Temporary Housing: A Successful Response to Overwhelming Needs

In 2013 Family Promise of Lawrence launched the Temporary Housing program in response to the overwhelming need we saw here in Douglas County.  We have the use of 10 family units through the generosity of some special private property owners here in Lawrence.

How Does the Program Work?

It is so simple!  Family Promise of Lawrence enters into a lease agreement with a property owner. The utilities are turned on in our name. A guest family that has saved a certain portion of their income, is working full time, and ready to graduate, but may have not quite saved enough for the deposit and first month’s rent, can enter into the temporary housing program. Family Promise continues to work with the family on a weekly basis. The family is able to continue to save, and to build some positive rental history. They pay a small rent and utilities fee which is subsidized by Family Promise through sponsorship.

Currently we have four sponsoring organizations and one family sponsorship:

  • Lawrence Free Methodist Church full sponsorship of one home
  • John and Rosy Elmore full sponsorship of one home
  • Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church – partial sponsorship of a 4-plex apartment building
  • The Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club partial sponsorship of one home
  • Trinity Lutheran Church partial sponsorship of one home

By initiating the Temporary House program, we have been able to more than double the capacity of families we are able to serve at any point in time.  What a blessing it is to the families to have some autonomy, and privacy and continue towards their goals and savings in a home setting.

Some Fun Facts about These Houses

Each home is furnished with donated furniture, perhaps from some of you reading this note! They are equipped with basic kitchen items, towels and sheets and blankets.  We have named each property to help tell the story of what God is doing through this program.

  • Bethany House – The former parsonage of Trinity Lutheran Church.  In need of another partial sponsor
  • Grace House – In need of a sponsor
  • Rotary House – Partially sponsored by the Lawrence Breakfast Rotary Club
  • Barnabas House – Sponsored in full by John and Rosy Elmore
  • Rosalee House – Sponsored in full by Lawrence Free Methodist Church
  • Almost Home – Project 913 – Owned by Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church and in need of partial sponsorships for each of the 4 units

How Can You Help?

Please consider sponsoring a temporary house with an organization, congregation, small group or family project by one or several of the options below:

  • Financially support a temporary house for a year. Full sponsorship ranges from $5000 to $9500 per year. This cost covers the mortgage, property taxes, and utilities, so Family Promise can offer the guest family a subsidized rent at well below market value.
  • Partial sponsorship could cover the costs of the utilities, or mortgage, or taxes in a temporary house for a year. The average annual utility bills run between $2,400 – $3,600 per year.
  • Organize a “fill-the-pantry” blessing at your congregation or with work colleagues for move-in day for a family.
  • Purchase home cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, etc., for a home before a new family moves in.
  • Participate by preparing food to welcome a new family into a temporary home – continuing to practice the lost art of hospitality!
  • Volunteer for a work day project, when improvements can be made on the properties we have leased.

If you are interested in learning more, in sponsorship of a temporary home, or helping in some way please, contact Dana at dana@lawrencefamilypromise.org.