By Dana Ortiz

As a counter to the crazy, often nasty “discourse” that has accompanied the 2016 campaign cycle which we are all exposed to, I thought I’d write today about HOPE! And I have a lot of HOPE! Because I see it every day through people accomplishing extraordinary goals and serving through an abundance of love and grace.
* I have hope because of the families we have served thus far this year, who have overcome all hurdles and obstacles, and done the tough work to get their family back into housing.
* I have hope because of the volunteers who serve selflessly every evening, and every night of the year.
* I have hope because of the 45 families who have graduated from one of the FPL programs, who are participating in some of the new Family Promise Graduate through Relationship Program, sharing lives and encouragement with other families who have graduated, or who are in the new Program 515.
* I have hope because more than 40% of all graduates continue to serve with family promise as volunteers.
* I have hope because 87% of families who graduate are still permanently housed after a two year tracking period.
* I have hope because when I attend any event in the Lawrence community, I always see graduates of FPL – completed integrated in our community, making Lawrence a wonderful place to live.
* I have hope because of the stories we get to hear daily from guests of FPL of generosity and lives changed by gracious hospitality.
* I have hope because of the stories we get to hear from the volunteers about their lives changed and about grace that comes from serving and sharing life stories with those they did not know before.
* I have hope because this morning, I heard one graduate Mom talk about a heart of gratitude she now has about the time she and her boys were homeless, because of the lessons she learned by seeking support and the people she met along the journey.
So I have HOPE! I have tremendous hope in the goodness of the God of LOVE. I have hope because of the lives I see lived out daily – a mixture of hosts, guests, volunteers, staff and graduates, all serving together, helping others and living out a life of God’s love.

Today, we are full, families are working hard and outcomes are achieved. Thus far this year, we’ve served more than 2 times the number of families in active programming than we did last year. In fact, more families are in permanent or temporary housing year to date, than we were able to serve in all of 2015! In active programming, we are now able to serve more than 3 times the number of families at any point than we were just 3 years ago! All of this is possible because of your service, prayers, and your generosity. We are so grateful. And we need your support to continue.

If you’d like to be part of the solution to family homelessness, please donate today: www.lawrencefamilypromise.org. Thank you!

“The word of the Lord is right and true: he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” Ps 33:4-5 (niv)