Friends of the Children - SF Bay Area is part of a national network that has been utilizing a simple yet radical mentoring model for over 25 years to empower the most vulnerable children to break the generational cycle of poverty.
We serve children whose families face daunting barriers like systemic racism, multi-generational poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse, incarceration and/or homelessness — a cohort that few other organizations seek to serve.
COVID-19 has significantly exacerbated those challenges. Members of the community we serve are testing positive at a rate five to six times as high as residents of more affluent neighborhoods. And the economic effects of the pandemic fall disproportionately on those same families, whose jobs are often the first eliminated and last restored, and who frequently have insecure housing and insufficient health insurance.
We are expanding our focus during this time to address the most urgent concerns of our families, for example making regular food and meal deliveries, providing laptops and internet connections to help our children bridge the digital divide, and connecting our families with other agencies that can help address their needs.
Friends of the Children’s 25-year track record shows that, with the additional support of our professional mentors, our children can break the cycle of poverty.
Friends of the Children - SF Bay Area opened our doors in early 2017. We identify and enroll a new class of Bayview Hunters Point kindergarteners each Spring, so we’re now serving nearly 100 children who face the biggest barriers in life — well on the way to our goal of serving 500.
Our youth need us more now than ever, their caregivers are uniformly supportive, and our school and community partners have embraced the program. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made thus far and about our children’s futures.
83% of Our Youth Graduate even though only 40% of their parents had the support they needed to complete school.
93% of Our Youth Avoid the juvenile justice system, even though 50% of their parents have been incarcerated.
98% of Our Youth Wait to begin parenting until after their teen years even though only 15% of their parents did so.
92% of Our Youth Have gone on to college, full-time employment or enlistment in the military.
“I feel like each of our students who has a Friends of the Children mentor has a light inside of them that many of our other children don’t have.”