Family Promise of Lawrence names new executive director

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Family Promise of Lawrence, a nonprofit that aims to serve families in housing crises, has named its new executive director.

Monique Wahba will begin working with the organization on May 20, according to a news release from FPL’s board of directors.

Wahba comes to FPL “with years of experience leading South End Improvement Corporation (SEIC) in Albany, NY,” according to the release. “SEIC is a not-for-profit organization helping maintain affordable housing, stabilizing the community and providing education and job training to community members.”

She will fill the role of Dana Ortiz, who announced in February that she plans to retire in August after 13 years with FPL. Ortiz is shepherding the organization through the addition of a family shelter at 200 Mount Hope Court, which received initial approval from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission in January and has been approved by the Lawrence City Commission.

Ortiz will support Wahba in the transition, according to the release.

Wahba said in the release that she’s honored to assume the leadership position at FPL.

“This role represents an incredible opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of families facing housing instability,” she said in the release. “I admire FPL’s holistic approach to preventing family homelessness and its responsiveness to the escalating need in our community. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to overseeing the opening of FPL’s temporary shelter for families later this year.”

Wahba received her Bachelor of Arts in the growth and structure of cities from Bryn Mawr College and her Master of Arts in urban planning from the University of Oregon, according to the release.

“Wahba’s background and track record of leading successful housing projects made her an ideal choice to head FPL,” Tiffany Lewis, FPL board member and head of the executive director search committee, said in the release.

Family Promise of Lawrence is one of more than 200 local branches of the national organization.

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