APRIL UPDATE 2017

 

Family Promise of South Sarasota County Stats


23 families served to date, 51 children and 83 people total, 54 day average stay

 

 

DAY CENTER UPDATES

Things are moving right along with our Backyard Project here at the Day Center.  The drainage, grading and sod are completed.  We are now watering and seeing it grow quite quickly.  The fence company was out last week to take final measurements so we are hoping for a fence very soon.  Our kids will be able to play outside and be safe.  We are now finalizing all the equipment and structures.  We are hoping for a date in June for the whole project to be complete.  I will keep you updated.  Pictured below are the grading work and then the growing sod.




 

 

DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Volunteer Training, Tuesday, 5-9-17 at the Day Center, 5-6:30 PM - This training is for anyone who wants to volunteer with their congregation doing meals, hosting and overnights.  All volunteers must go through training.  Please RSVP if you will be attending to Jennifer at jenniferfagenbaum@familypromisessc.org to ensure adequate space is available, our max is 15 people.  If you have a large group to be trained please schedule separately with Jennifer.
  • Volunteer Training, Thursday 5-25-17 at the Day Center, 5-6:30 PM - This training is for anyone who wants to volunteer with their congregation doing meals, hosting and overnights.  All volunteers must go through training.  Please RSVP if you will be attending to Jennifer at jenniferfagenbaum@familypromisessc.org to ensure adequate space is available, our max is 15 people.  If you have a large group to be trained please schedule separately with Jennifer.
  • Homeless to Home Luncheon, 5-16-2017 from 11:30-1:30 - The next 3 months will be in Venice, this is a networking and information gathering luncheon sponsored by the Steve and Janine Marrone Foundation.  Lunch is no charge to you and many concerned individuals in South County attend these luncheons to get and give information.  It is open to the public.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Ellen Domke at ellendomke1@yahoo.com.

 

 

FAMILY UPDATES

We have recently taken our 23rd family.  A couple of families were lucky to find a place relatively quickly and we were able to take more families in.  Our 23rd family is not pictured below but I will try to get a shot for the next newsletter.

The last 6 families we have taken have been single moms.  

I had to bribe this little one to look at the camera.  After the picture was taken, we proceeded to my office to let him dig through the "I have been a really good boy" box and pick out a small toy to entertain himself while mom was finishing up with Keith.  This family is now in our Post-Shelter Program and we will be seeing them each month for the next year.
This family is now doubled-up with another single mom family.  Some families would generally not be able to afford a place on their own so they find someone in a similar situation to share the costs with.  It helps both of them to be able to stabilize and rely on each other in times of crisis.  This mom will also be a part of our Post-Shelter Program for the next year.
This last family is still with us and Keith managed to get a cute picture of Ja'Leona (Hay-Lee-On-A) at the Day Center.  Mom just found a job and started last week after getting Ja'Leona into childcare the first week in the program.  This is the first time her child has gone to childcare and it was difficult for mom but she is determined to turn things around for herself and her daughter.  Ja'Leona has an adorable smile and the cutest way of saying "Hi".  It entertains me each afternoon at the Day Center.


 
DAY CENTER NEEDS

 We have many wonderful Office Angels at the Day Center.  However, we are discovering that several of them will be up north this summer.  If anyone is interested in working a 4 hour shift once a week or so, please let Jennifer know.  It can be as simple as answering the phone and entertaining the children when they are here with their parents.  If you have office experience and would like to do more, you can be trained in the programs we use for data entry and other tasks.  We are also looking for some backups for driving the Van and the Trailer.  This requires that I get a copy of your driver's license and do a background check.  The Van drivers generally take one day a week, morning and afternoon.  However, Terry Winfrey is still doing 3 days a week (and sometimes more when others are not available).  The trailer driver, Ron Burth, needs more backup for when he is out of town.  The trailer is only done on Sundays at around 11am.  It simply gets picked up (already loaded) from the previous weeks congregation and dropped off at the next congregation.  If you are interested in helping in any of these ways, please call or email Jennifer.


List of Day Center needs for our families  
  • Laundry Soap and fabric softener
  • 8 oz bottled water
  • Speedway $15 fuel only gas cards
  • Lysol spray & wipes
  • Paper towel and toilet paper
  • Frozen roasts or hamburger *follow-up care
  • Publix and Walmart gift cards *follow-up care and **support of sized items
  • Store bought Frozen meals (like lasagna or casserole) *follow-up care
  • Baby wipes
  • Nutritional snacks and juice drinks (individual size) 
*Food stamps do not cover some items so we try to provide other resources and/or expensive items so the families can save money on groceries in follow-up care
**We do not take diapers, clothes and shoes as we never know what sizes we will need and have very limited storage.  We buy those items for the families with the gift cards when we know what we need.    

 
FROM THE DIRECTOR

 
United Way's ALICE Report was recently released.  These are some facts they shared.
  • Of the approximately 178,999 households in Sarasota County, 8% are at or below the federal poverty level and 25% of the total are identified as meeting the ALICE criteria (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).  These families are one emergency or mistake from being homeless.
  • The state of Florida estimates that it takes $56,000 annually to meet basic necessities to live here.  That means someone would have to make $27/hour or a 2 earner family would each have to bring in $13.50/hour.  The median income in Florida is $49,426.  People are struggling and cannot afford the cost of living.
School House Link tracks homeless children in the Sarasota County School System.  There are between 700 and 800 children in our public schools that are classified as homeless.  That number is actually split pretty evenly between North and South County.  Every public school in Sarasota County has a population of homeless children.   The highest number is currently in Venice High School.  Remember, these are only the school age children counted.  There are likely many more that are keeping it a secret and you also have to include their siblings who are infants to Kindergarten.  These numbers are going down but any child homeless is too many.

Basically, we are doing a great job and I thank everyone who is involved with our organization, in even the smallest way, but there is more work to do and I know this caring and generous community can handle that challenge. 
 
Thank you for all you do!
Sincerely,
 
Jennifer Fagenbaum, Director

Like us on Facebook
Family Promise of South Sarasota County
941-497-9881 | jenniferfagenbaum@familypromisessc.org | http://www.familypromisessc.org