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 shadows.”  James 1:17 (niv)