Family Promise of South Sarasota County Inc
720 Shamrock Blvd
VENICE FL 34293-7086
Family Promise of South Sarasota County (FPSSC) is a faith based non-profit organization which enables the community to work together to address the needs of homeless children and families by providing temporary shelter, meals and comprehensive services to help them achieve lasting self-sufficiency.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Jennifer Fagenbaum
Board Chair Ms. Elsa Dempsey
Board Chair Affiliation Acxiom Corporation
General Info
Organization DBA
Family Promise of South Sarasota, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2014
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
Since inception in 2015 we have served 37 families with 76 children by December 2017 with an 81% success rate in re-establishing stable housing.  We have 1200 volunteers that span our 13 host congregations and 7 support congregations that house and feed the families in our program while our staff provides master case management.  We also have upgraded our Day Center backyard to provide a pleasant outdoor recreation area for families.   We have also expanded our services to include rent assistance when other agencies are unable to support them so that those delays won't impact a family's ability to move into their own housing once it is identified.  Currently we are focused on establishing ourselves as an Access Point for Sarasota County which is a separate program for homeless referrals that replaces the 211 system and structuring and expanding our new Emergency Shelter program for homeless families to have a short hotel stay while they find services to address their needs.   
Needs Statement

  1. $15,000 for Day Center Support Services for Keeping The Promise - Post Shelter Care program.
  2. $20,000 for capital improvements to Day Center such as air conditioning system and reroofing.
  3. Additional Host Sites - either congregations or community facilities with classrooms or meeting rooms that can be used for overnight hosting.
  4. Volunteers for Day Center office tasks, hosting support for evening dinner and overnight shifts, and board committee work such as development and congregation relations. 
  5. Additional board members in South Sarasota County with a passion for assisting our neighbor families and their children through their loss of housing.


Background Statement

Family Promise of South Sarasota County, FPSSC ( is a nonprofit organization which provides shelter, meals, and comprehensive case management for homeless families with children in Venice, Englewood, North Port, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey, Florida. However, the FPSSC goal is not simply to provide short-term meals and shelter for families, but to determine those factors which precipitated the family homelessness and to help families move to or return to self-sufficiency, via assistance with procurement of various services, including but not limited to employment, education/vocational training, medical care, and, ultimately, independent housing.


FPSSC is a volunteer-driven organization that unites communities of faith in a collaborative effort to assist homeless families. While in agency care, families are sheltered in participating congregations, with each “host” congregation providing shelter for one to two weeks at a time up to five times per year.   Congregations turn their Sunday School rooms and educational rooms into bedrooms for the families, and the families move to a new congregation “home” each week.   FPSSC can shelter up to five families, comprised of a total of up to 14 persons, per night.  All families reside in the same host congregation during a given week. During their host weeks, congregational volunteers serve as staff for the program and provide meals, personal care items, and shelter for the “guest families.”   In the morning, children go to school or day care, and adult guests go to work or apply for employment and necessary services. If the adults are not yet working, they utilize the FPSSC Day Center during the day as they take steps to obtain services and employment. 

The Family Services Coordinator works extensively with the adults in each family to develop a case plan which includes linking the families with financial services, employment possibilities (all able bodied adults are required to obtain employment as a condition of being provided shelter), education and job skills training, health care, day care and/or educational services for the children, and ultimately housing. Families continue to receive  case management after “graduation” to ensure that the problems which influenced their becoming homeless do not recur.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Osprey, Nokomis, Laurel, Venice, Englewood, and North Port, FL
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Housing, Shelter
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Think about being homeless. Now think about being homeless with children.

 These are not happy thoughts. There are many families right here in our community who are faced with this bleak prospect, this uncertain and, frankly scary, future. These families want a stable living situation, but through a sudden job loss, medical issue, or other tragedy, they find themselves unable to pay the rent. Without housing and without options, they desperately need to find a solution.

 Family Promise, a national organization with 202 established local affiliates, is called to work within the faith-based community to help children and their families recover from a loss of housing. Enthusiastic volunteers established Family Promise of South Sarasota County to address our local problem.

 Family Promise of South Sarasota County is leading close to 20 congregations locally in a program that provides a cost-effective way to move families from homelessness to independence. Our local Family Promise affiliate opened in October of 2015 and is now providing stability, independence and hope for homeless families with children.

 During the two years of planning before we opened, we continually said that the only way that this program would succeed would be if we had grass roots support from our community. That has certainly proven to be true as we have hundreds of volunteers working with us to provide home-cooked meals, fellowship, and temporary shelter at the congregations. It does not stop there though. These same volunteers are continually stopping by our Day Center with an extra pair of tennis shoes for a kindergartner or steel-toed boots for a parent with a new job. There has been no limit to the support our families have received. 

 Think about what a smart, sensible, simple and workable program this is to meet a critical need in our community. This is good, old-fashioned neighbor helping neighbor—the way it’s supposed to be.

 Elsa Dempsey


Family Promise of South Sarasota County

President, Board of Trustees

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

Family Promise of South Sarasota provides shelter and supportive services to children and their families who have found themselves temporarily homeless. Families are able to remain intact while going through the transition to become self-sufficient again. Families remaining together while they go through a crisis is so important and we address that need. They are offered a “home-like” environment to come to while they are receiving financial management training and case management to address their individual needs.

We partner with 20 local interfaith congregations who offer our families a place to sleep, nutritious meals, fellowship and support by hundreds of compassionate volunteers.  Volunteers are cooking meals, helping children with homework, planning activities for the youngest children, offering support to parents, and most of all, welcoming them into their extended family. By partnering with these existing facilities and their volunteers, the program is able to serve families at a fraction of the cost of other shelter programs. 

This program is a community effort. A community that has come together to support our most vulnerable citizens in their time of need. We are assisting families move from sleeping in cars, motels and other unsafe places to living in their own place in approximately a 90 day period.

Jennifer Fagenbaum, Affiliate Director 

This program provides shelter to homeless families for up to 3 months in existing facilities provided by hosting congregations.  We can shelter up to three families comprised of a total of up to 14 persons per night.  During their host weeks volunteers also provide meals and personal care items.  During the day guests receive case management support at the Day Center for re-establishing housing and employment, if needed.

Budget $166,000
Category Housing, General/Other Homeless Shelter
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Homeless
Short Term Success This Temporary Shelter program offers families immediate housing and safety as well as  time and resources to get back on their feet and to re-establish independent living after experiencing homelessness.  One of the most important goals for  FPSSC is to keep families intact while becoming self-sufficient again.
Long Term Success

The Family Services Coordinator works with families to identify their specific needs that will help them move towards permanent housing. The FSC works with the families as they obtain employment if they are not working, obtain child care services to help pay for costs, create a working budget that will guide them towards their independence, and refers them to local agencies to obtain the necessary services needed to move back into permanent and stable housing.  75% of families that enter the program will move into permanent, stable housing.   The key impact will be learning the skills needed to not only re-establish but maintain independence.  There is extensive fiscal training they are required to participate in as part of the program as well as documented savings to both establish reserve funds for when they are back into their own housing as well as build habits.  We are working toward reinforcing these new skills even further with post shelter case management services for a year.

Program Success Monitoring Through case notes, the Family Services Coordinator tracks the number and percent of families who re-establish stable housing for a one year period and the number and percent of unemployed adults at entry were employed at exit.  Weekly host surveys are used to evaluate the shelter services and an exit survey is used to evaluate the overall program.   We are currently exeeding our goal and the national average of 75% by having over 80% success rate with re-establishing the families that exit the FPSSC program.   Additionally we are tracking the numbers of families that stay in housing over the year subsequent to their program participation. Success criteria are identified as (1)safe and secure housing; (2) current rent and utility payments; (3)ongoing gainful employment of the adults within the family unit and (4) regular school/day care attendance by eligible children.    
Program Success Examples

Since we started serving families in October 2015, 81% of families served left the program for permanent housing. 100% of employable adults that were not employed when they entered the program, had employment when they left the program.  We have served 37 families since inception that included 76 children.  In addition to re-establishing housing many achieved other improvements to their situation that will help support them better in maintaining that housing.  The average stay in the program is 53 days exceeding our timeframe goal of 60-90 days. Additionally  21 families enhanced their income, 22 received subsidized child care, 7 received legal services, and all families received transportation support with 5 families receiving donated cars.  Of the families that exited to stable housing, 100% maintained for the first 3 months that have reached that point and 75% for the first year that have reached that point. 95% of participants indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied. 

Description Keeping The Promise - Post Shelter Care Support is a service package aftercare program for the Transitional Shelter Clients to offer extended support and guidance for 1 - 2 years after the family has exited the Transitional Shelter Program.  The purpose of this program is to ensure the family remains stably housed and guide them through any potential stumbling blocks.  We continue to offer master case management during this time as well as mentoring provided by trained volunteers.  Those participants wishing to pursue the goal of home ownership will be guided and assisted in reaching that goal.
Budget $32,500
Category Human Services, General/Other Case Management
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Homeless
Short Term Success Participants in this program will be helping to ensure that they remain stably housed.  It will give them the added support and resources needed so they do not have to deal with roadblocks and barriers to remaining successful by themselves.  By the end of the 1-2 year period that families will participate in this program, 85% of the families will have remained stably housed.
Long Term Success Participants who successfully complete the 1-2 year program will have worked toward building a substantial savings and if desired worked toward home ownership.  75% of participants will have 2-3 months of living expenses saved.  Of those interested in pursuing home ownership, we anticipate at least 50% will on track toward that goal.
Program Success Monitoring This program will be monitored using case management notes and forms filled out during case management as well as copies of bank statements and pay stubs during the program period.
Program Success Examples Family Promise of South Sarasota County has assisted several families in the Keeping The Promise - Post Shelter Care Support to not loose the savings they worked so hard to accumulate during our transitional shelter program.  One such family found themselves homeless again after Hurricane Irma came through Florida and her rental was flooded.  FPSSC helped her pay for a hotel room while she searched for a new rental and then we helped her with the move-in costs for that new rental so she did not use all of her savings and return to living paycheck to paycheck like she was before entering our program.  FEMA could not assist the family because the flooding of the Myakka River by her rental happened several days after the Hurricane had left the area and this family had no where else to turn.  Luckily the family was still following up with us in our aftercare program and we were happy to assist them.  Other families have been assisted with car repairs and counseling services, just to name a few, that would have eaten up their savings.  
Description Emergency Shelter is provided to homeless families at partnering hotels.  When FPSSC is full or for any other reason cannot take a family needing services, we can provide the family with a safe place to sleep while we find other services to assist them.
Budget $20,000
Category Housing, General/Other Emergency Shelter
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Homeless
Short Term Success Our goal is to not allow any families to sleep in unsafe places in South Sarasota County.  Our hope is to fund this program adequately to allow us to not let a single family from South Sarasota County have to sleep in their car or on the streets for even one night.  Of all of the families that we anticipate will call us, we believe at least 50% of those will be residents of South Sarasota County and will be able to benefit from this program.  Of those residents, we would strive to give 100% of them at least one night in a hotel until they could benefit from some of the other services in the county.
Long Term Success We believe that we will be able to provide the families needing emergency shelter with adequate referrals through our Access Point to get each of the families in to some kind of program for housing assistance.  This will likely alleviate the strain on some of the other programs and allow more time for them work with the families toward achieving a solution.  Within the first year, we anticipate that at least 75% of the homeless families in South Sarasota County will be utilizing some type of emergency shelter and going to an Access Point for longer term services.
Program Success Monitoring FPSSC will be utilizing county data on homelessness and emergency shelter to know if we are in fact reducing the number of homeless families spending time in unsafe places.
Program Success Examples This is a new program but of the 5 families we have already placed in to emergency shelter; 1 was housed in a rental and the other 4 were assisted by other programs on their way to stable housing.
Description FPSSC will be an Access Point as part of the Suncoast Partnerships Coordinated Entry Program.  Homeless clients will utilize the Access Point office to get referrals to programs and services that will assist them in ultimately finding stable housing.  FPSSC's Access Point will be housed in a separate office we have acquired and clients will be assisted there by either appointment or as walk-ins.  At this time, the Access Point will be staffed by FPSSC volunteers.
Budget $28,500
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for the Homeless
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Homeless
Short Term Success Short-Term success will be measured by the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness.
Long Term Success Long-Term success will be measured by the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness.
Program Success Monitoring Success will be monitored by the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness.
Program Success Examples This is a new program and this will likely be difficult for us to provide.
Program Comments by Organization

The Transitional Shelter Program is an effective investment in alleviating homelessness for families as it is likely the most efficient model for delivering sheltering services.   At least 2/3 of the costs of the program are provided as in-kind services by our participating congregations and volunteers by leveraging existing congregation facilities and having meals donated by the volunteers in the congregation.  It's also a model that has proven to be successful across 206 other US communities across 42 states.  While FPSSC is a new local affiliate we will benefit from all learnings over the past three decades nationally.  Another unique aspect contributing to its success is the direct involvement of so many volunteers which provides both important encouragement to the FPSSC guests as well as meaningful involvement and deeper understanding by volunteers of their plight. 

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Jennifer Fagenbaum
CEO Term Start June 2016
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience Jennifer Fagenbaum received her Bachelor degree from Purdue University in Family and Consumer Science Education and Child Development and Family Studies.  She has worked within school corporations and community colleges, working with high school students and young adults for 9 years while also supervising colleagues.  During that time, she worked to educate individuals in life skills so they could obtain an appropriate education, a satisfying and fulfilling career, and financial and consumer knowledge needed to become self-sufficient.  These experiences helped Jennifer to understand the population she is serving and have provided her the unique ability to educate her clients while providing those services.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Valerie Walton July 2015 - June 2016
Senior Staff
Mrs. Allisa O"Leary Family Services Coordinator
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 50
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 1200
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No

Family Promise collaborates currently with 13 hosting congregations and 7 support congregations for sheltering services & meals including Venice Presbyterian Church, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Christ United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, Church of the Nazarene, Englewood United Methodist Church, Venice United Church of Christ, South Venice Baptist Church, Trinity Presbyterian, Knights of Columbus  Venice  Council #7052, Unity Church of Venice and Grace United Methodist.  Support congregations that have committed to also provide volunteer support to hosting congregations include Epiphany Cathedral, Jewish Congregation of Venice, Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, Christ Lutheran, Northland Fellowship, New Abundant Life Worship Center and St. Mark's Episcopal Church.   

Additionally we collaborate regularly with the Sarasota County Continuum of Care agencies in support of homeless families to both ensure other agencies are aware of our services for referrals as well as to leverage those other complementary services that would benefit FPSSC guests. We also partner with the following agencies to provide supportive services to our families: Schoolhouse Link, Salvation Army- Venice, Manasota 211, Career Source, Legal Aid Manasota, Jewish Children and Family Services- Building Strong Families, Catholic Charities- Family Haven, St. Mark's Divine Consign (furnishings), and Venice YMCA.

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization2014
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2017
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization One of the biggest existing challenges faced by FPSSC is the lack of affordable housing for our families to move into.  With all employable adults working in the family, it is still very challenging for them to locate housing that fits within their budget.  Families are needing to remain sheltered within our program longer than they expected at times.  Through case management, families are guided towards reviewing household budgets and making smart choices on setting up their new household. While staying in the FPSSC program, families are able to start a saving account since all of their needs are covered through donations and our volunteers.  This gives the family a hand up towards being able to remain self-sufficient once they leave the program.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Elsa Dempsey
Company Affiliation Acxiom Corporation
Board Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr Tony Babbington Keller Williams Realty
Mr. Steve Boone Boone, Boone, Boone, Koda & Frook, P.A., Former Board Chair Goodwill Manasota
Ms. Barbara P. Briggs Retired
Ms. Elsa Dempsey Lityx, LLC, Former Board Chair Venice Christian School
Mr. Charles Denton Retired from Dupont and Crown Ministries
Mrs. Kathleen Englert Community volunteer
Ms. Susan C. Hanks Robinson, Hanks, Young, & Roberts, PA
Ms Beth Harrison Englewood United Methodist Church
Mr. William Mehserle Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Pastor Allan L. Mitchell South Venice Baptist Church
Mrs. Beth Piel Community volunteer
Ms. Stacy Pinkerton The Florida Center for Early Childhood
Ms. Carole Storch Retired Superintendent of Schools, Professor
Mrs. Carolyn Winfrey Community volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 5
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 73
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 25
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization

Our Board of Trustees works very closely with the Affiliate Director to tackle the needs of our Family Promise affiliate.  One of the most important needs of any Family Promise affiliate is the development of the network of congregations and volunteers that support the mission and allow us to work within our community to help families in crisis return to housing.  Our entire board works diligently to recruit, foster, and support that network of volunteers.  The partnership with volunteers results in thousands of hours of manpower that we would otherwise have to hire.  This organization is so effective because of the volunteer partnerships that we have developed.  The donated shelter and meals from the congregations allow us to get families back into their own housing as soon as possible. 


Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2018
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $250,572.00
Projected Expenses $250,622.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$133,391$63,240$0
Administration Expense$13,870$5,234$2,783
Fundraising Expense$2,644$1,391$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.923.579.40
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%91%0%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%1%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$399,034$411,322$28,891
Current Assets$161,514$179,185$27,391
Long-Term Liabilities$200,000$200,000$0
Current Liabilities$3,029$3,082$0
Total Net Assets$196,005$208,240$28,891
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $137,633Contributions, gifts, grants $243,214Contributions, gifts, grants $26,154
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $38Government Grants - Unspecified $6,000Investment Income $20
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $00 $00 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities53.3258.14--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets50%49%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization We are committed to always having six months of operational expense funded as a minimum which we have currently exceeded as well as holding ten percent of budget for capital reserve since we own a building that must be maintained.  Expenses for FY15 are not representative because of the partial year in operation at our inception.  We are committed to continuing to grow our grassroots support and maintain diverse funding sources in order to protect our long term viability.  We will focus on strengthening our relationships with current donors and expanding sources, especially with the local business community. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal 990-EZ and audited compilations.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support. 
Nonprofit Family Promise of South Sarasota County Inc
Address 720 Shamrock Blvd
VENICE, FL 34293 7086
Phone 941 497-9881