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The City Journals

Coronavirus increases demand for Family Support Center services in Taylorsville

Jul 12, 2021 03:08PM ● By Carl Fauver

The Family Support Center in Taylorsville serves about 3,000 people each year. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

Residents of LifeStart Village, a single-parent housing complex in Midvale, operated by the Family Support Center (FSC) of Taylorsville (1760 West 4805 South), are getting a new chest freezer, courtesy of a recent financial donation from the PacifiCorp Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Rocky Mountain Power.

The $1,000 donation for the freezer, in fact, is the smaller of two donations the electrical utility made this spring to the FSC. PacifiCorp Foundation also provided the organization with an additional $3,000 to fund clinical services, primarily at its Taylorsville location.

“That $3,000 donation will fund 25 clinical sessions, each 60 to 90 minutes, for uninsured families and individuals who need our services,” said FSC Development Director Bobbi Jo Lord. “We serve families that have suffered many types of traumatic experiences: domestic violence, PTSD, homelessness and others. Rocky Mountain Power and PacifiCorp have made important financial donations to us for years. They are amazing.”

Since 2013, in fact, the utility has donated $38,050 to the Taylorsville Family Support Center. Lord reports that the company has donated more but “that’s as far back as my database goes.”

Overall, this spring, the PacifiCorp Foundation funded 209 safety and wellness grants like these—totaling more than $525,000—across the six states it serves. 

“We celebrate these heroic organizations that have continued to reinvent and reimagine ways they can help our communities’ most vulnerable,” said Lucky Morse, director of commercial accounts and community relations for Rocky Mountain Power. “Although we see brighter days ahead, Rocky Mountain Power remains deeply committed to supporting the work of these organizations, helping to fortify our communities, so they are strong and resilient.”

Serving Taylorsville and surrounding area residents for nearly 45 years, the Family Support Center employs 32 people, 90% of them full time.

“One of our most popular and critical programs are our three crisis nurseries, in Midvale, Sugar House and West Valley City,” Lord said. “From July 2019 through June 2020 (the most recent statistics), we had 816 different children stay with us 4,463 times. Our crisis nurseries provided 19,562 hours of care over that year.”

FSC officials are also proud to note, their crisis nurseries remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit with social distancing restrictions.

“Each of our support programs was affected a bit differently by the pandemic,” Lord said. “Our LifeStart Village was the hardest hit, because many residents suffered a decrease in income or lost their jobs entirely. We also lost a lot of our volunteers because of the virus. It was a very high-stress time—all-hands-on deck.”

As the Family Support Center’s cadre of volunteers began sheltering at home—like nearly everyone else, during to worst coronavirus months—funding for the organization became even more critical.

“During the first couple of months of the pandemic, my team conducted a “Keeping Home Safe” fundraising campaign,” Lord said. “From April through June last year, we raised $100,000 to help keep our services going. Some of the money came through bigger grants; but most of it came in smaller donations; a lot of it from first time donors. I think the pandemic helped raise public awareness of the Family Support Center.”

The FSC did hire one additional therapist during the pandemic. They are also working now to hire two new case managers.

“The aftermath [of COVID-19] is going to be just as challenging as the first couple of months of the pandemic,” Lord said. “We are still seeing an increase in suicides. Recent studies show, domestic violence grew during the pandemic also.”

Utah Domestic Violence Coalition officials report, our state saw a 25% to 50% increase of incidents during the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims one in four women and about one in 10 men have experienced sexual or physical violence or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Federal funding through the Cares Act and the Paycheck Protection Program also helped to keep the Family Support Center afloat during COVID-19’s darkest days. The FSC also turns to Taylorsville elected officials each year, for a slice of the city’s Community Development Block Grant pie.

“We apply for CDBG funding every year from Taylorsville, and normally receive between $8,000 and $13,000 annually,” Lord said. “We are very close with the mayor. Taylorsville is great to work with. We also receive donations for various activities from the Taylorsville Exchange Club.”

With better public awareness than before the pandemic—and with volunteers beginning to return to the fold—Family Support Center officials are optimistic the months and years to follow will be a little less stressful than the past 16 months.

To learn more about the many services the Family Support Center provides, visit familysupportcenter.org or call 801-955-9110.