The Plan

Fresno First Steps Home provides funding to area non-profits and agencies that help individuals move through each step toward independence.

Step 1

Step 3

Independence, Self-Sufficiency,
& Permanent Housing

Activities & Results

Fresno did not have a consolidated strategic plan to address homelessness prior to 2008. Since then, amazing progress has been made in our community, thanks to coordinated efforts of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the City and County of Fresno, and key partner affiliates, and Fresno First Steps Home.

Fresno First Steps Home has provided nearly $1M in private donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and private entities to meet matching grants requirements, or needed resources to meet an immediate need. 

Below are a few examples of what we have funded.

A $250,000 grant from Fresno First Steps Home to the Fresno Housing Authority, which was matched dollar for dollar to provide financial assistance in the form of moving costs, short-term rental assistance, medium-term rental assistance, utility deposits, and utility payment assistance for up to 12 months, which housed 40 homeless individuals formerly living in Downtown Fresno homeless encampments. Housing stabilization measures such as case management, credit repair, and legal counsel were also a part of this effort.

Partnerships with the City of Fresno, Fresno Housing Authority, and other local nonprofits to house an additional 103 people from the former H Street encampment. After three years, 88% of those served have retained their housing and are living independently.

A four-phase cleanup of the South of Ventura encampments took place housing 26 people from the Ventura and F Street encampments by the Fresno Housing Authority. Funds from Fresno First Steps Home were provided for housing and case management.

In coordination with the Fresno Housing Authority, three capital projects were completed by the end of 2012, which include: Renaissance at Trinity (providing 21 housing units); Renaissance at Santa Clara (providing 70 housing units); and Renaissance at Alta Monte (providing 30 housing units).

In June 2013, Fresno First Steps Home awarded a $505,000 “Housing First” grant to the Fresno Housing Authority to house 100–120 individuals from the downtown encampment areas through a coordinated effort among several service agencies. The grant has accomplished the following over the course of 12 months.

  • Coordinated a comprehensive housing strategy among nearly 20 partner agencies focused on serving homeless individuals from the encampments.
  • Housed 135 homeless individuals from area encampments.
  • Provided all 135 individuals with extensive case management services working toward independence and self-sufficiency.

 

Providing matching funding of $100,000 to Turning Point of Central California to fund bridge housing to those in need of temporary shelter awaiting a more permanent situation.

FAQ

Q. How much does it cost to house a homeless person or family for an entire year?
A. $10,500.00
Q. Is it true once a person is housed with funding from FFSH other supportive services are offered to help them get back on track?
A. Yes, FFSH has partnered with numerous organizations to complete an individual assessment plan designed not only to meet their immediate need, but to focus on resolving the long term issues that lead to them being homeless.
Q. Does the City of Fresno pays for these services out of the City budget?
A. No, FFSH raises all of its money from private donations. The City of Fresno provides no direct cash assistance to any agency or individual.
Close Menu
Tom Richards

Tom Richards

Chair, Fresno First Steps Home
Chair, 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness
Chief Executive Officer, The Penstar Group

Tom Richards graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, after completing active duty 1 military service.  During and after college, he was employed as a staff accountant and senior auditor by a major Santa Barbara CPA firm.  He left to work for a locally based real estate firm.  During that tenure, he formed joint venture and limited partnership investments in multi-residential and condominium developments.

Tom moved to Fresno, initially developing with others and building single-family subdivisions, office buildings and shopping centers. He subsequently formed The Penstar Group.  Its real estate activities continue today and have included the development and construction of single-family subdivisions, condominiums, multi-family rental housing, senior rental housing, general and medical office buildings, skilled nursing facilities, industrial warehouse and manufacturing buildings and shopping centers.  Penstar’s geographic operations have extended from the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles through Sacramento and in the Seattle, Washington area.

In recent years, Penstar’s development focus has been divided between downtown Fresno’s revitalization and redevelopment efforts, apartments, and a major master planned community in southeast Fresno.  In his capacity as managing partner of M.L. Street Properties, Richards with Penstar directed the development, construction and now management of Fresno’s first new privately owned high-rise Class A office building in over 30 years, the TOWER at Convention Center Court.  Other completed downtown projects include administrative and medical office buildings for Fresno’s Regional Community Medical Center and Terry’s House. Current developments include the TOWER 2 at Convention Center Court, the renovation of the historic Bank of Italy building, development of senior’s housing with Ed Kashian at Campus Pointe on the CSU Fresno Campus, and three apartment projects in Fresno. In southeast Fresno, with Ed Kashian, Richards is co-managing member of Fancher Creek, a 485-acre master planned community including a Regional Shopping Center, Village Center, 74 acre Business Park, 800 single-family homes, and recreational and civic amenities.

Tom is a licensed general contractor and real estate broker.  He has been active in civic services, among which have been the Chancellor’s Advisory Council at UCSB, the Business Advisory Council for Fresno’s Public Television and the Building Industry Association.  He is a past Director of the 21st District Agricultural Association, The Big Fresno Fair and a past Chair of Fresno Unified School District’s Measure K Oversight Committee. He also chaired the City and County of Fresno’s 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. He serves as Chair of the Board for Premier Valley Bank, Director of the Fresno County Workforce Development Board, Vice Chair of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo Board, Chair of Fresno First Steps Home, Chair of Fresno’s Property-based Business Improvement District and Vice Chair of the CA High-Speed Rail Authority.

Kurt Madden

Kurt Madden

Chief Technology Officer, Fresno Unified School District

Kurt Madden is the Chief Technology Officer for Fresno Unified School District, the fourth largest district in California.  He leads the Information Technology department, which is responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of business and educational technology for the district of 74,000 students and 8,000 teachers, administrators and staff.

Prior to his current position, Kurt was the CEO of One by One Leadership, a local community development organization. Before One by One he held several leadership positions including Corporate VP for a Fortune 1000 technology firm and President and Founder of two local technology companies. He is the author of Synergetic Follower: Changing Our World without Being the Leader, published in 2010 and speaks on followership.

Kurt has been an adjunct professor for the Information Systems Department at the Craig School of Business at Fresno State University since 1994.

Kurt is the Board Chair for the Fresno Business Council and Co-Chair of the Microsoft K-12 Advisory Council. He is also a Board member of the ValleyPBS Board, the Fresno First Steps Home Board, Fresno State Alumni Association Board and the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation Board. He attended Fresno Unified schools, graduated from Fresno State University, has been married to his wife, Katy, for 39 years and has three kids he loves who are now young adults.

Nancy Hollingsworth

Nancy Hollingsworth

Vice-Chair, Fresno First Steps Home
President & Chief Executive Officer, Saint Agnes Medical Center

Nancy Hollingsworth, RN, was appointed to the Board as President and CEO, February 2011. Nancy enjoys a long history at Saint Agnes, beginning as an Oncology staff nurse (1982-1984), and as Manager of Patient Resources (1985-1998). She returned to Saint Agnes in August 2007 as Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and later promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in January 2010. During her time away from the hospital, Nancy worked as a Senior Manager of Strategy and Operations for Deloitte Consulting in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nancy received her BSN from CSU Fresno, and her MSN and MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Mathew Grundy

Mathew Grundy

Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Fresno County

Matthew Sterling Grundy is a servant-leader who truly believes that all of his accomplishments have come by the loving grace of Jesus Christ. Matthew has overcome adversity having made it out of poverty. Matthew went from being homeless to attending one of the world’s most prestigious universities, partnering a real estate development company, leading a national tutoring organization, co-founding a non-profit youth workforce development program, and currently holds the position of CEO for Habitat for Humanity Fresno County.

Leveraging his prior experience as an Organizational Risk Consultant at Deloitte, Matthew, an entrepreneur at heart, focuses much of his time on building others.  In his first year at Habitat, Matthew’s efforts helped the organization realize a 90% swing in its bottom line. In just 18 months he has helped pioneer four new housing business lines that have led to Habitat increasing its number of families served by 10x. Matthew brings experience, aptitude, and a genuine heart for the city to FFSH.

Matthew, a Southern California Native is happily married to his wonderful wife Jocelyn and is a father of six great children.

Lindsay Callahan

Lindsay Callahan

President and Chief Executive Officer,
United Way of Fresno and Madera Counties

Lindsay Callahan was raised in the Fresno area and attended Clovis schools before receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from UC Davis and her Master’s Degree of Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State. Her time in the Sacramento included a stint in the California State Assembly, including serving as a prestigious  Jesse Marvin Unruh Fellow. Lindsay spent several years at the Foundation Consortium for California’s Children and Youth, managing a state level public private partnership between the foundations and the California Department of Education.

After returning to Fresno in 2004, she started a successful local intermediary organization called the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation that continues to thrive today. Most recently, Lindsay was a consultant for the Fresno County Office of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts Department.

A passionate advocate for children, youth, and families, Lindsay commits her spare time to promoting the Fresno community. She is a past president of the Junior League of Fresno and also sits on the board of directors for several local organizations. She was recently awarded the Adult Volunteer of the Year award from HandsOn Central California and was named one of Fresno’s 40 under 40.

Lindsay’s three children Patrick (12), Keith (10) and Lauren (6) are the joy of her life and she works tirelessly to embarrass them with her singing and dancing skills and silly jokes.

Lee Brand

Lee Brand

Mayor, City of Fresno

Lee Brand is the 25th Mayor of the City of Fresno, sworn into office on January 3, 2017.

He is the former President and co-founder of Westco Equities, Inc., a property management/construction firm which he has owned and operated for the past 29 years.  He is a licensed Real Estate Broker, a licensed General Contractor and a Certified Property Manager (C.P.M.).

Lee was born and raised in Fresno, attended local schools, graduated from Fresno State University and completed his education at USC with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

Lee has served as Council President, Chairman of the Redevelopment Agency and as a Commissioner on the Fresno City Planning Commission.  During his eight years representing District 6 on the City Council, Lee has authored and successfully passed over twenty legislative initiatives which regulate fiscal responsibility,

accountability, and transparency, in addition to such initiatives as the Water Conservation Act and the School Liaison Act.

Lee has been married to his wife Trish for 37 years and they have four children and three grandchildren:  Charity, Phillip, Tommy, Emily, Kylie, Elsie and Adelyn.

Ashley Swearengin

Ashley Swearengin

Secretary/Treasurer, Fresno First Steps Home

President & Chief Executive Officer
Central Valley Community Foundation

Ashley Swearengin is president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a charitable foundation serving the six counties of Central California and providing over $100 m in funding to over 650 community benefit organizations over the last decade.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as mayor of Fresno from 2009 through 2016.  As mayor, she implemented substantial changes to improve the delivery of city services, revitalize the downtown and urban core, promote business and job growth, address chronic homelessness, and stabilize the city’s financial position.  Before becoming mayor, Swearengin led a number of economic development initiatives in the Fresno region, including the Central Valley Business Incubator, Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Regional Jobs Initiative.  She holds MBA and BS degrees from California State University, Fresno.

Maggie Caples Furrow

Maggie Caples Furrow

Director, Fresno First Steps Home

Maggie comes to Fresno First Steps Home with 14 years of experience in Communications supporting high profile corporations, nonprofits, advertising agencies and government funded projects. Her experience includes managing paid and earned advertising and media for clients like the Maryland State Lottery as well as locally based Westlands Water District. She has built and managed project management systems and client tracking databases, developing reporting tools and analytics for Community Food Bank and the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She is also an accomplished event, social media and project manager. Projects have included website development for The Women’s Industrial Exchange in Baltimore, MD and social media management for HandsOn Central California.

Maggie grew up in Clovis, and graduated from Fresno State in 2003 with a BA in Mass Communications and Journalism. She chose to relocate to Baltimore, MD in 2006 where she completed her Masters in Communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University. In 2013 while completing her Masters, she made the decision that Fresno was her home and where she wanted to live and start her family.

In her free time, Maggie enjoys spending time with family, especially her husband, Brian and their son, Henry. When time allows, she enjoys, hiking, visiting our local National Parks and taking road trips around the west coast with her family.

Step 5

Monitoring & Support

Using the action plan, case managers track the progress of individuals and provide support services as needed.

Step 4

Action Plan

Case managers create an action plan that puts individuals on a path to self- sufficiency. This plan is monitored and evaluated on a regular basis.

Step 3

Housing

Case managers find transitional housing for the individuals at reduced rates, as long as clients show measurable progress in the program for up to 18 months.

Step 2

Assessment

Case managers assess the needs of each individual, including health concerns, family background, criminal history and education. This provides a snapshot for future planning and support.

Step 1

Outreach

Case managers trained in street outreach and serving the homeless population reach out to homeless individuals to begin the process.