CALL Program, Gulf Coast JFCS Awarded for Commitment to Racial Equity & Inclusion

CALL Program, Gulf Coast JFCS Awarded for Commitment to Racial Equity & Inclusion

CALL Program honored for Commitment to Racial Equity The Community Action and Life Liaison program, a partnership with the St. Petersburg Police Department, was recognized for its impact as they continue to strengthen communities and uplift lives building power within communities that have been historically overlooked and purposefully disadvantaged due to racism. Full press release: Tampa Bay Rays 2022 Racial Equity Grant...
Community Hero Award

Community Hero Award

Terri Balliet honored as the 490th Lightning Community Hero The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Terri Balliet as the 490th Community Hero during the first period of their April 21st game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Balliet, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to Gulf Coast Jewish & Family Services (JFCS). Full press release: Terri Balliet honored as Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero Elizabeth Samuelson, Board Vice Chair; Sandra Braham, President and CEO; Terri Balliet, Chief Operating Officer; and David Pilkington, Board Treasurer Elizabeth Samuelson, Board Vice Chair; Tess Benham, Grants Manager; Sandra Braham, President and CEO; Terri Balliet, Chief Operating Officer Lightning Foundation Award CALL Team Receiving...
Ready to Assist Ukrainian Refugees

Ready to Assist Ukrainian Refugees

Gulf Coast JFCS Stands Ready to Assist Ukrainian Refugees (CLEARWATER, FL – February 28, 2022) — In response to the crisis in Ukraine, Gulf Coast JFCS stands ready to assist with the anticipated influx of Ukrainian Refugees to the Tampa Bay region.    For nearly 40 years, Gulf Coast JFCS has resettled Refugees from countries across the globe, including Ukraine, fleeing war and persecution.  Most recently, the organization resettled hundreds of Afghan Refugees to the Tampa Bay region, assisting them with temporary housing, childcare, schools, jobs, and overall cultural integration. These same resources and support will be provided to Ukrainian Refugees designated to Gulf Coast JFCS to assist. “Gulf Coast JFCS Refugee Services Division remains steadfast in our commitment to “welcome the stranger” by assisting Ukrainians fleeing the bloodshed in their homeland and connecting these Refugees with their families in Tampa Bay.” States Elke Cumming, Vice President of Programs and Administration, Gulf Coast JFCS. Gulf Coast JFCS partners with HIAS and the United States Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to assist individuals and families with Refugee status from all over the world to resettle successfully and safely. It is still too early to predict how many Ukrainian Refugees may be resettled in Tampa Bay.  However, given the estimated million people fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries, it is highly likely Gulf Coast JFCS, and our community will soon be receiving the request for help.   Previously, approximately 100 Refugees from Ukraine were resettled by Gulf Coast JFCS. Refugee assistance provided by Gulf Coast JFCS exemplifies the Jewish value of “welcoming the stranger” from which the organization was founded nearly fifty years ago....
Local Heroes To Be Honored by Gulf Coast JFCS

Local Heroes To Be Honored by Gulf Coast JFCS

Local Heroes To Be Honored by Gulf Coast JFCS (CLEARWATER, FL – Friday, February 25, 2022) – Gulf Coast JFCS is honoring Chief Anthony Holloway and William and Sally Israel on Thursday, March 31 at the upcoming annual FACES of Inspiration celebration. This annual event is being Thursday, March 31st, at the Hilton Carillon Park in St. Petersburg. FACES of Inspiration recognizes individuals who overcome hardships and find the ability to thrive within our communities. Anthony Holloway will receive this year’s Gulf Coast JFCS Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a lifetime of commitment to community and behavioral health support. A trustee emeritus of Gulf Coast JFCS, Chief Holloway has dedicated his career to strengthening community relationships and communication and overall to innovation in more than policing, especially relating to responding to behavioral health-related intervention. Nearly a decade ago, Chief Holloway initiated requirements for all St. Petersburg Police Department Officers to become proficient in Trauma-Informed Care practices to prepare officers for more effective response to these types of crises calls. More recently, Chief Holloway’s focus on behavioral health and dedication to building community ties took center stage both locally and internationally with the innovation of the Community Assistance and Life Liaison (CALL) program. The CALL program is one of the first in the nation to dedicate resources to community policing partnerships, by partnering with Gulf Coast JFCS to provide social services to non-emergency and non-violent service calls. Now in it’s second year, the mental health professionals of the CALL program have responded to more than 4,000 calls for service such as substance abuse, behavioral health crisis, and suicide intervention,...
Balliet, Gulf Coast JFCS COO, Named Board Chair of Children’s Advocacy Group

Balliet, Gulf Coast JFCS COO, Named Board Chair of Children’s Advocacy Group

Gulf Coast JFCS COO Named Board Chair of Children’s Advocacy Group Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services (Gulf Coast JFCS) announces the appointment of Terri Balliet, Gulf Coast JFCS Chief Operating Officer, as Board Chair of the Children’s Advocacy Group, Florida Coalition of Children. Advocating on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk children, and to support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf, the mission of the FCC, is at the core of Balliet’s leadership expertise.  “I am very humbled and honored to take on such an important role and work alongside such amazing colleagues across the state. The timing is divine intervention given the much-needed advocacy necessary during the current state of our Child Welfare System workforce and funding opportunities” says Balliet.” Florida Coalition for Children member agencies, including Gulf Coast JFCs, collectively care for over 50,000 children and families in crisis each year, providing critical services and programs to this vulnerable population throughout the state. Some of these services include residential and group home care, emergency shelters, residential treatment centers, counseling, foster family services, adoption services, early intervention and prevention programs, and various in-home support services. Balliet has devoted two decades of her leadership toward the growth and vitality of Gulf Coast JFCS. Having worked her way up the ranks from Case Management Supervisor in 2004 to COO in 2014, Ms. Balliet oversees state-wide operations for over 20 Gulf Coast JFCS Child Welfare, Behavioral Health, and Elder and Disabled Services programs and a multimillion-dollar budget. She also holds oversight for Grant and Information Technology operations. Ms. Balliet’s core strengths include her ability...
TampaBay-Job-Links Joins Gulf Coast JFCS

TampaBay-Job-Links Joins Gulf Coast JFCS

TampaBay-Job-Links Joins Gulf Coast JFCS  Gulf Coast JFCS is pleased to announce the addition of TampaBay-Job-Links (TBJL) to its comprehensive portfolio of programs.  TBJL empowers and equips people with relevant job search and career transition skills to help them gain viable employment to sustain themselves and their families.  This successful program has already assisted more than 1,400 individuals and further enhances Gulf Coast JFCS’s existing workforce development programs, including those meeting the needs of non-custodial parents and refugees assimilating into our community. TBJL was founded in 2010 as a grassroots initiative of the Tampa Jewish community in response to the Great Recession. TBJL services were made available to all people in need. TBJL clients include, but are not limited to, individuals facing mid-career job loss, parents returning to the workforce after a hiatus, military veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce, and seniors financially unable to retire. “TampaBay-Job-Links is proudly celebrating a decade of helping the unemployed in our community get back to work.  We build self-esteem and give individuals the guidance and tools they need to re-enter the workforce with confidence and dignity,” said Andi Jacobs, TBJL Chairperson.  “We are excited about our affiliation with Gulf Coast JFCS and the opportunity to help many more people in the decade ahead,” Jacobs said. “Gulf Coast JFCS exists to uplift lives for all people, from babies to seniors, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender identity,’ states Dr. Sandra E. Braham, President and CEO of Gulf Coast JFCS.  “TampaBay-Job-Links is perfectly aligned with the Jewish values upon which Gulf Coast JFCS was founded nearly half a century ago, including tzedakah or justice. ...