A Ponte Vedra resident, Bill Haley is the CEO of Family Foundations in Jacksonville.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
My wife Laura and I raised our son and daughter in Westchester County, New York. Both of our children are married, and we have two granddaughters, with a third on the way. Prior to moving to Ponte Vedra three years ago, I worked as an investment banker in New York City for more than 30 years at large firms such as Salomon Brothers, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan Chase. After 2008, I developed an interest in not-for-profit work and “social justice.” This led me first to work for Opportunity Finance Network in Philadelphia and then to the CEO position at Family Foundations here in Jacksonville.
How would you describe Family Foundations to someone who is not familiar with the organization?
Family Foundations is a 60-year-old social services agency that focuses attention on people in need. Our demographic includes people at or near the poverty level, and our caring professionals provide mental health and financial counseling, often at no cost, to provide individuals with critical skills to navigate life’s challenges. Our mission is to “grow strong, money-wise families,” and our ultimate objective is to help families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
How can a family in need obtain your organization’s assistance?
Family Foundations has its main office in the Jessie Ball duPont Center on East Adams Street in Jacksonville. People in need can access us in different ways. We accept walk-in traffic at our office; we also have partnerships with many other not-for-profits, including the United Way 2-1-1 emergency line.
What’s the mission of 1000 in 1000?
Family Foundations administers this landmark program, which is unique to Jacksonville. 1000 in 1000 is a “theory of change” that employs a collective impact model of partners joining hands to contribute needed services that help individuals and families trapped in low-income status. Our research has taught us that families need certain pivotal assets to begin to build a living wage and increase self-sufficiency. The 1000 in 1000 leadership group includes philanthropic interests, social services, governmental and educational resources, legal and medical. Basic needs include affordable housing, quality child care, transportation solutions and job training. Additionally, there are medical and legal services, as well as financial education and mental health resources. Our current cohort includes 211 families with 405 children. 46 percent of the families in the group have scored average income gains of 20 percent and have achieved stable and aspirational job goals.
What do you enjoy most about living in Ponte Vedra?
Laura and I have greatly enjoyed our time in Ponte Vedra. After a lifetime in the Northeast, it is very easy to adapt to the climate and recreational opportunities in Northeast Florida. We have also found the people to be very warm and caring.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Away from work, my passion is golf. It is hard not to feel at home in a community that has so many first-class golf properties. I have also gotten involved in the Sawgrass Players Association HOA serving my neighbors as secretary of the board.