfaith Family Resource Center hotline, to be widely-publicized.

The advantages of having a statewide number is:
  1. Costs are shared by several congregations
  2. Referrals can be made to the best resources, from counseling and health centers to local social service agencies and church and synagogue congregations all over the state.
  3. The hotlines can more readily be staffed...i.e. calls forwarded to volunteers in L.A. on Tuesday,Oakland on Wednesday, San Francisco on Thursday, etc.

While these hotlines are not pastoral counseling lines per se, but deal with more situational needs of people, those trained and staffing them should be well-convicted in Judeo-Christianstandards and knowledge, should offer the hope perspective that what we can't handle or change, God can and be required, along with every situational helping referral, to provide local congregation Faith materials and also refer people to their local
congregational Priest, Rabbi or Pastor or their pastoral counselors.

   Although it is expected that it will take about 5 months to implement full-time hotlines (operating 5-6 days a week, weekends included, from 11:30am-8pm (with recorded referrals at other times), a more modest schedule (2 weekdays and Saturday, 11:30-4:30pm) could and should be in place as soon as 8-10 weeks into the project.

5. Drop-In Centers. In the 7th-12th. month of the IFRC project, a space (office) should be set aside in each congregation or in a donated downtown center for people to drop-in to pick up materials described above.

   At such time, all materials will be moved to racks in each drop-in center, phone lines moved or switched over to the drop-in centers and a regular staffing time established, depending on man/woman power available. Drop-in, to start, should be available at least two weekdays and Saturdays and after morning services as well, for at least 4-hour segments each day and for  2-hours after services.

6. Psychological Counseling. In a later phase, the hotlines and drop-in centers can have professional psychologists and marriage/family counselors donate 2-3 hours of their time each week. These licensed professional counselors should have a Faith-base and perspective as well as psychology credentials.

7. Publicizing. Each congregation can make announcements and distribute flyers to congregants and members, publicize in their bulletins and on their web sites and through local libraries, youth centers, boys/girls clubs and other area synagogues and churches.

    IFRCs will also be promoted through local newspapers and broadcast media, through radio public service announcements, already essentially completed and to be revised under an existing agreement with YouthRadio and on City-Spirit and child. net local web sites for Oakland, L.A.and San Francisco.

8. Staffing. The Interfaith Family Resource Center project already has two people from Streetcats Foundation willing to direct its establishment and staffing and garner all materials.Cumulatively, they can put in 18-22 hours each week from the start and gather volunteers.

   Volunteers can come from the Alameda County, San Francisco and Los Angeles Volunteer Centers, the sponsoring congregations, other local congregations and volunteer counseling students from area University Counseling and Childrens Studies programs (UCLA, UC-Berkeley, USF, SFSU, local seminaries, Boys/Girls Clubs, etc Only 3-6 volunteers are needed for the first 6 months.

9. Training. Initially, there should be a 4-hour training in each geographic area for volunteers every 4 months.

     In the 8th-12th. month of each IFRC and once a year thereafter, in each locale, there should be an area-wide 6-hour one-day conference to train clergy in the full spectrum of youth and family issues, the latest findings, the latest resources and how spirituality/faith meets the world of psychology in youth and family counseling.

10. Funding.  Initially and dependent on the speed of establishing the IFRCs, $950-$1,350 per month will be required. Those costs can be divided up between sponsoring congregations and come down to as little as $350-$500 per
month per congregation, for the first 5 months.

    A commitment of up to a grand total of $1300 should be committed to from each congregation.

   Within 5-6 months, the planners of the IFRCs expect that each IFRC can be fully sustainable from foundation and corporate grants and have already identified funders who favor the concept of FRCs and certainly support Interfaith FRCs. Among them: The San Francisco Foundation, The Lowell Berry Foundation, The San Francisco Children and Families Administration, The Haas Fund, The California Community Foundation (Los Angeles), The East Bay Community Foundation and the Presbyterian Committee Fund on the Self-Development of People.

    It is anticipated that with as little as $24,000 a year in total funding, all THREE IFRCs can be sustained ($8,000 each) and fully staffed.

   Should funding achievements be less than that or take longer, all aspects of the program can still be implemented, including hotlines, materials, counseling and trainings for both clergy and counselors/resource people. Only the drop-in aspect of each IFRC would be delayed.

   Timing is essential as is a quick-start. The materials have essentially been developed already, experienced people are now available to implement and funders at least approached initially (funders usually like to see that something has already begun and in the case of congregation-sponsored faith activities, secular funders are interested in seeing some commitment from the churches and synagogues themselves.

   Each sponsoring congregation needs to only make a funding commitment of up to an initial $700-$900 seed fund and a remainder commitment of $600 more.

   While these amounts per congregation could be reduced still further if more congregations in each area shared in sponsoring, the gain would not be worthwhile enough to risk losing the impetus, availabilities and to delay the project.


First Baptist church S.F. |  Congregation Shaar Zahav |  Love Center |  The Bridge Radio
Shiloh Christian |  Archdiocese S.F. |  The Rock |  Glide Memorial
Jewish CC, SF |  KLOVE Radio |  Jewish SF |  Grace Cathedral
Oakland Interfaith Choir |  Chabad S.F. |  SF Buddhist Center |  City Church
Impact Saturday |  St. Anthony's Foundation |  Jews for Jesus
Catholic Charities E Bay Jubilee Christian Center |  Lehrhaus Judaica
Unitarian Universalist Golden Gate Seminary |  Hillel S.F. |  Allen Baptist Temple
Jack Willis Ministries |  Oakland Latter Day Saints |  Zen Center
Temple Beth Jacob Patten College


Copyright 2001- 2014 Streecats Foundation/National Childrens Coalition and Don Fass



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