FamilyWorks was officially incorporated in December of 1995. Working back a few years from this date, the Fremont Public Association (currently named Solid Ground) began discussing 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 activists to form a Board 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, Board discussions were taking place on the merger of the food bank (Fremont Food Bank, operated at that time by FPA) with the resource center, officially renaming the organization to FamilyWorks. The first staff member, Jake Weber, was hired in November of 1997 and FamilyWorks took over operation of the food bank in April of 1998.
FamilyWorks relocated as a tenant in the FPA Community Resource Center in Wallingford. The Children’s Trust Foundation helped furnish the children’s room in the center, and a bequest from Merridee and Houston Williams helped purchase the cooler and freezer in the food bank as well as pre-pay rent for 5 years. FamilyWorks is a tenant in the Solid Ground building and retains a strong, working partnership with Solid Ground in cross referral of our customers as well as contracts with them for financial services. Christie West donated her talent to paint a mural based on a favorite children’s book that has endured over the years and enjoyed by hundreds of families.
Since this time, FamilyWorks has grown to 11 staff, a Board of 12 and with the help of 275 volunteers and 450 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.