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A reflection back at 2017 – filled with gratitude

2017 was another year of precious families with heroic stories as well as generous community support of the work at Family Promise of Lawrence. Since we opened our affiliate in Lawrence, in 2008, we have learned much from the families seeking services.  We have incorporated their lessons by adjusting our case management programs, designing and implementing new programs to help meet the unique family needs of those experiencing homelessness in our community. This past year resulted in expansion and improvements built around these captured lessons.

This past year, FPL was able to serve more families than in previous years. We have enhanced our service opportunities by developing more flexible options for families. We have 2 intake programs (Rotation and P515) a Temporary Housing Program with 10 units and a Graduate Supports Program. We served 54 non-duplicated families, 175 individuals, 98 children through the active programs (Rotation, P515 and TH). 35% of the families served participated in more than one of the programs. Through all 4 programs, including Graduate Supports, we served more than 500 individuals in 2017.

The model is extremely efficient, as nearly 90% of our program expenses are shared by all 4 main program offerings. Four programs use all the same components of our most expensive program budget expenses, such as the same Day Center, van, Case Manager staff, benevolence funding, the computer labs, etc. Adding capacity for P515, Graduate Supports and Temporary Housing adds a small percentage of new expenses to our program budget and increases capacity to serve more families. We are uniquely positioned to continue to grow programming by merely adding staff, as the needs in our community continue to grow.

Our annual report is nearly ready for release, and this year, we will also have a video version of it for you to be able to use to share the story of what you all are doing in our community through your work and support of FPL. Our census numbers have been compiled for reporting into the National Family Promise office. It is with the data crunching for these year-end reports that we all can pause, and take in a deep breath and feel gratitude for our community. A community and network with huge hearts, generosity beyond belief, and a faith to move mountains.

The community impact can be seen through a few key statistics from 2017:
* Served 12566 meals
* Provided 11432 bed nights of shelter
* Doubled the number of Temporary Housing units available for families through skilled volunteer labor and donated furniture and housing supplies
* Provided donated furnishings to more than 40 households
* In kind donations and volunteer service hours valued at $768,000
* 52 Community Partners
* And most important, year after year, more than 86% of families remain housed after a 2-year tracking period

The model is local, efficient and effective. And I’m feeling grateful!

Dana Ortiz, ED