What is Family Promise of Greater Orlando?
Family Promise of Greater Orlando (FPGO) is a nonprofit, interfaith hospitality network providing temporary assistance, hospitality, and case management for families with children experiencing homelessness. Family Promise provides these services through the participation of local congregations, dedicated staff, and hundreds of volunteers.
Leaders in Central Florida have adopted a promising new strategy to address homelessness in our community. Housing First is a homeless assistance model centered around placing homeless individuals and families in permanent housing, quickly and without preconditions, and connecting them to services they need to maintain stability and live as independently as possible. The underlying principle is that homelessness is physically and psychologically stressful, and homeless persons can more effectively address issues such as mental illness and employment barriers once they are stably housed. Rapid Rehousing is an application of the Housing First model. It is a strategy to help homeless individuals and families regain housing stability by helping them secure permanent housing as quickly as possible. Rapid Rehousing assistance is temporary, is offered at the minimum level necessary to help a client achieve stable housing and is targeted toward the issues that directly affect a client’s ability to maintain stable housing.
A special interview with our client, Genesis, and her path to independent living.
Can you tell us your background?
Growing up I didn’t really get along with my mom. Our relationship wasn’t great and I did not get much guidance. My mom kicked me out at 18 years old and I lived with roommates. I found myself being taken advantage of with whomever I was living. I was working a minimum wage job, babysitting kids who aren’t mine, buying food for everyone to eat and cleaning up after people. It never worked out. I finally realized I was better off doing it on my own.
Yellow Brick Road Society
The Yellow Brick Road Society is a group of individuals who make a five-year pledge of $1,000 or more annually to provide Family Promise of Greater Orlando with sustainable, non-designated funding. Being able to count on this pledged income allows Family Promise to plan for the future and take our place in making the crisis of homelessness a rare and brief occurrence for families in our community. There are currently 22 members of Yellow Brick Road Society, our goal is to build to 100 members by 2020. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Executive Director, Tia Aery.
Meet Yellow Brick Road Society Member: Robert Irvine
Robert is the President of Irvine Mechanical. He is married to Annette and lives in College Park. Their children are Megan and Matthew.
How did you find out about Family Promise?
I was invited by Steve Pickert to sit at his table at your No Place Like Home Breakfast. I told him I had an international flight to catch but he promised me it would only be an hour and he thought the mission would be something of interest to me.
Former FP client, Lisa Reyes, gave a heartwarming speech to the crowd of over 300 people describing her journey from brokenness to wholeness and how Family Promise played a significant role in her life. She spoke about the new home given to her from Family Promise and how proud she is to live in a place of her own again. “I’ve been telling everyone,” Lisa said, “This is my mansion! This is all I need for my future.”
Please welcome the following people to our Board of Trustees: Kathy Burt, Terry Marks & Matthew Stover.
Kathy Burt – Kathy has been a long-time volunteer and fundraiser for Family Promise. Most recently, she hosted a fundraiser in her own home raising over $12,000 for the agency. “Our family has been involved with Family Promise for over four years because we wanted to get our whole family involved in the community service. Thanks to the suggestion of our friend Melinda Lis, we started hosting ice cream sundae parties and playing games with families that would stay at St. Lukes Methodist church.
Please help us in welcoming Mallory Diaz to the team! She has been with us now for nearly a month.
Where did you work previously?
I was previously with The Office of the State Attorney, 9th Judicial Circuit as a Victim Advocate in the Special Victims Unit. The 9th circuit is Orange and Osceola, Jeff Ashton was my boss. I worked child abuse and sex crime cases.