First Choice Social Services is a non-profit organization in South Dallas that provides services to those impacted by different forms of abuse and homelessness.
First Choice Social Services’ mission is to be the First Choice in social services to provide treatment to families affected by domestic violence, substance abuse, and teen homelessness.
FCSS was founded by Bridget Vinson-O’Neal, along with a team of colleagues, in 2013 to address urgent needs of those within their communities. O’Neal was inspired to establish FCSS through her observation and experience of the lack of non-profit organizations whose work did not meet the needs of people of color. She created an organization that would speak for the needs of all clients, specifically clients of color. Through her experiences, she recognized that clients’ needs may transcend past the original services. It was, and is, particularly important to address all the client’s needs. First Choice Social Services provides wrap-around services to address the needs of their clients.
COVID-19 impacted First Choice Social Services outreach efforts because they were not able to meet their clients in person. Many of their services are intensive and group interactive. When they were not able to meet in person, several clients communicated the lack of “feeling” connected. FCSS was not able to host their signature fundraising event or other awareness events. Fortunately, they were still able to partner with other agencies in participating in community drive-thru events that addressed the needs of the communities through food/household items, PPE, and awareness giveaways.
O’Neal’s vision for First Choice Social Services is to have a positive lasting impact on ending domestic violence in the communities they serve, and to be the leading organization for community leaders when seeking information, reference, and expertise in the field of domestic violence, substance abuse and teen homelessness.
In order to continue to fulfill this vision, FCSS needs a few immediate needs met such as: three diverse board members, a website maintenance person, and office furniture such as desks, lateral filing cabinets, etc.
First Choice Social Services measures their progress and success through completion rates of clients that attend the program, serving the community through community partnerships, the quantity of clients served, and the decreasing rate of domestic violence in their communities.
First Choice Social Services has maintained consistent control growth over the past eight years. FCSS’ overall success will be obtained through healthy, safe, and rising communities.