Congressman Hastings honored Ms. Diana Stanley by giving the following speech on December 11, 2009:

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Ms. Diana Stanley and to recognize her contributions in fighting homelessness in South Florida. Ms. Stanley is the Executive Director of The Lord’s Place, one of the leading homeless providers in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The Lord’s Place provides homeless families and individuals with a new beginning.
Beginning as a modest soup kitchen in 1979, The Lord’s Place has become a place of transformation for many homeless men, women, and children in Palm Beach County over the last 30 years.  In 1983, The Lord’s place expanded its services by opening its first shelter and has since opened two more shelters along with two retail stores and a retail job-training program.  In 1997, The Lord’s Place began a partnership with Cafe Joshua, another homeless restoration agency, to provide additional and improved services in the community.  In April 2000, this collaboration led to the merger of the two organizations.  The Lord’s Place is dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness by providing innovative, compassionate, and effective services to those in need in the community.

Ms. Diana Stanley joined The Lord’s Place as Executive Director in April 2007.  Under her leadership, The Lord’s Place created two campuses: a family campus in West Palm Beach, bringing together the Family Emergency Housing Program with the Family Permanent Program; and a men’s campus in Boynton Beach, joining the day program, Operation JumpStart, with the permanent men’s housing program, Joshua House.

Furthermore, Ms. Stanley enhanced the agency’s internal continuum of care with two new programs.  The Engagement Center provides the area homeless and near-homeless with a much needed point-of-entry to services in the community.  In the first year of operation, more than 14,000 men, women, and children entered through the Engagement Center doors for a hot meal, peer mentoring, access to the resource center, and case management services in a home-like atmosphere.  Additionally, the Recovery Center is an innovative new emergency housing program for single men located on the Boynton Beach property opposite Joshua House.  Its innovative programming provides housing and personalized support services designed to address the issues that led to the resident’s homelessness.

In 2008, Ms. Stanley was the driving force in creating The Lord’s Place’s Micro-Enterprise Program, comprised of Cafe Joshua Catering, Maintenance and Beyond, and The Lord’s Place’s new thrift shop and coffee bar, “One More Time.”  In 2009, the Cafe Joshua Job Training and Placement Program was born, enhancing Cafe Joshua programming. The program employs an education model that teaches the hard and soft skills necessary for successful employment.  It meets the participant where they are in their process of finding a job and teaches them employable skills in a supportive environment.

Madam Speaker, I truly appreciate all the hard work that Ms. Diana Stanley does each and every single day on behalf of the less fortunate in the West Palm Beach community.  Ms. Stanley has been an integral part in writing Palm Beach County’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.  With her assistance, the plan was recently approved by the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners.  I greatly admire her commitment and dedication to helping the homeless get back on their feet as our nation strives to end homelessness.

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