Since 2001, AHDC and REDS have been the leading community supporters of Fresno’s unique Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program. The FSS Corps, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides funding support for the purposes of financial literacy and homeownership education, scholarships, emergency loan assistance, and homeowner down payment assistance grants to low-income families throughout Fresno County, the home of our corporate headquarters and our area of highest concentration among our California affordable housing activities. The FSS Corps supports, encourages and helps to develop skills and education base amongst AHDC’s core clientele, the working low-income families of central California.
Through our years of support, we have seen FSS change the life paths of hundreds of low-income families, providing the tools necessary for them to break the often multi-generational cycle of public assistance. FSS supports their client families to pursue higher education and ambitious career goals, accomplish economic self-sufficiency and achieve the “American Dream” of responsible homeownership.
Indeed, these transformational opportunities are what we strive to offer to every resident of our affordable housing portfolio. We believe that affordable housing should offer more than just a roof overhead; it should offer affordable living with dignity, comfort and safety while functioning as a stable financial platform for a family to save, educate themselves, work and contribute to their community while leveraging their economic resources to accomplish their highest life goals. It is for these life-changing reasons that we have dedicated thousands of employee volunteer hours and over $ 120,000 in our own direct financial support to the FSS Corps as our chosen local charity.
Our support of the FSS Corps has been in several arenas; we have actively supported our employees to consistently participate in FSS Corps Board membership and leadership, we have provided for and encouraged our employees to volunteer at regular FSS events and educational workshop forums, and most significantly, we have been the primary fundraising supporter of the FSS Corps since the inception of their organization. When approached for a donation to the FSS program in 2002, we contemplated how we could leverage our position in the community to create a consistent fundraising vehicle for the FSS Corps rather than just writing a simple donation check.
Our fundraising concept evolved into the FSS Spring Wine Festival, an annual fundraising event hosted and held by AHDC, REDS and the Herzog Family at no cost to the FSS program. With hundreds of attendees and donors participating each year, the Spring Wine Festival has grown into a well-known community event, helping to elevate the profile of the wonderful work that FSS does in our community. Since our first Wine Festival in 2002, we have raised over $500,000 in total donations to directly support the work of the FSS Corps, Inc.
REDS also supports local nonprofits such as Boys and Girls Club, Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the American Cancer Society.