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 11 family units through the generosity of some special property owners here in Lawrence. We will be adding at least one additional unit in 2019.

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 enrolled in one of our intake programs (Rotation or P515) that has saved a certain portion of their income, is working full time, and ready to move back into housing, 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 several sponsoring organizations and three generous family sponsors.

By initiating the Temporary House Program, we have been able to triple the capacity of families we can 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.

In 2019 we also added a specialty program under the Temporary Housing Program called Bridging Home.  This program is designed to help qualified families overcome housing obstacles through leasing options and some additional funding supports along with supportive case management.

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.  Sponsored in full by a generous family
  • Grace House – In need of a financial sponsor
  • Rotary House – Partially sponsored by the Lawrence Breakfast Rotary Club
  • Barnabas House – Sponsored in full by a generous family
  • Rosalee House – Sponsored in full by Lawrence Free Methodist Church
  • Almost Home – Project 913 – Owned by Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church  Two units are sponsored by a generous family.  We are in need of sponsorships for the other 2 of the units
  • 1205 – In need of a name and a financial sponsor!
  • 1107 – a recent addition to our Bridging Home Program and in need of a name and a financial sponsor!
  • 437 – a new project initiated in spring 2019 and part of the Bridging Home Program. This particular home will be an option for the larger families served by FPL. Large families obviously have additional obstacles to overcome in finding and securing appropriate affordable housing for their large families. 437 will allow larger families additional time in program to save for successful permanent, sustainable housing.

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 sponsorships range from $3000 to $10,000 per year. This cost covers the mortgage, property taxes, and utilities, so Family Promise can offer the guest family a subsidized rent rate  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.
  • Donate a home, or allow the use of a home for the Temporary Housing or Bridging Home Programs!

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.