Building community, strengthening lives.
January 2019 Update
We have a new family entering our FPSSC family!
This wonderful family moved to North Port to stay with a friend after their home in Connecticut was destroyed last September. They both work and are trying very hard to get back on their feet. However, things did not work out with the friend and they found themselves with no place to go. They entered our program and we are helping them to find housing again in North Port so the beautiful little girls do not have to switch schools.

The family is so thankful for all they support and help they are getting and the girls are loving meeting all the volunteers at our host churches. We are proud to add them to our family!
To Ground Zero and Back
A story from Family Promise National
Collisa recalls exactly where she was during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11 – stuck on a New York City subway. A single mother and former teacher-turned-police officer, Collisa was heading to graduate school classes when tragedy struck. She was called to action and spent the next two weeks volunteering at Ground Zero during her time off.
By the end of September, however, stress pushed her to resign from the force. Desperate to escape the haunting memories, she moved around the country with her young daughter, eventually returning to teaching. After the birth of her second daughter, the family moved to Georgia to be with Collisa’s partner, and life settled down…until her partner abruptly turned them out of his home.
Collisa was about to start a new job, but the family had nowhere to go. She secured a loan to pay for a hotel room– a temporary solution –and soon found the Family Promise Affiliate in Athens, Georgia.
Family Promise became the support system Collisa needed, providing emergency shelter and helping her navigate her next steps. Once back on her feet, Collisa was asked to serve as the Affiliate’s interim Service Director, eventually accepting an offer to join the Affiliate full time.
“Families’ faces light up with they hear my story,” says Collisa. “It gives them hope.” She says her experience stemming from 9/11 gives her a unique perspective. “When you’re dealing with trauma, there are no rules. That’s how it was during 9/11, and that’s how it feels to be homeless. But people don’t think that way if they’ve never experienced a crisis like that,” Collisa explains.
Collisa also helps train Family Promise volunteers. Educated and employed when she lost her home, she feels her story changes people’s assumptions of homelessness.
“I’ve been there. I know you can’t assume anything. I know how families in this situation think and feel,” she says, adding,“That’s what’s so great about Family Promise: we give families more than shelter, we help them focus on healing and moving forward.”
Current Needs
The Day Center and our families are currently in need of:
  • shampoo and conditioner, large bottles please
  • cold medicines, child and adult
  • feminine hygiene products
  • deodorant, men and women
  • toilet paper and paper towels
  • laundry soap and fabric softener
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: 2 -12-2019 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 if you will be attending to Allisa at to ensure adequate space is available.  

Venice Yacht Club Charitable Foundation - Ride for a Better Community: 2-24-2019, ride starts at 8:30. Registration includes finish line Pancake Breakfast at VYC. For more information contact Dave Slaman (Race Director) at FPSSC Executive Director Jennifer Fagenbaum will be one of the ride leaders and if you would like to sponsor her, please email her at
From the Director
I want to thank everyone who is part of the FPSSC family! We had such an amazing year in 2018! So many wonderful families joined our family and found the help and support they needed! So many fabulous donors supported our mission to end homelessness for the families we serve! And so many stellar volunteers gave their time, talents and treasures to make this program truly great! What a wonderful community we live in and I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings!

Thank you and bless you all!
Jennifer Fagenbaum, Executive Director
941-497-9881 ext. 106
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:
Family Promise of South Sarasota County