We Give Back: Compass Family Services
Vlocity partnered with Compass Family Services at VKO to help homeless and at-risk families become stably housed, healthy, and economically self-sufficient.
Giving back is becoming increasingly important and is prioritized in the enterprise technology business community nowadays. Since the founding of the company, one of Vlocity’s core values has been “We Give Back.” This value aligns with those of Salesforce closely, particularly when it comes to Vlociters volunteering their time or corporate charitable donations in the health and human services arena. This post begins a series of posts sharing stories of our employees, customers and partners giving back in a wide variety of ways. Today, we are honored to share news of Vlocity’s donation and support of Compass Family Services, whose mission it is to help families who are experiencing homelessness and those who are at risk of becoming stably housed, emotionally and physically healthy, and economically self-sufficient.
Companies continue to recognize the value in creating opportunities for their employees to take time from their workday, to engage in service. Vlocity Sales Kickoff (VKO) is one of those events. VKO brings employees from around the world together to refine their craft, hear from industry experts, and set themselves up for success for the coming year. It is also a time for employees to join forces to uphold our core value, “We Give Back.”
In San Francisco alone there are currently 3,000 children experiencing homelessness. In a city where the average cost of a 1 bedroom is $3,500, it should not come as a surprise that people struggle to find long term housing solutions.
When presented with the opportunity to identify a cause to support our 2020 kickoff, I wanted to identify a community partner who could help our Vlociters better understand an issue that exists in all of their respective communities. As a global company with 25 different countries represented this was no small task. Thankfully, San Francisco is home to innumerable organizations that drive meaningful change. This year we chose to enhance our understanding of homelessness, and what we could do in our respective communities to help.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a person as homeless if ‘he or she lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.’ They also stated that as of 2018, 552,830 people were homeless in the United States and of that population, between 40 - 50% of the people impacted were families. Often overlooked, these individuals go to great lengths to find a safe space for their family. In San Francisco alone there are currently 3,000 children experiencing homelessness. In a city where the average cost of a 1 bedroom is $3,500, it should not come as a surprise that people struggle to find long term housing solutions.
In our quest to find a community partner who could help foster a better understanding of the challenges homeless families face, we were introduced to Compass Family Services. When we talked about what Vlocity could do to give back, I was surprised to hear all the reasons why a hygiene kit could be so impactful. At its surface it made perfect sense, people need supplies to keep their families healthy and clean. But through our partnership, I learned that these kits were much more than that. Oftentimes families who are facing homelessness are not able to stay in one location for long. They can rely upon the kindness of family members and friends to lend them a couch, but often the duration is uncertain. We learned that in addition to equipping these families with the basic tools they need to stay clean and healthy, these kits can be used as a means to mitigate any additional stress their presence may pose to their host. It gives them a tool to demonstrate that they are contributing when they may not be able to contribute much more.
As we look ahead to the coming year, and the challenges that might come with it, I am grateful to know that I work with deeply passionate individuals who are excited and motivated to continue to make positive impacts, and share this core value of giving back.
Compass brought to the table the knowledge required and a time-tested and well-thought-through plan that we were excited to support. Their holistic approach to addressing family homelessness demonstrated how valuable a multifaceted program can be. This includes continued learning to help ensure the adults are well equipped to secure long term housing, of which an impressive 90% of graduates from said program remain in stable housing. Furthermore, Compass upholds a firm commitment to the whole person as evident in their robust mental health offerings.
On the day of the event, I set up our conference room, checked our presentation one last time, and took a deep breath before going on stage to explain to hundreds of people the value of what the next hour would hold. What happened next was a testament to the goodness that our people truly embody. After the presentation, a stampede of emboldened Vlociters flooded a conference room to work on building health kits, including toothbrushes, toothpastes, soaps, and lotions. The team also wrote notes of encouragement to Compass families, which we included in the kits.
Each group had its unique style, be it an assembly line with the person with the best penmanship writing the notes, to those who brought souvenirs from their country of origin to liven up the kits. (Shout out to team Australia and their kangaroo keychains!) But one thing was evident across all groups, the palpable motivation to create as many kits as we could to help those in need. Throughout the event, the room was buzzing and the boxes were overflowing. Individuals were exchanging stories about their volunteer work, and how they could do more to support their communities in the future. At the end of the night, we tallied what we had created and found we had exceeded our original goal of 2000 kits by 100.
Vlocity’s partnership with Compass Family Services has proven to be an invaluable learning opportunity. Our team demonstrated their commitment to the service, and equally as important, this event served as a catalyst to open up discussion. As the night culminated, I was awestruck by some of the discussions I heard. Employees across regions and interests were sharing the programs they were passionate about, and how they were giving back to their communities. Moreover, group members were using each other as sounding boards to think through new ways of donating their time moving forward. As we look ahead to the coming year, and the challenges that might come with it, I am grateful to know that I work with deeply passionate individuals who are excited and motivated to continue to make positive impacts, and share this core value of giving back.