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A Wonderful Thank You Letter

Lalama/Foster Family

     We are a family of three Jen (40) Mat (49) Kara (13) plus our dog Xena (6) and Turbo (4) our guinea pig. All was going ok with us until Hurricane Irma welcomed us to Florida. We had only been here for a while when Irma struck. Irma left a mark on us as she did on many other people’s lives. We found ourselves financially strapped with no vehicle or place to stay with our travel trailer. We were trying to figure out where to go. We could no longer afford to stay in a hotel we had no where to go. I made frantic phone calls to different agencies leaving messages. I then was sent info for Family Promise and with some help finding placement for our dog and guinea pig, we entered into the Family Promise Program.

     The transition into the program was an adjustment. Getting used to the program’s routine and rules was difficult. Settling in for a week then up and moving again was hard. But we took it in strides. After the second week we were pros. I must admit though it was nice to get to stay for two weeks at some locations. All the churches and volunteers welcomed us with open arms, that really helped with the transition immensely. It is greatly appreciated that the churches and volunteers took time out of their lives to provide food and shelter for us. They tried their best to accommodate Mathew’s lactose intolerance and any other food allergy/issues. I even got to cook dinner once at one of the churches. It allowed me a chance to give back a little even if it was only with the cooking. It did not go as planned, but it still turned out good in the end. The volunteers loved it.

     The housing search was another hurdle to struggle with. Our credit was not all that good, and we had not lived that long here in Florida. Finding a place we could afford and that would take pets was a difficult task. We had many phone calls, interviews, appointments to view places all with the same outcome. I was getting discouraged we were not going to find a place. Then Allisa told us she found us a place and she was all excited. My first question was is our dog allowed and she said yes. I still was not believing it was happening. We met Mr. Taylor, the landlord, and saw the place and we all loved it, even after he said it was ours, I still was not sure, I did not believe it; it was all happening so fast.

     We have lived in our house for 10 months now and love every minute of it. Kara has settled in and is doing well in school and the Young Marines Program. I have since received full-time status at work and Mathew is doing well at work too.

Thank you Mr. Taylor for renting to us and excepting our dog Xena. Thank You Family Promise for giving us a place in your program to help us get us back on our feet. Thank you to all the churches and volunteers we could not have made it without any of you.

Allisa, thank you so much for everything.

       The Lalama/Foster Family 


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Always Family

Merkes Family

Victoria and I entered the Family Promise family in December of 2018.  The day I met with Allisa, I would have never thought I would ever consider them family.

      I suffered a nervous breakdown and lost everything.  I ended up in the Catholic Charities shelter, never experiencing [homelessness] before my experience was horrifying.  When I found Family Promise, I was reluctant to have a open mind, but I am glad I did.  This became a safe haven for Victoria and me to rebuild our hearts and souls and faith in humanity.  Along the way, we met amazing people who truly cared for us and wanted the best for us.  Some we will never forget, we always had a safe place to go.

      As a mother, I felt like I failed, but with Family Promise’s help, I was able to give my daughter hope, strength, and a safe place to sleep with no worries.  During our stay, I was able to get on the right medication for my mental health, go back to work full time and save to start our life again.

      In April of 2019, Victoria and I got the keys to our new home.  As happy as we were, some sadness was with us as we were leaving Family Promise, the place we grew to love.  Only being gone a couple of months, we have found out that we are still apart of this family.  And today, I’m proud to say I had this experience, I regained faith in so much and couldn’t be happier.  Allisa and Family Promise made our lives better.


Victoria and Tonia