The Community Resource Center (CRC) has been buzzing with activity in the past few months.
The Encinitas-based nonprofit is gearing up for its key fundraiser Sept. 24, Inspiring Hope: Bourbon in the Garden, a cocktail party at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club in Rancho Santa Fe.
And the organization has hired a new CEO, Isabel St. Germain Singh, who has more than 20 years of experience working with low-income families. She has advocated for those in need at Habitat for Humanity Montreal, the Bayview Community Development Corp. and Second Chance, among other nonprofits.
“I’ve worked with low-income families for nearly 20 years,” St. Germain Singh said. “My personal mission is to raise the world’s self-esteem one person at a time.”
Taking the top post at CRC appealed to her because it is “the next step” in that mission.
“It’s an organization that I’m really just falling in love with,” she said. “The whole community embraces this organization.”
She is also grateful for the support of the CRC board, which “works shoulder to shoulder with staff” on fundraising, policy and strategic planning.
“They all contribute their time and their money,” she said. “They roll up their sleeves and work for the CRC.”
CRC is an “umbrella” institution that helps direct those in need to where they can get help to combat domestic violence, find housing, get a job, do their taxes or just have a meal for the day, among other assistance, St. Germain Singh said.
“If it’s not a service that we provide, we help them to access the services that they need,” she said.
She’s particularly proud of the work CRC does with children affected by domestic violence “so they won’t find themselves repeating the cycle.”
The aim of the assistance is independence.
“They come to us on a path in their lives where they need support,” she said. “We try to steer away from giving a handout. We support them to get them on a path to self-sufficiency.”
That’s just what Subrina Johnson found when she asked for a hand in 2005. Homeless, having left a domestic violence relationship and living out of her car, Johnson turned to CRC.
“It helped me to feed my family,” she said in a CRC video. “It helped me with confidence.”
Today, she has degrees from MiraCosta College and Cal State San Marcos and works as a case manager for The Dads Club, assisting fathers who want to build healthier relationships with their children.
“I’m very pleased about where I am today because I never thought I’d be here,” Johnson said.
St. Germain Singh has plans to help more people that need a leg up like Johnson did.
In the future, she would like to expand services to senior citizens and educational and support services in schools. CRC is also working on a pilot program with the city of Encinitas and Interfaith Community Services to assist the homeless.
First up, however, is the gala in Rancho Santa Fe, which will include live music, hors d’oeuvres, a raffle and cocktails. Those interested in supporting CRC can purchase tickets for the gala ($95) by Sept. 14 at CRCNCC.org/inspiringhope — or visit any of CRC’s three resale shops in Encinitas, Carlsbad and San Marcos.
“Please come shop, and we’d love your donations,” St. Germain Singh said.
“The services [at the CRC] are great,” Johnson said. “They should never go away. Something as simple as giving someone a bag of food can change their life.”