Somali Family Service
What they do
Somali Family Service of San Diego (SFS) provides support to East African immigrants and refugees in San Diego.
What they stand for
SFS envisions a better quality of life for Somali and other East African immigrant and refugee populations in San Diego. Since its inception, the organization has provided culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and services for New Americans from East Africa.
There are nearly 30,000 people who escaped turmoil in Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea who now call San Diego home. SFS supports families in becoming self-sufficient and contributing members of the San Diego community through programs developing leadership skills, financial literacy, health education, and career planning.
Why we invested
SFS launched an initiative which provides support for transportation micro-enterprises. These provide non-emergency medical transportation and light translation services, which help increase culturally-sensitive access to healthcare and improve economic stability. Our investment provided cash for SFS to run this program while they await reimbursement from City of San Diego Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
We structured this transaction in accordance with Islamic financing principles, thanks to support from The California Endowment, a private donor, and scholar-attorney Umar Moghul of Roberts Moghul Partners.
Read about the investment structure on our blog.
11/2020 — Somali Family Service of San Diego successfully exited the Advance Strategy portfolio, and remains a member of our extended family under the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program on terms in accordance with Islamic principles.
9/2020 — Somali Family Service of San Diego secured a county grant to promote COVID-19 awareness in the refugee and immigrant communities.
6/2019 — Our innovative investment with Somali Family Service of San Diego was featured in Next Billion.
4/2020 — During COVID-19, Somali Family Service of San Diego has been assisting refugees with applications for unemployment assistance and CalFresh food benefits, as well as navigating general questions about online learning, transportation, public health, and mental health. SFS’s COVID-19 response was recently featured in The San Diego Union-Tribune, where President and CEO Ahmed Sahid shared that “the organization normally serves at least 3,000 families a year…but last week alone it served at least 1,000 people…that number will grow in the coming week.” The nonprofit is raising funds to support this growing need with the SFS COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Skills training & workforce development
San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program (SBNLP)
Dates of Investments
- October 2018 (Advance)
- August 2020 (SBNLP)
President & CEO