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John Jordan Foundation Charity Spotlight: Family Justice Center Sonoma County

Family Justice Center building Santa Rosa

John Jordan believes successful businesses should play an active role in improving the lives of citizens in need. That’s why he decided to put his beliefs into action and founded The John Jordan Foundation (JJF). A significant portion of the proceeds from Jordan Winery fund the foundation, which works to fight the negative effects of poverty. JJF provides financial and technical support to numerous nonprofits, with an emphasis on childhood education, income stability and health services. One charity that the winery’s foundation has chosen to support is the Family Justice Center Sonoma County (FJCSC).

The Family Justice Center organization helps victims and survivors of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault and child abuse by providing convenient access to comprehensive support services under one roof. The police department, sheriff’s office, district attorney, health and human services, legal advisors, sexual assault counselors, and other community and religious organizations all have dedicated offices inside the FJC, and the center also raises money for those nonprofit partners.

“It is a fantastic model for the families and individuals it serves,” says Lisa Wittke Schaffner, executive director of JJF, who has sat on the FJCSC board since 2014. “In most communities, victims have to move all around the county to get help from these nonprofits, agencies and public servants. When people are recovering from this type of trauma, they need the inconveniences of transportation and traffic removed so they can focus on healing.”

According to Executive Director Wes Winter, the center serves roughly 1,600 victims each year.

“We help people of all ages, from cradle to rocking chair,” he says. “When people have been through trauma, and they don’t know where else to turn, they come to us. We protect the vulnerable, stop the violence and restore hope.”

As Winter explains it, when a victim comes into the FJCSC for services, he or she initially meets with a Navigator. This person helps the victim determine which services he or she needs to access with the center. Nonprofit partners located at the FJC include the YWCA of Sonoma County, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, Verity (sexual assault support services), the Council on Aging and Catholic Charities, to name a few. The John Jordan Foundation plays two key roles in the delivery of these services. For starters, direct monetary donations allow the FJCSC to fund nonprofit partners so they can continue providing services on-site. According to Winter, the FJCSC could not do its work without support from organizations like The John Jordan Foundation.

“We get federal dollars through the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women and the Office for Victims of Crime, but we need to augment those resources with community funds,” he says. “Support from John Jordan, his foundation, and Jordan Winery is critical to our survival and success.”

The winery’s foundation initially made a three-year commitment of $100,000 to fund the vital Navigator position. JJF continues to support the Family Justice Center cause through annual donations at its  “You Are Not Alone” breakfasts, hosted to raise funds for operating expenses. At the 2018 breakfast, The John Jordan Foundation committed $10,000 to kick off the fundraising event.

Santa Rosa Police Lieutenant John Cregan, head of criminal investigations.; Lisa Wittke Schaffner of The John Jordan Foundation and Serena Lienau, program analyst for the City of Santa Rosa’s Violence Prevention Partnership at the Family Justice Center’s You Are Not Alone” investment breakfast.

Learn more at johnjordanfoundation.org.

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Lisa Mattson

Videographer, photographer, writer and publicist. Find me on weekends trying to capture footage of the elusive Jordan Estate jack rabbits and turkeys.

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