Building community, strengthening lives.
August 2019 Update
Home Sweet Home - 2 More Families Moving Into Housing

Great News! This weekend, August 1st, these 2 wonderful families will be moving into their new homes! I was fortunate enough today, through grants made possible by Gulf Coast Community Foundation & HUMI (Help Us Move In), to be able to write checks to the amazing landlords working with us to help the families with move-in costs. It is so great to partner with local landlords who are willing to give our families a chance!

Attainable housing for working families that they can afford is difficult to find. But just as difficult is coming up with the funds to move in. When your income only allows you to live paycheck to paycheck, many families struggle to come up with those move-in costs. By having these grant funds available, FPSSC can ensure that the families are able to keep the emergency fund of money they have saved up while in shelter for any rainy days ahead.

Both families will be in contact with us at least monthly during our 1-2 year after shelter program, Keeping The Promise, where we can continue to be supportive and help ensure their success!
I was fortunate enough to meet John Yunker with 1 Stop Car & Truck Repair at the Sertoma Club of Venice meeting on Thursday and what an amazing gentleman! He heard about the plight of one of our single moms of a 1 year old boy and reached out to me to help. She had not only an unreliable but dangerous car. Today, I got to introduce Libby to John and she got to drive away with a donated reliable and safe vehicle. Libby and I would like to say thank you yet another time to John! He has made such a difference for her and her son and we are all so appreciative of this gift! This is an example of how amazing and generous the people and businesses in our community are!
August 20, 2019 at 6:03 PM EDT
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has helped countless businesses and families on the Suncoast. One of its supporters who passed away, Helen Koss Hadden, left a $1.5 million endowment to the foundation specifically to help improve the quality of life for residents in North Port.
While that money has been used for a number of things like public safety groups and enhancing the North Port Art Center, a majority of the Hadden grants have gone to fight homelessness in the city.

Many don’t realize that the Suncoast does have a homeless problem. It’s not just panhandlers, but instead, children and families who all of a sudden find themselves without a roof over their heads.

“If they were in a sense of crisis living in a camp or out of their car, there was no place for them to go. We had facilities in northern Sarasota County, but we had nothing in South County," Jon Thaxton, the Senior Vice President of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, explained.

That’s where one program – the Family Promise of South Sarasota County - benefited from these Hadden grants, providing an emergency location as the first step towards helping these families.

This non-profit serves families with young children in North Port, Venice and Englewood who are struggling to make ends meet. They provide services like meals and housing, and helps families transition into a self-sufficient lifestyle. It also works at diversion and prevention to help keep these families in their homes.

“They find ways to get by and get through it, but they just need a little help," Jennifer Fagenbaum, the Executive Director of Family Promise of South Sarasota County, expressed.

A surprising statistic – about 70% of the homeless families that Family Promise has served, have been from North Port, which some say is the most affordable city in Sarasota County.

“I assumed that Ms. Hadden is looking over my shoulder and she is giving her seal of approval on those grants that truly do improve the life of North Port citizens," Thaxton said.

Copyright 2019 WWSB. All rights reserved.
Current Needs
The Day Center and our families are currently in need of:
  • Vacuum for the Day Center (for rug for babies to play on)
  • Bottled water
  • Laundry supplies (detergent and fabric softener)
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • General cleaning supplies
  • Antibacterial pump hand soap
  • Kleenex

Thank you so much to everyone who has made donations of goods from our needs list. It is much appreciated and necessary for our clients! We could not do what we do without all of the support from our community!
58 families served: 104 children and 168 people total

Access Point - 15 families: 28 children and 41 people total
Emergency Shelter - 23 families: 36 children and 65 people total
Bridge Housing - 14 families: 21 children and 37 people total
Open Door - 6 families: 19 children and 25 people total
Dates to Remember
Volunteer Training: 9-10 -2019 at the Day Center, 4-5:30 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 to Allisa at to ensure adequate space is available.  

Coordinator Meeting:  9-10-2019 at Christ United Methodist Church, 5:30-6:30 PM - This meeting is for Coordinators at the Host and Support Churches. 
From the Director
The impact of homelessness on children is devastating when no one intervenes. Children living in poverty, including those experiencing homelessness, are 5 times more likely to carry high ACE scores (Adverse Childhood Experiences), increasing their risk of developmental challenges and poor health and functioning.  

If you are already a donor and/or volunteer, you are a HERO for many of these children who would have a completely different life without the support you have offered! If you are not already a donor and/or volunteer, please consider supporting FPSSC and become someones HERO!

Thank you for all you do and bless you all!
Jennifer Fagenbaum, Executive Director
941-497-9881 ext. 106
Special Thanks for funding support in 2019 for our programs to:
Annette J. Hagens Foundation
Christ United Methodist Church
Community Foundation of Sarasota
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
Epiphany Cathedral CCW
Evalyn Sadlier Jones Foundation
First Baptist Church
First Christian Church
Grace United Methodist Men's Club
Jerome & Mildred Paddock Foundation
Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Club
Kates Foundation
Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary
Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary
Libertore Fund For Children, Inc
Plantation Community Foundation
Project Give
Publix Super Markets, Inc
Quinn Charitable Foundation
Royal Venice, Inc.
St. David's Episcopal Church
Sarasota County
Sarasota County Sheriff, Tom Knight
Stephen & Janine Marrone Foundation
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Trinity United Methodist Church
United Way of South Sarasota County
Venice Community Orchestra
Venice Golf & Country Club
Venice/Nokomis Rotary Club
Venice Presbyterian Church
Women's Fellowship VUCC
Women's Sertoma Club of Venice
If you would like to become part of the family, please visit our website to send us your information and we will be in touch about volunteer opportunities.
Please click here to visit our website and make a donation to support our mission and become part of our family.
Our programs supported in full or in part by:
Sponsored by the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families and the Suncoast Partnership.
Family Promise of South Sarasota County