SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –  A San Francisco nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless is looking for volunteers to ‘play Santa’ for more than 450 needy families.

Compass Family Services, which helps homeless families and families at risk of becoming homeless, has several holiday programs that are in need of more volunteers.   One of their annual holiday programs is called Adopt-a-Family where volunteers (whether they’re families, companies or individuals) can provide needed items to these families who might otherwise not receive any other gifts this season.

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KCBS’ Connie C. Kim talks to Compass Family Services Executive Director Erica Kisch:

“It’s a really hard time of the year for families that are struggling just for basic survival,” Compass Family Services Executive Director Erica Kisch said, “and the families are so appreciative not just for the stuff but they express how much it means to them that there’s someone out there who cares enough to do that for them.”

The nonprofit is also hosting a Christmas party for these families in need.  Volunteers for the party as well as donations of turkey dinners, children’s books and grocery gift cards are needed for the party on December 12th.

“Even though the economy has improved it really hasn’t improved for this population and we’re still seeing … more families than ever waiting for shelter.  There are more families that are unable to afford housing,” Kisch discussed the current state of homelessness in San Francisco.

Compass Family Services is soon celebrating its centennial and still going strong with its programs that serve more than 3,500 parents and children each year.

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They provide housing, education, employment, child care and mental health services and say 95% of the families that are placed in their housing programs do not return to shelters.

“Family homelessness is kind of a ridiculous thing in this country with such abundance and we want to end it,” Kisch added,”one family at a time we make a difference and we change lives for families and make a better future for our children.”

Even after the holidays, volunteers and donations are always needed and appreciated.

To find out how you can help go to

To hear more interviews in the KCBS Community Corner go to

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