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Learn more about what inspires our newest leader of Family Promise of Greater Orlando below.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a native Floridian and mother to one amazing daughter. I have spent my professional career in nonprofit management, much of that in the child welfare arena working on building up protective factors for families with the goal of preventing child abuse and neglect. I am passionate about strengthening families, advocating for children and the training and development of staff members.

How long have you worked in non-profits?

I have worked in the non-profit sector for 27 years now.

What interested you about working for Family Promise of Greater Orlando?

The mission of Family Promise is a huge reason that I was drawn to the work. Being a part of a family’s journey out of homelessness and into self sufficiency is a very critical and rewarding opportunity. I was also instantly impressed by the commitment and engagement of the staff and board members at Family Promise. There is a passion and heart here that I wanted to be a part of and I knew that my skillset and drive would help us reach our strategic goals.

What are your favorite hobbies?

I love to walk, hike, paddleboard and dance. Being outside fuels me and is always a welcome opportunity for me to recharge and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What is one thing you wished you had known earlier on in your career?

The critical importance of networking and collaboration with others. The work we do is so important and we can accomplish so much more together. I look forward to working alongside our many partners and supporters to reach new heights together.

Who are three people who have influenced you along the way?

My daughter has been an integral part of my outlook on the work I do. Being a single parent is a challenge, but it also helps keep you focused on the things that matter. She also has become my biggest cheerleader and source of inspiration to accomplish my goals and dreams. The life experience of parenthood is one that has significantly shaped my outlook on helping other parents.

My father has been a constant source of support and guidance as my career has developed. It has been through his influence that I am so committed to equality, justice and advocating for others.

My mother has been my sounding board and encouragement. Relationships are the heart of what we do. There is nobody more committed to maintaining relationships than my mother. I have learned from the best. She has also filled in the gaps and eased the pressure of being a working mother.

What is your vision for Family Promise's future?

My vision for Family Promise is to continue to learn and grow our capacity for helping families, moving that support system upstream whenever possible, so families never have to experience homelessness.

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April 28, 2021– Family Promise of Greater Orlando’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce that Kathie Southern will become the Executive Director for the homeless nonprofit beginning on Monday, May 3, 2021.

“Family Promise of Greater Orlando is thrilled that Kathie Southern has accepted this leadership position. The Search Committee conducted an extensive three-month search for the best candidate, and we are excited to announce Kathie’s selection. She has over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit stor and the Board feels that her expertise will take the agency to the next level,” commented Dan Smith, Board President.

Kathie worked as the Director of Education and Community Relations at Heartland for Children for the past 13 years. While in that role, she was responsible for the oversight of Child Abuse Prevention efforts for the tri-county area and many other initiatives on behalf of children and families. She provided collaborative leadership to engage partners in activities that strengthened families, which included connecting them to needed resources in an effort to provide help before harm occurred.

“I am excited for this opportunity,” said Kathie Southern. “I understand very well the importance for children to be raised in stable, loving environments so they can thrive and grow. Family Promise provides that environment for so many children in the community. I am excited to begin my work there so we can continue to make a positive difference in the lives of families in Central Florida.”

Kathie has called Central Florida home for over 25 years. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and received her Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida.

Family Promise of Greater Orlando’s Mission

Surrounding families with a community of support and dignity, Family Promise of Greater Orlando provides shelter and supportive services to assist homeless families in achieving sustainable housing as quickly as possible.

According to the Florida Department of Education and Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, during the 2017-2018 school year, 9,709 students in Orange County experienced homelessness. These students lived doubled up at the homes of friends and family members, in motels, in shelters, or in cars and on the street. In 2020, Family Promise of Greater Orlando assisted over 150 families to overcome the crisis of homelessness. Family Promise works collaboratively in the community to be part of the solution toward ending family homelessness.

To learn more or donate to this organization, please visit


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Join us for an in-person patio party! Fannie Hillman has graciously chosen Family Promise to be the benefactor of this fun event.


Saturday, May 15th

3 pm - 6 pm


205 W. Fairbanks Avenue

Winter Park, FL. 32789

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