Legal Aid of Sonoma County, Compass Family Services, and College Track recognized at 12th Annual Tipping Point Awards Breakfast

SAN FRANCISCO (December 7, 2018) ­­ — Today, Tipping Point Community hosted its 12th Annual Awards Breakfast, honoring standout partners and individuals committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area.

The event showcased the work of Tipping Point Emergency Fire Relief Fund beneficiary, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, and two of Tipping Point’s long-time grantees, Compass Family Services and College Track. Each of them were honored for their commitment to improving the lives of the 1.3 million Bay Area residents too poor to meet their basic needs, and was awarded a $50,000 grant for their extraordinary efforts.

Tipping Point Board Chair, Chris James, Board member, Kate Harbin Clammer, and Leadership Council member, Nadir Shaikh, presented the awards to leaders and individuals supported by each of the organizations. Daniel Lurie, CEO and Founder of Tipping Point, concluded the morning. He reflected on the juxtaposition on the progress made by Tipping Point grantees and the frustrating truth that poverty doesn’t seem to be diminishing in the region.

“We know what we’re doing is making a huge difference, and yet, it sometimes feels like it isn’t working at all. We know it isn’t enough,” said Lurie talking about the visible signs of poverty witnessed on the streets of San Francisco on a daily basis. “But at a local level, the conditions for fundamentally changing the dynamics for people living in poverty have never been better with both elected officials and citizens aligning on the importance of the issue. Our eyes are open and we are all looking in the same direction — that’s why I believe we’re on the right path.”

The 2018 Tipping Point Honorees:
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
was identified by Tipping Point as a critical resource for low-income communities after last year’s devastating North Bay fires. More than 15,000 residents of Sonoma County filed claims for FEMA benefits and hundreds of low-income wage earners lost jobs as a result of the fires. Tipping Point invested $150,000 in the organization to provide additional capacity in response to the increased need. Over the last year, Legal Aid of Sonoma County supported over 1,000 people to recoup losses and leveraged over $2 million in recovery funds. “Law school teaches you about fact. But with a disaster, particularly one of this size and scale, there is no precedent. There are no blueprints,” said Kendall Jarvis, Disaster Relief Attorney for the organization. “You’re asked to step in when entire lives are in limbo. And it was Tipping Point who stepped up to recognize that need, giving survivors a fighting chance at recovery.”

Compass Family Services is one of the oldest social service organizations in San Francisco. It serves the vast majority of families facing a housing crisis in the City, with resources such as temporary shelter, longer-term housing, counseling, childcare, employment support, and case management. 95% of families who graduate from Compass housing programs remain stably housed for the long-term. With Tipping Point’s support in strategy and fundraising, Compass recently purchased a building to serve as their new headquarters and service hub for families. “The move has changed everything,” said Erica Kisch, Executive Director of Compass Family Services. “It has allowed us to escape San Francisco’s impossible commercial rental market, and will provide us with real stability.”

College Track, a Tipping Point grantee since 2013, is a 10-year program to get rising high school students to and through college, with a focus on academic success, financial stability, work experience, and community service. Nationwide, only 21 percent of low-income, first-generation students who enroll in college will graduate, while College Track students graduate at twice that rate. “At College Track we say, ‘if college is what you want, we know the formula. We’ll take anyone who’s ready to work hard.’ And it’s our job to make sure they are fully prepared to graduate. Our future depends on it,” said Elissa Salas, CEO of College Track. “Tipping Point helped us prepare for our future, emphasizing the importance of investing in infrastructure in order to grow and increase our impact.”

Individuals who have been supported by Legal Aid of Sonoma County, Compass Family Services, and College Track were also honored at the event, sharing their own personal stories of progress and how each organization has contributed to their growth.

The four speakers expressed messages of gratitude and hope, as summed up by Chang Liang, College Track graduate and honoree: “Thank you for believing in me,” he shared with guests. “I hope, in the future, that my story isn’t one of beating the odds. Every student deserves the opportunities that I had. Imagine the incredibly talented, diverse society we could build if we made that happen.”

Tipping Point Community works to break the cycle of poverty for individuals and families in the Bay Area. Since 2005, Tipping Point has raised over $200 million to support the 1.3 million people in the Bay Area who are too poor to meet their basic needs. We leverage the resources and expertise of our community to invest in solutions that prevent poverty: a nurturing early childhood, strong education, gainful employment, and secure housing. Our Board covers 100% of our overhead, so every dollar donated goes where it’s needed most. To learn more, visit www.tippingpoint.org.

Media Contact:
Marisa Giller
415.341.9561 (office), 314.630.4123 (mobile)