In the early 1990’s, the Fremont Public Association (currently named Solid Ground) began developing an initiative to provide comprehensive, strength-based programming to support families and placed a VISTA volunteer, Janet Buttenwieser, to do this work. Janet recruited a group of local north end activists to form a Board of Directors and completed the paperwork to establish the North Central Family Resource Center as a new non-profit organization, offering the first parent support classes in January of 1996.
In July of 1996, the board discussed the possibility of acquiring the Fremont Food Bank, then operated by the Fremont Public Association. At that time, the name of the organization was officially changed to FamilyWorks. The first staff member, Jake Weber, was hired as the first Executive Director in November of 1997 and FamilyWorks took over operation of the food bank in April of 1998.
In June of 1998, FamilyWorks moved from Fremont to the new FPA building at 1501 N. 45th St. Wallingford, complete with a beautiful resource center, office for the WIC program, and the new food bank space. The Children’s Trust Foundation helped furnish the children’s play room in the resource center, and a bequest from Merridee and Houston Williams, former volunteers, helped purchase the cooler and freezer in the food bank as well as ensuring rent for the next 5 years.
In 2007, the Fremont Public Association changed their name to Solid Ground. FamilyWorks remains a tenant in the Solid Ground building and retains a strong, working partnership with Solid Ground to serve our customers as well as contracting with Solid Ground for financial services.
Since this time, FamilyWorks has grown to 12 staff and a Board of 13, and has expanded food distribution, added home delivery, implemented a weekend school nutrition program, and created programs that support and instill parenting and life skills for individuals, families and teen parents. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and donors, we are helping individuals and families who might not otherwise have access to healthy, fresh food and parenting or life-skills resources, to improve their well-being and increase their resiliency through the support of a caring community.