Interfaith Community Services provides people experiencing ongoing hardships with personalized care and supportive services to improve their lives. Interfaith was recently named the first Center of Excellence for San Diego County and is partnering with the San Diego Workforce Partnership to train Substance Use Disorder counselors, peer support specialists and entry-level case managers. We spoke to their chief program officer, Filipa Rios, about the organization’s history and the importance of working together to help our community thrive.
Can you tell me more about the programs you offer?
Interfaith’s 75+ programs are organized into five areas: Supportive Services, Clinical & Behavioral Health, Employment & Economic Development, Recovery & Wellness, and Housing Services. Under these areas are programs covering a broad spectrum of support, designed to complement each other and provide each client with access to as many resources as necessary for their specific situation.
Interfaith supports more than 20,000 community members annually, including individuals and families experiencing homelessness, low-income individuals, food-insecure families, unemployed residents, low-wage earners, day laborers, seniors, young adults, veterans, persons with disabilities and individuals with mental health needs and substance use disorders.
How else is Interfaith Community Services impacting the community?
Interfaith Community Services connects unique people in need with comprehensive programs, support and resources aimed at directly addressing the variety of challenges that cause and perpetuate poverty, food insecurity and homelessness. Our committed case managers assist people with a level of compassion and dignity that is unique in our field as we seek to empower people to stabilize and improve their lives.
Building on more than 40 years of empowering community members, Interfaith has grown to become the most comprehensive social services agency in North San Diego County, providing both immediate safety services and long-term, life-changing wraparound programs that work to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
What else do you want the community to know about the Interfaith Community Services?
Interfaith has a podcast! Each episode of Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories shares the experience of an individual or family who has experienced homelessness in San Diego County and is hosted by Interfaith CEO Greg Anglea. Tune in at www.homelessinsandiego.org.
Why is workforce development important to your organization’s mission?
Workforce development for both Interfaith staff and clients is critical to accomplishing our mission. Interfaith’s staff have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of our clients and developing this workforce, both now and into the future, will directly impact the community we serve and is incredibly important to our region for addressing our most pressing issues today.
Interfaith was awarded $3.5 million from Price Philanthropy and the County of San Diego to combat the behavioral health workforce crisis by supporting staff in becoming licensed clinical social workers through educational support.
How can San Diegans get involved?
San Diegans can be a part of making this world a better place, one life and one family at a time, by volunteering, donating or contributing in-kind.
The more people who are involved with Interfaith Community Services, the more people we can help together in our local community. The needs are great, but our ability to meet those needs is greater together.