"We Help Children and Families in Crisis"

Crisis Phone: 866-7-HELP-ME
Office Phone: (717)428-3140

Children and Families
Need Your Help

You can also donate by texting the amount
you wish to donate to:

Checks and correspondence can be sent to:
Families Renewed, Inc.
644 Shrewsbury Commons Avenue, #261
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

Finding Home
FY 2023 Interim Report

From the Desk of Bruce Norton,
Chairman and CEO of Families Renewed, Inc.

We have enjoyed additional exposure to York County as a result of the article printed in the June edition of Southern York Living Magazine. In addition, we have been building and strengthening relationships with local politicians, service organizations, businesses, and judges and magistrates, as well as building relationships with additional property management companies and landlords. As a result, the demand for our homelessness prevention services has increased. Coming into FY 2023, we have worked with a total of 149 different families since Families Renewed, Inc., was founded in 2013.

Since the beginning of this fiscal year, we have worked with seven different families. We started working with three of these families prior to the start of the fiscal year. Two of these families were in need of grants. While we worked with these families and continue to work with them, the grants they needed exceeded our ability to fund them. Grants were also not able to be funded from our member partners with the York County Coalition on Homelessness. Both of these families were able to make temporary housing arrangements with family and friends, but are still in need of more permanent and stable housing. The third family was able to recover through employment stabilization and the realignment of spending priorities.

Of the four remaining families, two were referred to us through the office of a local state representative. Both of these referrals had already been through rent court and had an eviction and lock out date within 10 days of the referral. Through grants from us and other partners, we were able to negotiate a solution that satisfied the judgments awarded to the landlords, and I am happy to report neither of these families were evicted or locked out, and remain in their homes today.

One of the last two families will require a grant in January 2024. The other family has increased the overall family income and a successful negotiation was worked out with the landlord. Neither of these families will face eviction in the near future. Due to a generous donation from Walmart, we were also able to provide a Christmas ham and some toys to five families in need.

All coalition members are reporting an increase in need that exceeds available resources. This situation, in addition to our financial position, underscores the need to increase our donor base and overall donation receipts. It also underscores the need to remain focused on our strategy to prevent homelessness which has a significantly lower cost to meet family housing needs as opposed to the necessary but more costly reactive approach to mitigating homelessness for families who have already been evicted and locked out and remain homeless as a result.


988 Is Now Live To Connect To National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

From the Desk of Bruce Norton,
Chairman and CEO of Families Renewed, Inc.

Starting July 16, 2022, people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide can now simply dial, text, or chat 988 to get help. This has been in the works for several years now. In 2018, President Trump signed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act into law which directed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to study the use of a three digit dialing code to access the hotline. The FCC recommended that Congress designate 988 as the three digit code for the hotline and indicated it would be easier to remember. Congress passed the necessary legislation to use 988 as the designated number to use to get help for suicidal ideation. Then, on Saturday, October 17, 2020 President Trump signed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act into law. Now, almost two years later, it is now live.

The old National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number, (800) 273-8255 is still in operation, as is the Spanish version (888) 628-9454. You can also still text "HOME" to 741741 as well.

Who Is The Guy With Purple and Teal Hair

In addition to my work here as CEO for Families Renewed, I also drive a school bus part time to cover my living expenses. It is a perfect part time job because it gives me both daytime and nighttime hours to do my full time work at Families Renewed while giving me time to make a difference in the lives of the kids who ride my bus. To be honest, when I first started driving, I never dreamed that I would be as passionate about my kids as I have become. But the truth is that to me, I am simply a dad who is driving a big yellow station wagon taking my kids to school.

Around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021, I realized people have been talking for years about the tragedy of teen suicide and that we need to do something to reduce the incidence of teen suicide. But, the only thing we are doing about it is the same thing we have been doing for decades. We try to prevent bullying, we try to bring awareness to the problem, and we try to help those who are thinking about suicide by getting them to therapy or putting them on medications, or both. Sadly, those actions has not been effective. In fact, there has been a general increase in teen suicide overall. Awareness of the problem is good, but at some point we need to act, and the time for action is now.

In addition, there is an even bigger problem that is loosely related to teen suicide, but is much more prevalent and more insidious. That problem is the problem of self harm. More than half of teens and young adults ages 10 - 24 engage in self harm on a regular and continuing basis. The good news is that we can use the same tools to prevent self harm as will prevent suicide. In addition, we can deploy these tools earlier using a comprehensive approach that will not only reduce the incidence of self harm and suicide, but can also prevent the trauma and suffering that leads to the mental health problems that are at the heart of the problem of teen suicide and self harm.

I wanted to generate a conversation about these better ways to prevent suicide and self harm and give my students a fun way to participate, so I created Bruce's Challenge on TikTok in November, 2021. The challenge would end with my hair getting colored by a student on my bus any color or combination of colors my social media followers chose. In early May, 2022 we completed the challenge across all of the different social media platforms. While rainbow was a very popular combination of colors, my followers on social media ultimately chose the colors associated with suicide prevention, purple and teal.

On Friday, May 6, 2022 one of the students on my bus colored my hair purple and teal at Hair Mechanix in Delta, PA. While the color in my hair was supposed to be temporary, it has generated a tremendous amount of conversation. So much so that I was inspired to leave it that way until we can implement LifeBST, an evidence based solution that addresses the root cause of suicide and self harm. The research also shows that it lowers school violence and drug and alcohol abuse as well.

LifeBST is an ambitious project and we cannot do it alone. We are currently working with, and have the support of, education professionals, licensed therapists, and local mental health systems to produce a comprehensive solution that is effective and predictable and can be rolled out in an easy and cost effective manner.

We also need your help. Please help alleviate suffering and prevent suicide and self harm through your generous donation today.

Families Renewed, Inc., Has Teamed Up With Matt Dorgan To Create The Brianna Dorgan Memorial Fund

01/31/2021: We wanted to announce to that we have teamed up with Matt Dorgan for an event to kick off the Brianna Dorgan Memorial Fund, on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 10:00. The event, created by Matt Dorgan and Mark Bauer is called Building Bridges for Brianna. It will be held at Lions Park 500 Lions Drive, Dallastown, PA 17313, right across from Dallastown Area High School. It is our hope that this event will not only heighten awareness of the tragedy of child and teen self harm, suicide, and child abuse, but will also give parents, families, and teens the tools needed to prevent future tragedies. Everyone is welcome. Please click the link below to read Brianna's story

Update: For their first year of existence in 2021, we served as a nonprofit incubator for Building Bridges for Brianna. During that year they got enough exposure and support to become their own nonprofit organization in 2022. We are proud to have served as an incubator for Building Bridges for Brianna and continue to support their efforts to bring about more awareness to the problem of teen suicide.

Important Update Regarding Our Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic

01/01/2021 Update: After coming through ten months of navigating the pandemic and the various governments responses to it, we have been able to determine that there is currently a critical need for child and family advocacy. Families Renewed, Inc., has been engaged in child and family advocacy in the past on a limited child by child basis in the coordination of multiagency services to ensure the best interests and needs of the individual child and family are met. However, more recently, government administrations and law makers are making decisions without understanding the consequences of these decisions on, and without the input from advocates for, the most vulnerable members of our society, our children. It is clear that we must expand our child advocacy to a more regional advocacy that involves stakeholders, decision makers, and law makers.

Since the start of the pandemic:

Because of all the fighting and misinformation it is nearly impossible for parents to make good and informed decisions for their children and their families. In many cases government authorities are taking parental decision making away and making one size fits all decisions for them. This needs to stop. Parents need to be able to exercise their right to make decisions for their children and families. Parents need reliable information on which to base those decisions. Government authorities need to understand the consequences of their actions. This level of child and family advocacy falls within each of our programs for different reasons. While we are still committed to helping the child or family on an individual basis, the need for higher level advocacy cannot be ignored.

We need your help in taking up this fight. We need to be able to work with law makers, attorneys, and subject matter experts. This is the most financially demanding undertaking we have attempted to date. Please support us in this endeavor with a one time or recurring donation. We need your help more than ever now. More importantly, children and families need your help more than ever.