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5th Annual 5K Home Run 2017 – Memorial Day, May 29th

We are exited about our 5th Annual 5K Home Run 2017! Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 This 5K is a fast certified course through beautiful downtown Lawrence which starts and finishes at South Park. All are welcome – serious runners, casual joggers, first time 5Kers, walkers, strollers, dogs on leashes with their owners!   You can register today at: http://www.active.com/lawrence-ks/running/distance-running-races/5k-home-run-2017?int=#auth_widget Volunteer opportunities are listed here: https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/4090E44ACAF2EA13-5khome6 If your interested in sponsorship here are the various sponsorship levels: Event Sponsorship Information: 5K Home Run Sponsors Platinum Sponsor $5,000.00 USDDiamond Sponsor $2,500.00 USDGold Sponsor $1,000.00 USDSilver Sponsor $500.00 USDBronze Sponsor $250.00 USD Your Name (required) Your Email (required)...

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What a Year! What’s Next?

Well 2016 was a year for the record books.  We are just getting ready to mail our annual report to our donors and funders and post it on our webpage, but I thought I’d give you a quick set of the highlights so you can see what your investment of time, service and funding has accomplished in a 12-month period. * In 2016 Family Promise served more families in active programming than any previous year. * There were 47 different families enrolled in active programming (166 individuals, and 65% of those were children). * 29 of those 47 non-duplicated families were served in more than one program. Our expanded programming allows us to be much more flexible in serving families in their unique situations. * One size service does not have to fit all, so if a family starts in Rotation, they can move to Program 515, or vice versa (pending family situation) can save money and move into Temporary housing as another optional path to permanent housing. An example of that flexibility in serving unique family situations, one family of 4 served this year started in P515, and when an opening was available, moved into Rotation.  Once they had full time employment and grew a savings, they were able to move into the FPL Temporary Housing Program.  Now that family is out on their own in permanent housing and have signed up for our Graduate Supports case management programming. FPL ran at capacity much of the year, not only in our two enrollment programs, Rotation and Program 515 (P515), but also in our Temporary Housing program.  The Graduate Supports program served an additional 92 families (354 individuals) throughout the 2016 calendar year. But wait, there’s more!  This is all indeed wonderful news for the expansion and the census numbers, but the outcomes are what is most important!  Here are a few noteworthy outcomes of this past year: * 85% of families served in 2016 were housed by 31DEC16.  (66% of those went directly into permanent housing and 19% went into the FPL Temporary Housing Program) * 86% of families who graduated into housing remain housed after our 2 year tracking period. * FPL can now serve up to 17 families at one time, more than tripling our capacity to serve local families in a situation of homelessness.  We can enroll 4 families in Rotation, 7 families in P515 and 5 families in Temporary Housing.  Any family served (whether or not they graduated into housing) is eligible for FPL Graduate Supports Services and continued case management. So what’s next?  Well, we’re excited to see how that question is answered in 2017! * Certainly we will continue to increase and improve our collaborations with other agencies and with local landlords to help families become housed quickly. * We are hoping to increase our Temporary Housing Program by 3-4 additional units in 2017. * We can expand P515 with funding for an additional Full Time Case Manager. We have positioned FPL to expand as the need arises with your support and investment. Unfortunately the need continues, we received 419 calls from different families trying to get into our programs in 2016. We are grateful to our many volunteers and partners for their role in serving and investing in families in Lawrence. You each played a role in these outcomes.  The model of FPL works because of the community investment and commitments.   Thank you so very much.  What a year! “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of...

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Moving Parts

Each family has their own unique way of doing things, they each have special dynamics, requirements, culture and moving parts.  This can be a bit overwhelming sometimes when you work with many families at a time and each of them has different moving parts.  This week is a perfect illustration of the moving parts going on within those families in active programming at FPL this last week of 2016! 1.  Two families are moving out of rotation and into their own apartments!  Congratulations to Grandma, son, mom and 1 year old daughter who are moving tomorrow and to single Mom and her 3 daughters who are moving on the weekend.  Both of these families wanted to be in their own place before the New Year and they are doing it! 2.  One family is moving out of the Temporary Housing Program and into their own apartment this weekend. 3.  Two families are moving into the Temporary Housing Program this week. 4.  Each of these moves represent a huge effort on the part of the family that has lead up to this exciting graduation back into housing. 5.  Each of these moves involves donated furniture and basic home set up items, including bedding, towels, and dishes, cooking pots and pans and basic kitchen necessities.  Each of these moves involves a group willing to help stock the pantry for the family.  Each of these moves involves people helping with the move, or cleaning or packing. 6.  We are interviewing for the open slots in the Rotation and P515 Programs. 7  One Dad who is new to the Rotation Program got a new job today and starts on Tuesday and thus begins the journey of savings so his family can move out hopefully shortly after the new year! So we end 2016 with a very busy and very exciting week with lots of moving parts. Thank you for your participation and contribution to the many moving parts, helping families move back home!  Thank you for being a critical and active part of the solution. If you wish to help us do more in 2017, please see our website and make a year end contribution to help families move back home.  www.lawrencefamilypromise.org.  Thank...

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Keep it Simple by Becky Peters

One of the little sayings in life that I actually find to be quite helpful is “keep it simple”, this can apply to family meals, projects at work, and pretty much every outing with my toddler. I think it is also smart to keep it simple as you are making year end donations to local organizations this giving season. Keep it simple and partner with Family Promise of Lawrence an organization that is local, collaborative, effective, and efficient! Local: serving families experiencing homelessness in the Lawrence and Douglas county community Collaborative: Connecting and working with other organizations in the community Effective: 87% of those who graduate successfully remain stably housed over a two year tracking period Efficient: 96% of all donations go directly to programs that serve guests, 73% of funding comes from volunteer hours, shelter, meals, goods, and other services. Keep it simple this holiday giving season and invest in the future of amazing families with Family Promise of Lawrence!  Thank...

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Thanksgiving Reflections 2016

It feels to me as if Thanksgiving this year has come too quickly.  Perhaps this is because the weather has been so warm for the majority of the fall? No frost on the pumpkin this year.   Perhaps it is because we’ve been so busy at FPL, and busy gives the appearance of time passing quickly? Perhaps it doesn’t really matter, because here it is!  And we have much to be grateful for at FPL. * Expansion of programming this past year, means we have been able to serve so many more families than in previous years through Rotation, Program 515, Temp Housing and Graduate Supports. * The immense effort it takes for families to work this program and get back into housing.  I am often surprised and humbled by the effort, strength and tenacity of families to do this hard work and stay focused. * The generosity of donors that make the FPL programming possible. * The generosity of volunteers who give of their time to practice the lost art of true hospitality. * The giving back of participants of the program, who come back and serve FPL through hosting in the congregations, work projects, donation drives they have organized at their places of employment, serving as Call to Community Partners, participating in speaking engagements,  videos, work projects, and simply stopping by to encourage the current participants in the program.   A heart of gratitude takes conscious effort to cultivate and I think this is especially true for those of us who may not have to do without.  I am grateful for the teaching and examples that come from the guests we are honored to serve.  Frequently they express recognition of gratitude for things many of us would find extremely difficult.  Gratitude for: * A safe place to sleep for their family – on cots, in congregations of faith. * Home cooked meals – One guest called them “meals cooked with love”. * The kind support of strangers. * Thanksgiving dinner cooked once again in their own home.   Please join me in cultivating a heart of gratitude.  Our own hearts will grow.  Kindness will overflow.  Lives will be changed.   Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families.   “Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.”  Romans 12:9-13...

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Differences – by Becky Peters, Director of Development

There is a lot of talk about all the differences between people with the crazy election season we just completed. I get it, it is so easy to point out how we are “unalike” but the things we have in common our more impactful. I get a chance to walk alongside a number of families and volunteers at Family Promise and see so many similarities. Mom’s and dad’s juggling work and childcare, just like me. Brother and sister’s fight, just like my kids. Parents, who are trying to do the best for their families, just like my husband and I do. At the end of the day we look a lot a like, but at the end of the day I tuck my kids into their beds…. these amazing families at Family Promise don’t have their own space to retreat to at the end of the day…yet. This key difference doesn’t make a change in the way I view, speak to, or interact with these families. It does however demand my attention. This is a difference that is completely unacceptable for me. No family should be without a home. You know that, I know that, everyone knows that! Thankfully at Family Promise we do more than get outraged and shocked by this difference, we allow people to move into action with their time, gifts, and money. These resources couple with the hard work of dedicated parents and destroy this difference. In a climate consumed with differences and division, let’s make an effort to impact a situation that we can all agree is not ok! Volunteer with Family Promise, make a donation, become a community partner. Counteract a culture of hatred with loving hearts, hands, and minds committed to ending the problem of family homelessness. In a nation with so much this is a difference we can’t allow to...

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Hope! We have lots of HOPE!

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...

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For Whom the Dreams of Childhood Sound by Ashley Sandefur, former Board Member of LFP

For whom the dreams of childhood sound For some it brings hurt For some it stirs longing In the span of a life lived here on earth Childhood looms as a Fertile ground planted with imagination And vibrant with life, smells, and freedom OR it is a dark burial ground for a piece of us never found or left behind So we are left not whole Not yet… As we grow, just as a tree, the bark heals where the limb was cut off, but still its absence remains. What were those dreams we dreamt Under the shade tree? The grand plans that drew our breath there Does the courage remain That we had back then? Our tiny bodies strong with adventure and lithe with possibility Do we still dream those dreams of childhood Or have they been pushed aside Choices we make, things we pursue How do we become More like that...

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What’s going on?

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,  Catholic Charities, the VA, Salvation Army, USD 497, Success by 6, Tiny K, Lawrence Community Shelter, Willow Domestic Violence Center, Bert Nash and many other local health providers and other agencies. But getting people housed, though an awesome goal, is not a sufficient outcome for us to achieve.  Keeping people housed – is a measure we prefer to track.  That is why last year, we also launched a new program called Graduate Supports through Relationships.  In this program, participants from any of our active programs (Rotation, Program 515, or Temporary Housing) are eligible for at least 1 year continued case management support, formal classes, activities and some benevolence supports for continued education, transportation, job supports, budgeting, New Beginnings financial literacy course materials and counseling funding.   Currently, 87% of all of Family Promise graduates are still in their own permanent, sustainable housing after a 2 year tracking period. We have more than 45 families participating in some aspect of our Graduate Supports programs. So yes, we’ve been busy! And much of this effort is due to you – the tremendous network of Family Promise of Lawrence!  It is through the donated labor, service, hospitality and supportive friendships that you offer each of the program families that make this model work so effectively.  More than 1000 volunteers each year, contribute to over $500,000 equivalence in-kind donated volunteer hours.  It is in the rebuilding of healthy relationships and supports that make the FPL model so effective.  It is through your financial generosity that we are able to expand our services.  It is through your prayer support we are able to sustain our efforts.  And so THANK YOU! Thank you for your donations, your service, your time, your prayers.  Thank you for being a part of the FPL network and mission. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting...

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Journal Reflections of a Former Teen Guest of FPL

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 to get some shut eye. February 17, 2013 So today my dad told me were are getting ready to get our own place.  I’m going to miss this program.  All the people that have helped us and have helped better me as a person.  I know at first I wasn’t really down to open up to these people and ask for help, but know that I did that and I actually had help. Note: The author, Isiah Linnear Jr. is graduating from High School tomorrow.  Portions of this journal were turned in as a paper for an English writing assignment last year.  We are honored to have been a small part of Isiah’s story and that he allowed us an opportunity to post some of his reflections.  Isiah continues to volunteer through FPL.  He took the lead in design and setting up a teen room in our Day Center and he is frequently found hanging out at the Day Center between school and work, encouraging kids and families who are enrolled in the program.   It is relationships that make Family Promise work.  We are grateful to Isiah Jr and his entire family for their ongoing service, care for families in the program and their friendship.  Congratulations on all your hard work and graduating...

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