The Family Services Association of Boyle County (FSA) has been making a difference in the lives of members of the community for over a century. Founded in June of 1916 by leaders of local churches, civic clubs and representatives from Centre College as the Community Work Board, the mission of the organization was to provide necessities for under-resourced and disadvantaged families. Today, the FSA fulfills its mission by providing short-term financial assistance to those experiencing a temporary financial emergency, and providing counseling and education in money management, and by assisting clients in finding other services that are best-suited to meet their needs.
Throughout its history, the FSA has been instrumental in not only changing the lives of its clients but also in making important, lasting contributions to Danville and Boyle County. Among the “firsts” established in Danville, known as the City of Firsts, by the FSA were a playground, a summer recreation program, a vacation Bible school, public bath, public shower, public laundry, and a senior citizen’s center. Leaders of the FSA were also instrumental in creating the Community Chest, which became the Heart of Kentucky United Way.
Today, FSA provides immediate, temporary assistance to families and individuals with emergencies related to housing, utilities, and medication. Payments go directly to vendors, rather than to the clients themselves. FSA also offers (and sometimes requires) classes in money management to ensure that clients have not only the short-term assistance they require, but the capacity to meet their own long-term needs.
The FSA is a distinctively local organization, solely focused on residents of Boyle County. A self-perpetuating board of directors comprised of Boyle County residents stewards the mission and financial resources of the organization, which are provided by grants from the Heart of Kentucky United Way, local governments, local churches, and by gifts from citizens who share a commitment to helping those in need.
Evidence of FSA’s successful fulfillment of its mission is considerable. In the most recent fiscal year (7/1/17 – 6/30/18) it has already provided direct financial assistance to 986 clients, representing 456 unduplicated households and the fiscal year still has a month left in it! FSA’s impact on families and the most vulnerable in our community is considerable, with approximately 34% of those served being children under age 17 and 22% being senior citizens. Perhaps, the best evidence of FSA’s impact is that its relatively small investment, with an average assistance per client served of $105.00, and only 24% percent of clients returning to apply for additional assistance within a year of service.
In closing, FSA is a mission-driven organization with a long history of service, a deep understanding of and commitment to its community, and a well-established track record of intervening to keep temporary financial emergencies from spiraling into long-term problems. FSA produces good outcomes for its clients, for the individuals and organizations who support FSA through gifts and grants, and for all of the citizens of Boyle County by helping those in need of temporary help.