Greetings from new FFH President and Founder

Annette and Rich_cropped

Three years ago this month Faith Family Hospitality (FFH) had been underway for six months, and as a founding member I wrote a Soapbox about us for the Coloradoan. At that time the original nine host faith communities had hosted an initial 13 families, with seven support faith communities helping.

Fast forward to the FFH Annual Meeting last month when we reported that 72 families have been hosted by 14 faith communities, with the support of 13 faith communities. Thirty-nine percent of these families subsequently found permanent housing. That much comparative change is a sign of our progress.

Moreover, since those early days FFH has gone from strength-to-strength in other ways, including the establishment of a Day Center at the Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship across from Library Park. As FFH subsequently installed showers, laundry facilities and created a wait list for families, our capacity to help meet needs has grown.

Financially, as reported at the Annual Meeting, we began the fiscal year on July 1 with a projected budget of $89,500. This support enabled us to hire an Interim Executive Director, Annette Zacharias, who will lead us toward finding a half-time Executive Director by November. Gailmarie Kimmel helped meet our administrative needs for the first half of the year. Annette, whose distinguished service locally as head of several nonprofits, is also in a unique position to counsel the Board to help us move to the next level. We are blessed to have her expertise at our disposal.

Finally, no retrospective of FFH would be complete without recognition and deep appreciation for the essential contributions of the two Sues — both of whom have been with the organization from the beginning. Sue Peterson, our Progam Director, continues to do what she has always done to manage the entry of families into the host communities. Sue facilitates that hospitality with the coordinators and other volunteers and meets regularly with the families to set and accomplish goals toward self-sufficiency. She came at just the right time to brings her 25 years of social work experience to FFH.

Sue Ferguson served as President of the Board since the inception of FFH until her term expired last month . Many thanks to her for her faithful service indeed! She leaves me, as your President for the next year, with a rich legacy.

Gratefully,

Rich Thompson