Family Connections exists to develop strong, healthy families and to build thriving communities in the Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods. Family Connections provides opportunities for people of different backgrounds to work together cooperatively, sharing cultures, values, knowledge, and resources.
Families of the Portola and Excelsior communities will continue to have access to multicultural/multilingual resources and neighborhood support services that provide opportunities for community-driven initiatives and strengthening individual skills to create a safer, healthier, and empowered community in which to raise children
Family Connections serves primarily low-income, immigrant working families and individuals in community centers located in San Francisco’s Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods. Our array of more than 30 interconnected, participant-driven programs is designed to provide a comprehensive continuum of care from early childhood education to grandparent support groups and from family literacy to intensive case management. Our goal is to support and empower parents and caregivers to develop healthy families that will, in turn, create a thriving community in which to raise children.
In 1992, Maryann Fleming was serving on the Advisory Board of E.R. Taylor Elementary School’s Healthy Start program in the Portola neighborhood. With funding from a three-year Community Empowerment grant from the California Office of Child Abuse, Fleming and the E.R. Taylor Advisory Board developed a comprehensive needs survey that was distributed to more than 500 Portola families to determine community needs. Through the survey, the families of the community made it clear that they needed family support. Using the Principles of Family Support as the underlying philosophy and framework, Portola Family Connections was launched in 1993 to deliver the initial community requested services. In 2004, after an invitation from a local advocacy group and survey of families in the district, we expanded into the Excelsior neighborhood.