August 22, 2016 While starting to write this newsletter, the most beautiful precious melody is coming from the room next door – the joyous sound of a little boy giggling with his Mom. I do not think there can be anymore perfect single sound to unite us all and to ignite my own heart around the work of Family Promise of Lawrence! And so because of those giggles shared, I’ve decided to write you about the very busy year and to catch you up on some of what’s been going on around here! As many of you know, we launched expanded programming last year, as the needs of those seeking services from Family Promise of Lawrence continues to rise. Year to date, we have received 192 new families calling inquiring of our services. So last year, our Board of Directors led us to expand our services and our reach for solutions to family homelessness in our community. Through this expansion, thus far in 2016, we have served 17 families through our foundational Rotation Program (hosting in faith communities), 17 families through our newest program, Program 515, and 12 families through Temporary Housing. Some of those families have moved through a couple of these programs which has proven to be one of the strengths of the program expansion. With the 3 different active programs, we are able to serve families in different programs that would be best suited to each particular, unique family situation. We continue to work closely through collaborations with Lawrence Douglas County Housing Authority, with Tenants to Homeowners, some local landlords, and partner with supplemental, wrap around case management supports through other local nonprofits and agencies including,...Read More
December 25, 2012 This is probably one of the worst Christmas’ ever. Homeless and don’t have a place to stay. I hate it so much. Haven’t had a nice good home cooked meal for about a month. Eating out is starting to get boring, McDonald’s double cheese burgers are starting to look and get sloppy and nastier by the minute. I just am ready for our own crib. This staying with family of friends’ thing isn’t really my cup of tea. I’m just ready for something new. January 10, 2013 So we have to go to this interview with my dad today. I think he said that we were going to go talk to this homeless organization…I don’t need anyone trying to judge me. I need help, not a roasting session. Well here goes nothing. January 20, 2013 So today is the day that we moved in Family Promise. It’s cool I guess. I kind of don’t like them being all up in my face, kind of creepy. But they’re helpful and they’re nice. Haven’t run into nice people in awhile. They’ve got a PlayStation upstairs, dvd player and a TV so I’ll never be bored. Got to get ready to go to the church that we’re staying at this week. Man I’m stuffed. They made the families tacos and nachos. We could’ve picked between the two, but me and pops got both. Then after that we had ice cream and we could’ve put our own toppings on them. I put Oreos, gummy worms, brownies and a little bit of chocolate syrup on top. I didn’t finish it but I’m going to save it until tomorrow. Well its time...Read More
Attending the national conference for Family Promise on the west coast, I take a needed break to walk along the water. I find myself on a path leading to the ocean as a man approaches me and I smile immediately at his apparent mode of transportation and his cleverly equipped load. Over his apt shoulders is a broom handle shaped stick, yet longer, each end holding a big heavy black trash bag. Below his feet, what at first I think is a hover board, turns out to be a regular skateboard, old and rickety with age and use. He pushes off again as he comes toward me and his heavy load shifts. Just as he reaches me and I smile to say hello, he winces with discomfort. I notice one of his gold hoop earrings has attached itself to his black hoodie, dragging down his head and causing an issue with his equilibrium. I turn back and say “Can I help you?” as he steps first one foot then the other off his board. He tells me “yes” as I come closer and cautiously let my fingers touch the small tarnished band. I unhook the culprit, a thin black thread, and ask if I should re-hook his earring or unhook it completely. “You better take it out so it doesn’t happen again” he says as I slide the post out of the hole in his ear, suddenly feeling the intimacy of my task. He takes the gold hoop from me now, into his rough dirty fingers, our hands touching for just a moment as a silent wind overtakes us. “Thank you Missy,” he says loudly...Read More
Some say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I get that. I won’t dispute it. But, beauty is also in the eye of the one with understanding. Looking at Family Promise from the outside, you might think it’s just another service provider. Just a program. But I’ve had the chance over the past several months to take a closer look. I’ve discovered something I didn’t see at first: Beauty.Read More
It’s the thing that’s different around here. It’s what helps grease the wheels and turn the cranks. It butters the bread and floats the boats, it brings tears and cheers and dollars and sense. It’s relationship.Read More
One of the “artificial” goals for many families in Rotation and Program 515 is to have their own place by the holidays. Year after year, we see a surge of families meeting that goal and getting into their home by Thanksgiving, or by Christmas, or before an anticipated milestone birthday. This year is no exception.Read More
Eye contact is a big deal.
And when it happens at Family Promise, we rejoice. Often the child of a weary new guest won’t meet our gaze. She clings to her mom. She turns her face away. Looking up, interacting with others, is too risky. Don’t engage. It might hurt again.
Then, often, something magical happens.Read More