“Currie House is the only place I felt loved and safe.” Those are the words of Shiann, a former client who received a standing ovation after she shared her story during LSF’s 40th anniversary celebration in Pensacola.
Shiann was in foster care from the time she was 6 years-old until she aged out of care at 18. She describes herself as a difficult youth who at the time couldn’t process her difficult upbringing. Bouncing around from over 300 different foster placements and finally finding solace at LSF’s Currie House, Shiann bonded with Jamie LaPointe and other staff members who were part of her transformation.
“Shiann has a beautiful spirit inside her and I am so proud of the woman you see today,” Jamie LaPointe said. “She worked hard to pass her GED at the age of 15 and now is just a few credits shy of her college degree and I am going to make sure she finishes.”
Shiann and Jamie are still close and now have more of a friendship relationship that they say will last a lifetime.
Currie House, a residential home offering counseling and a safe place for youth in Escambia County is LSF’s longest standing program in the Northwest providing answered prayers to more than 10,000 teens over three decades.
“Today’s ruby celebration honored all those who have believed in our services, worked within our organization, donated to further our mission and made a difference by helping to create safe children, strong families, and vibrant communities,” Sam Sipes President and CEO of LSF said. “I can’t think of a more fitting place than Currie House to host our Northwest party.”
Other speakers at the event included, Buzz Richie a former state representative instrumental in getting LSF funding to put Currie House on the map; The Hon. Ross M. Goodman, a retired judge on the First Judicial Circuit, who knew and worked with many of the youth who came through our shelters through court-order and frequently visited them sharing guidance and direction; Retired Lieutenant Jimmy Donohoe of the Pensacola Police Department who spoke about the national legacy he left behind for the “Take Me Home” program that is used by law enforcement across the county to return missing children, which was valuable to kids who were on the run at Currie House.
We were also blessed to have Pastor Susan Nanny from St. Paul Lutheran Church with us to share a beautiful prayer about children to end the day’s celebration.
Given the age of Currie House and program grant limitations – we will be undertaking a capital campaign to bring beauty and operational integrity to the facility – Beauty is a Silent Teacher. Our capital campaign will allow us to significantly enhance the aesthetics and programing capabilities for the most vulnerable youth who come through the doors, providing the best environment for the youth to succeed. We look forward to engaging community partners and donors who attended our 40th celebration to help with our upcoming campaign! Learn more by reaching out to Jamie LaPointe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other services offered in the Northwest Region include; HOPE House youth shelter, SNAP, Sexual/Physical Abuse Treatment, Teen Court, Family Counseling, Designated Safe Place agency and Adult Advocacy Services. All programs are under the umbrella of Lutheran Services Florida.
Our next celebration will be in Fort Myers on June 28th. Click here for more details and to RSVP.
We couldn’t host six celebrations around the state without our business partners who generously sponsored our events. Thank you USI, Bouchard Insurance, SimplePay Health, NFP, OneAmerica, M.E. Wilson, Adams and Reese LLP, Brewster’s Tavern and Fruitville Grove.