The Family Empowerment Program is a multi-year program between JFS, the United Way of Greater Kansas City, and the Shawnee Mission School District. The goal of this partnership is to prevent homelessness and school disruptions. With a stable home, families thrive, and students succeed academically.
JFS provides community-based social work and advocacy to 30-35 families who are facing housing instability. We work to connect the families we serve with resources to maintain housing, stabilize children in school, and assist families in meeting their personal financial goals.
As we succeed in supporting family stability, we prevent school attendance disruptions which can occur when families move from place to place or have to access housing outside of district boundaries. The Family Empowerment Program also works closely with Shawnee Mission School District’s Project Home, a collaborative effort of service providers and faith communities. It works to help families prevent financial insecurity. Project Home consists of Vineyard Church, Johnson County Mental Health, Catholic Charities, El Centro, Johnson County MultiService Center, Workforce Partnership, Redeemer Presbyterian, New City Church, and Evergy.
“Johnson County benefits and thrives when families are able to live in the same community in which they work and attend school. By providing connections to supportive resources and advocating for living wages and affordable housing, we hope to address the major barriers families are experiencing when obtaining permanent housing within the Shawnee Mission School District.” – Laura Stadler Tobaben, Family Empowerment Coordinator