In the seven months since the Turlock Family Network reopened its doors, the nonprofit parenting resource has helped 55 families find the support and training needed to develop healthy and loving families. Those families may soon lose this support due to a lack of funding.
"Between donations from individuals, businesses, and the monthly pledges from all of our board members we are not able to stay open past the end of the month unless we get a few champions on our side," said TFN's executive director Beverly Spielman.
This will be the second financial setback for TFN. In October 2011, the organization closed its doors after 13 years due to lack of funding. TFN was able to reopen in July 2012, after community members recognized the need for a parenting resource was still high and pulled together funds. But now, circumstances have changed.
"We did have a set number of commitments when we opened with anticipation that support would grow. We've been writing grants, but haven't been able to secure one yet. Competition is so fierce out there for grants; and we don't have a grant writer on staff so we're all doing it together," Spielman said.
While community support has remained high, a few of the initial sponsors had their own financial problems.
"Part of a group funding the program circumstances' has changed. One is having to sell a family business that was in business for over 60 years," she said.
Spielman and TFN's Board of Directors are hoping new sponsors can be found to save the program. Over the past few months, Spielman said she has seen three families who were homeless find shelter, 16 families complete the Family Hands parenting course, five babies born with more on the way, and multiple young mothers and fathers and even grandparents come through the organization's doors to make a change in their families' lives with Nurturing Parenting classes and group support from staff, volunteers, and other parents.
Many of the young mothers and fathers who come to TFN have abusive backgrounds or are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. The network provides parenting skills through a variety of programs including prenatal classes, weekly parenting classes and an in-home mentoring program. All services are free of charge.
"We have a lot of growth and progress in helping families...we're making such a big impact on the families we are interacting with and they know they can come and get support and guidance at any time," said Spielman, who is worried that some families won't seek help elsewhere if TFN closes.
To support the work of TFN, contact Spielman at 668-3363 or visit www.TurlockFamilyNetwork.com.