Edgewood Center for Children and Families
TRANSFORMING LIVES. RESTORING HOPE.
Founded during the Gold Rush in 1851, Edgewood Center for Children and Families has 169 years of experience in providing services to children and families in the Bay Area, evolving and growing to address community needs. Our mission is to promote the behavioral health of children, youth, and families, and support a positive transition to adulthood. We offer a variety of innovative behavioral health, family support and educational services that provide a safety net to vulnerable youth ages 0-25 and their families in San Francisco, San Mateo and Alameda counties.
Every day, we put our experience to work helping Bay Area children, youth and families struggling with issues of trauma, stress, bullying, oppression, poverty, abuse, neglect, community violence, hunger, homelessness, and other social inequities.
Last year, Edgewood provided a continuum of care to nearly 11,000 children, youth and families in the greater Bay Area. By ethnicity: 27% were Latino, 22% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 19% Black/African American; and 14% White/Caucasian. By gender, 57% were female, 39% were male, and 1.4% identified as transgender. By age, 65% were aged 6-17, 22% were caregivers aged 26+, 8% were aged 18-25, and 5% were aged 0-5. Approximately 74% of our clients come from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Edgewood’s Response to COVID-19
Since 1851, Edgewood Center for Children and Families has been here to help the Bay Area’s children and families during earthquakes, fires, depressions, recessions, and world wars. Today’s pandemic is no different. As COVID-19 creates unique challenges throughout our community, Edgewood has responded quickly with a comprehensive plan that allows us to provide vital services while reducing risk for our clients and staff. We have also launched a major fundraising campaign to shift our operations to better meet the needs of our families today and moving forward.
A multi-disciplinary team is meeting daily to review safety policies and practices, delegate support to our essential staff, and monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on Edgewood Center for Children and Families’ operations. We continue to offer 24/7 in-person crisis intervention and residentially-based services to youth and families struggling with behavioral and mental health challenges that cannot be safely managed in a community setting.
All preventative and outpatient services have been modified and are utilizing telehealth alternatives and in-person visits only as medically necessary. When an in-person meeting is required, our staff team educate clients about how best to reduce the spread of the virus. Staff and clients are provided personal protective equipment to use during meetings and follow social distancing guidelines.
Our Community School is providing students with virtual learning opportunities, telehealth therapy sessions and critically needed access to free meals that they would receive if they were still attending school in person. Our Food Bank has shifted to a drive-through model and has expanded to provide food and supplies to families served throughout our organization. In addition to weekly food boxes, families are able to access basic need items such as diapers, baby formula, detergents, paper goods, etc.
COVID-19 has forced us to temporarily suspend our 2 Drop-in Centers in compliance with Shelter-in-Place guidelines of no group meetings of 10 or more individuals, forcing homeless and marginally housed youth aged 18-25 back onto the street. Families with young mothers have struggled to get food, baby formula and diapers. Our elderly kinship caregivers with chronic diseases are experiencing higher medical risk and social isolation without peer support or health workshops. Many youth and families suffering trauma who lack access to technology can’t do remote therapy; many require home medical visits.
We will not waiver on our commitment to serve children and families who need us, no matter what.
Our essential services are needed now more than ever. Edgewood urgently needs your help to respond to this public health crisis. This support will:
- Enable us to deliver meals to school children home-bound by the pandemic and food and household supplies for vulnerable, low income youth and families.
- Purchase laptops and temporary phones with pre-purchased minutes so our Drop-in Center clients can coordinate with staff to get the supplies they need remotely through Amazon Locker, and so our staff can stay responsive to clients during the Shelter-in-Place order.
- Provide nursing, childcare, and food for low-income caregivers in our Kinship Program, 61% of whom are over 60 and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or hypertension. Now they face an even greater risk of becoming sick or homeless, forcing their grandchildren into foster care.
- Acquire urgently needed, hard-to-find necessities to prevent virus transmission like hand and surface sanitizers and cleaning agents to sanitize physical spaces for our short-term residential programs to make sure staff and youth remain healthy.
- Cover the salaries of front-line staff required to work, receiving much deserved additional compensation, not in our budget to deliver essential services for clients with nowhere else to turn.
The families served by Edgewood are among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. The life-saving work Edgewood does would not be possible without the support of the larger Bay Area community. Together, we can help youth and families emerge more resilient and supported by caring members of the community like you.