ENDING CHILDHOOD HOMELESSNESS,
If you're reading this, welcome to the blog! If you're new to us, we're a non-profit that started three years ago to put an end to childhood homelessness in the Great Falls, Montana area. One is too many, and some counts estimate over 200 homeless children. You can learn more about you can help solve that problem, but let's kick things off with an update from our retiring executive director, Sharon Odden. She wrote some words for our quarterly newsletter in March 2018 and she can sum up things up better than I can.
Change! Change is good, right? Right! And Family Promise of Great Falls has seen lots of changes lately.
Maybe you’ve seen our new tagline— “ending childhood homelessness… one family at a time.”
What you might not have seen is that I let the board know in October 2017 that I would be retiring by the end of September 2018. That decision did not come easily, but I think that it is a good time to pass the torch. The organization is in a much better spot financially than it was three years ago. We can now work on building reserves to ensure that Family Promise of Great Falls can be here into perpetuity.
We have proven that there is a need for our services in the community. Our program has been successful. We have one of the shortest lengths of stay in the nation. We just helped our 62nd family get into their permanent home! We truly make a difference in the lives of our guests. We have over 800 superb volunteers. It is a good time to retire.
Till next time – Shalom, my friends!
Sharon has been a fantastic leader, and we're sorry to see her go. Her leadership powered our organization through the first three years of operation. She wrote grants, engaged donors, recruited close to 30 churches in town, made friends with our guests, gathered a rockstar board of directors, and generally exemplified who we want to be as an organization.
She's working in tandem with our incoming director, and she officially retires on June 30th. By a remarkable coincidence, we're having a party over at Centene Stadium that night
Starting next week, you're going to start seeing updates from our incoming executive director, Donald Lott Jr.! You can just call him DJ. He started on May 1st, and he brings a wealth of experience in the non-profit world. He's served as the director of the Indian Health Clinic in Great Falls, the president of the National Council of Indian Health Services, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale.
He's done fantastic things in his time, and we're blown away to have someone with his expertise taking the helm.
We're off to a great start already. Ideas have been zipping around here like lightning bolts, and a couple of them are already making sparks of their own. Keep an eye out. This summer, DJ will be talking about some of these ideas as they start to take shape.
Family Promise has put some impressive numbers on the board, but we're not the kind to rest on our laurels. To be precise, we're the kind to brag about those laurels and then build on them with new successes. We're serious about wanting to put an end to childhood homelessness. One homeless child is one too many. And every child has a promise.
Stick around. We want to take you with us as we find new ways to make a mark in the Great Falls community.
- Sean McGuire