A lifeline in times of crisis for Front Porch team members


The Front Porch Communities Foundation’s HEART Fund was set up to help Front Porch team members who face a crisis. The HEART (Helping Employees At Risk Today) Fund has provided financial support to more than 275 of our team members who have faced an unexpected financial crisis. Help has ranged from critical medical care for a child to home repairs after a natural disaster, car repairs from an uninsured motorist crash to funeral costs for a parent.

Front Porch community residents and family members support the HEART Fund, but the majority of the funds are donated by Front Porch staff members, many of them with years of service to the organization. Greg Horner, a business systems analyst who has worked for the organization for seven years, has been giving since he started.

“Front Porch team members come from many backgrounds, and each has their personal circumstances which we don’t see,” Greg shared. “Any one of us can quickly find ourselves in a financial pinch, and it’s important to have a pool of support to draw from. The HEART Fund is a wonderful program that allows employees to help each other while keeping circumstances confidential, and I’m proud of our organization for administering it.”

Barbara Schwerdt has worked for CARING Housing Ministries (CHM), Front Porch’s affordable housing division, for over 30 years, starting as a resident manager at Pilgrim Tower in Los Angeles. She now serves as the director of training for the CHM team, developing curriculum for the day-to-day work in the community and serving as a master trainer for Front Porch’s leadership development program, Front Porch University/5 Star College.

The motto of the CARING Housing Ministries team is One CARING Person Makes a Difference, and Barbara’s longtime support of the HEART Fund exemplifies that. “We all run into tough times, and if I can make a difference in someone’s life by making a contribution to a fund that supports my colleagues, I’m all for it,” Barbara said. “It seems like such a simple thing to do that has a huge impact on the lives of others.”