Over the past year, JFCS successfully implemented programs
and services, supporting individuals and families.
The Annual Report outlines the community commitment to
the JFCS mission of supporting people across the
region through life's changes & challenges.
As we reflect on the challenges faced and triumphs achieved over the past year, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the unwavering support of our community. Your commitment to the mission of JFCS has been instrumental in navigating trauma, building resilience, and planning for the future.
In the face of national, local and personal crises, the JFCS emerged as a beacon of support for so many in our broader community.
Your contributions have made a profound impact, fostering healing, resilience, and a sense of unity in the Pittsburgh community. Together, we have made a difference in the lives of countless individuals, and we look forward to continued collaboration in the year ahead.
Thank you,Jordan Golin, PsyD
JFCS President & CEO
Over the past five years, the rate of mental health diagnoses across the country have increased exponentially. In the face of a national mental health crisis, Pittsburgh bore witness to the profound impact of the synagogue shooting in 2018 and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.
Amidst these challenges, JFCS Counseling Services emerged as a beacon of support and healing. Throughout the year, JFCS extended its compassionate outreach to 1164 individuals, guiding them towards improved mental health and well-being. Remarkably, 99% of clients achieved significant progress toward their treatment goals.
The agency’s commitment extended beyond individual care, hosting 117 support groups and healing workshops, attended by 94 individuals seeking solace and understanding. JFCS also took the initiative to educate and engage the community through 50 impactful presentations, drawing in a collective audience of 892.
As a 10/27 Healing Partnership partner agency, JFCS provided courtroom support for 70 witnesses and bereaved family members during the synagogue shooting trial. In the face of adversity, JFCS Counseling Services continues to act as a lifeline for those in need, supporting communal healing, fostering resilience and hope in the Pittsburgh community.
In a commitment to improving services for the young adults, JFCS celebrated the launch of JFCS Youth Services in February 2023.
When UpStreet launched in 2020, JFCS removed barriers for mental health support for young adults. Brief support at upstreetpgh.org offered the virtual options to chat online with a counselor, schedule an appointment, or connect with a peer mentor.
Over the next two years, hundreds of young adults and their parents received support from the UpStreet team, helping teens reduce anxiety, gain techniques to deal with everyday stressors, and prevent problems from escalating into a crisis.
JFCS Youth Services was established to offer comprehensive and integrated support, providing young adults with a sense of hope for their future. The Youth Services team will support young adults with their mental health, help them consider future career possibilities, and encourage them to think about a future where they can manage stress and emotions more effectively.
At the end of July 2023, the JFCS Youth Services team prepared to open a drop-in center for young adults at 5844 Forward Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.
In response to the evolving needs of the aging community, JFCS Senior Services emerged as a crucial support system. The dedicated team of staff and volunteers offered essential services, including transportation to medical appointments, assistance with grocery shopping, counseling, and, perhaps most profoundly, companionship.
AgeWell Rides, a vital component of the program facilitated by JFCS, enrolled 75 older adults, empowering them to maintain an active and independent lifestyle while staying seamlessly connected to the broader community. The impact of AgeWell Pittsburgh’s services is reflected in the outcomes achieved during the fiscal year 2022-2023, where 72 wellness checks were conducted, 48 instances of caregiver management provided, and an impressive 933 calls made into the AgeWell Pittsburgh Information & Referral Line.
With the support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, JFCS Senior Services and the AgeWell Pittsburgh team underwent training and achieved platinum certification with SAGECare, positioning itself as one of the county’s select certified agencies addressing the specific needs of LGBTQ+ older adults.
The overarching goal of these initiatives is clear: to enable older adults to live with independence, dignity, and a strong sense of community. As the aging population continues to grow, programs like JFCS Senior Services stand as a testament to the power of local engagement and compassion in addressing the unique needs of our senior residents.
In the dynamic landscape of changing workforce needs nationwide, Pittsburgh, a Certified Welcoming City, stands out as a model for effectively harnessing the talents of a diverse workforce to foster prosperity. JFCS Career Services has played a pivotal role in shaping this narrative, actively engaging with over 1,692 clients to facilitate their meaningful employment. The average salary of clients stands at an impressive $46,000, underlining the tangible impact of JFCS Career Services.
Embracing the rich diversity of the local workforce, JFCS collaborates with more than 45 employers in the greater Pittsburgh region across industries such as advanced manufacturing, technology, healthcare, life sciences, medical technology, food processing, and energy. Immigrants, constituting 9.2% of the city’s employed labor force, significantly contribute, with 17.7% working in STEM, 16.1% in education, and 13.1% in manufacturing.
The department extends its impact to address barriers faced by individuals, with 15% of clients belonging to minority groups. One strategic initiative, the Innovation District Skills Alliance (IDSA), pioneers career pathways for high-barrier residents in neighborhoods surrounding Oakland, promoting inclusive growth in the Pittsburgh Innovation District. Another initiative, involves intensive engagement of 337 individuals through the Refugee Employment Programs, contributing significantly to Pittsburgh’s workforce diversity and resilience in the face of evolving national trends.
In recognition of the evolving nature of regional needs, JFCS remains at the forefront, opening three new partner sites, including holding office hours at Point Park University. This expansion reflects a commitment to providing tailored support, especially for those with invisible disabilities or barriers, ensuring equitable access to employment opportunities.
In the face of persistent food insecurity affecting 12.8% of U.S. households in 2022, the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry emerged as a steadfast beacon of support, distributing a remarkable 183,234 tons of food. Notably, 53% of this consisted of fresh vegetables and fruits, delivering not just sustenance but a commitment to nutritional quality.
With a dedication to cultural sensitivity, the pantry ensures that the all families it serves receive culturally appropriate, nutritious food. Last year, the pantry enrolled 442 families with ongoing food insecurity needs, as well as provided emergency food for 635 families throughout the region.
Collaborating with 12 local retailers and wholesalers, the pantry not only stretches its resources but also contributes to an impressive annual cash savings of $8,874 for families – equivalent to eight months’ rent for an average family in Pittsburgh.
JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry extends its reach beyond food distribution, serving as a vital link to social services for 693 households. Operating five days a week and accessible via four bus lines, the pantry remains a lifeline for the residents of Allegheny County. In times of extreme weather, the pantry transforms into a healing and cooling center, exemplifying its commitment to holistic well-being.
Recognizing the pantry’s efforts, the City of Pittsburgh presented a proclamation, acknowledging their joint work as part of a network of service providers in SNAP Summer Outreach. This was in addition to receiving the 2022 Pursuer of Peace Award from Rodef Shalom, underscoring the pantry’s pivotal role in fostering community harmony.
As the United States saw a drastic increase of immigration in recent years, the monthly immigrant and refugee arrivals reached a high of 137,000 nationwide.
Immigrants and refugees in Pittsburgh have become integral contributors, offering cultural enrichment and injecting approximately $3.5 billion into the city’s GDP, paying $298 million in taxes, and wielding a spending power of $730.8 million.
JFCS currently supports refugees and immigrants from around the world – speaking over 70 different languages including Spanish, Nepali, and Arabic. While immigrants and refugees contribute so much to a stronger region, there are many initial challenges that JFCS strives to address for each arrival.
The department has historically reinforced community relationships to ensure a smoother transition and a brighter future for those rebuilding their lives in the United States.
With a growing demand for services, JFCS led an expansion of Immigrant Services and Connections (ISAC)’s capacity by adding three more partners—BCAP, AJAPO, and PHDC. This strategic move allows for a more efficient response to new immigrant and refugee communities, and provides tailored services with extended office hours at different locations across the county.
2023 saw a tightening housing market nationwide with limited attainable housing in Pittsburgh, Community groups and funders stepped in to support the initial resettlement period by sponsoring hotels, purchasing home setup items, warm winter clothing, medicine, food, and essential items. The support provided JFCS the opportunity to expand relationships with property managers to secure homes for refugee families.
In navigating the complexities of resettlement, the JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Services reflects on a year marked by growth, collaboration, and unwavering commitment to supporting refugees and immigrants in the Pittsburgh community.
In the dynamic landscape of immigration policies and challenges, JFCS Immigration Legal Services served over 2,200 individuals grappling with the complexities of the U.S. immigration system in 2022-23.
In the face of increasing demand, JFCS has responded by expanding the staff by 14%, making significant strides in meeting requests for services.
In 2022-23, JFCS focused on key areas such as humanitarian parole, temporary protected status, and employment authorization. With a specific emphasis on populations from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Congo, and Haiti, the agency ensures tailored assistance for those facing unique circumstances. This focus was in addition to crucial representation for over 600 unaccompanied children residing in shelters in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
As the nation grapples with immigration challenges, JFCS recruits, trains, and mentors pro-bono attorneys to partner with us in the work of supporting refugees and immigrants in our region. This collective effort aims to empower the community, help clients and make a lasting impact on those we serve.
At JFCS, we are committed to ensuring that vulnerable individuals are not left without the necessary support systems. The dedicated team of JFCS Guardianship Services has set a standard of compassion and dignity in the guardianship process in our region.
In a significant move towards ensuring the continued quality and sustainability of services, JFCS Guardianship Services announced a fee adjustment for the first time in several decades. This adjustment applies to fees charged to both private guardianship cases, subject to court approval, and public guardianship cases.
Recognizing the need for financial sustainability, this fee adjustment is a proactive step to align our services with the evolving landscape and ensure the continued provision of high-quality guardianship services. The negotiations with the involved parties reached a mutually beneficial agreement that support the vital work carried out by JFCS Guardianship Services.
The new Adult Protective Services (APS) contract has received approval and has been executed. This contract not only signifies an expanded scope of services but also includes a higher payment rate for JFCS. The negotiation process is ongoing, with efforts to secure higher rates for our county-funded services to further strengthen the financial foundation of our Guardianship department.
In the face of national, local and personal crises, JFCS emerged as a beacon of support for so many in our broader community - serving over 10,000 people this year.
Thank you to the dedicated individuals who form the backbone of JFCS – our esteemed board members, tireless staff, and generous funders. Your unwavering commitment and passion have been instrumental in driving our mission forward, making a profound impact on our greater community. We are also deeply thankful to the community for your ongoing support, collaboration, and shared commitment to creating positive change. Together, we are building a stronger, more compassionate world, and we are truly grateful for the collective effort that makes our mission possible.
President & CEO
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