Happy 2021. We were all eager to leave 2020 behind, though there were certainly some redeeming aspects of last year. In reviewing 2020 data at FPL; the year did push a shift of focus in services that is proving beneficial. We had the right programs in place. That was good.
Our required response to the pandemic last year moved a few of those programs to a primary featured service offering. The highest numbers of families served last year were in our Prevention of Homelessness, Diversion from Shelter and Stabilization Programs. We anticipate that trend to continue in the future. There is always limited shelter space, and the Prevention and Diversion Programs allow our bedspace for shelter to be reserved for those families who have very limited options.
In 2020, we ran our Shelter Rotation model in congregations for the first 11 weeks. We continued to offer shelter throughout 2020 by Sheltering In Place (SIP). We converted some of our Temporary Housing units to SIP. In 2020, FPL was able to shelter to 29 families, 97 people, and 62 of them were children. The average duration of stay in shelter in 2020 was 55 days.
In addition to Shelter, FPL served families in a variety of other active programs:
Prevention: Served 259 families, 854 people and 498 of them were children. Average duration active in this program was 54 days
Diversion from Shelter: Served 51 families, 168 people and 110 of them were children. Average duration active in this program was 50 days
P515: Served 37 families, 127 people and 84 of them were children. Average duration active in this program was 54 days
Temporary Housing: Served 14 families, 45 people and 28 of them were children. Average duration of stay in this program was 177 days
Stabilization: Served 69 families, 243 people and 157 of them were children. Average duration active in this program was 155 days.
20% of the families we served participated in more than one of the program offerings in our spectrum of services. In total in 2020, FPL served 395 unique, non-duplicated families, 1327 people and 804 of them were children.
Our community made this happen. Your service was extraordinary! You provided and prepared nearly 16,000 meals, your care and hospitality which you freely offered in new ways was inspiring. You checked in with program families, you served as C2C partners, helped parents process forms, offered help in securing utility and rental supports, served as couriers, ran errands, helped with administration tasks, did several different work projects at the Day Center and Temporary Housing units, and helped families move into housing. All the volunteer hours as well as your generous donations and prayers made this possible. FPL is truly a community response. This year our community stepped up in many new ways to meet the enormous need. What a marvelous community we all live in!
2020 proved so clearly to us all that housing is a critical component of healthcare. In 2021 – let’s all keep our focus on housing. Shelter, of course, is needed and will remain critically important to the FPL mission, but with the outcome focus always to move quickly into permanent, sustainable housing. So let’s roll up our sleeves, we’ve got lots of work to do together in 2021!