Lotus House Secures $2.5 Million in Funds as Construction Goes Vertical

New Lotus Village Shelter – opening in late 2017 – will provide supportive programs for 490 homeless women and children, a neighborhood health clinic and children’s wellness center

One of Miami’s most impactful nonprofits is riding a wave of support from some of the City’s top philanthropists. Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc., the foundation supporting the redevelopment and expansion of Lotus House, a nonprofit shelter serving homeless women and children, has secured over $2.5 million in gifts toward its $25 million building and sustainability campaign. The endowment’s campaign is targeting the building, launch and sustainability of the new “home” for Lotus House and its state-of-the-art homeless services in Lotus Village, now underway in Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood. The news comes as vertical construction of the Village begins in anticipation of completion and opening in late 2017.

Recent gifts to the endowment fund, which come on the heels of a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for Lotus Village, include the following:

$1 million gift from the Braman Family Charitable Foundation

$500,000 gift from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation for the new pavilion

$300,000 matching grant challenge from the Wildflower Foundation for the shelter’s Zen garden and meditation and yoga room

$250,000 gift from Julie Lotspeich in honor of her father, Jay Lotspeich, for the computer library

$100,000 gift from the Michael and Chandra Rudd Foundation

This news comes on the heels of a number of donations secured in conjunction with the Sustainability Campaign’s launch, including the dedication of sponsored rooms throughout the shelter and major gifts from Martin Z. Margulies ($250,000) and Ira and Cynthia Leesfield and the Leesfield Family Foundation ($50,000). These funds will support the shelter’s core operations.

“Now that the construction of Lotus Village is funded and underway, we’re shifting our focus to securing the dollars needed to expand the programs and services offered to our women, youth and children over the long term,” says Constance Collins, founder and chairwoman of Lotus House. “The generosity of our building and sustainability campaign’s lead donors will change lives for generations and inspire others to lend their life changing support as we prepare to open our doors later this year.”

Once completed, Lotus Village will offer comprehensive supportive services and amenities that serve as a national model for holistic healing for women, youth and children experiencing homelessness. Amenities at the five-story facility will include: a women’s and pediatrics clinic; computer library; arts and activity lab; healing hands salon; therapeutic early child care and education center; yoga, meditation and exercise room and Zen garden; children’s play zone; and urban garden and working classroom kitchen, all healing, nurturing and uplifting bodies, minds and spirits. A community pavilion at the heart of Lotus Village will feature films, performances, dance workshops, book club, inspirational speakers, dining and living activities spaces that make Lotus House truly a home for those in need.

Since opening in Overtown over a decade ago, Lotus House has welcomed thousands of women and children, including 135 newborns and counting who will someday call Lotus House their first home. The development of Lotus Village comes as Miami-Dade County contends with a growing homeless population,many of whom are children. In school year 2015-2016, Miami Dade Public Schools identified 6,083 registered school age children who are homeless, up from the prior year’s count of 4,592. Miami’s urban core, which incorporates Lotus House’s neighborhood, is home to the County’s largest concentration of homeless, many of whom are children and families.

The team behind the Lotus Village project includes Robert Behar and Daniela Motta of Behar Font Architects; the legal team of John Sumberg, Vicky Leiva, Javier Aviñó and Steve Simon at law firm Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP; George Truitt and Kevin Schumacher of Cole of Scott & Kissane P.A.; and William Real of Civic Construction Company.

About Lotus House

Situated in the heart of Overtown, Miami, Lotus House provides shelter, sanctuary and support to women, youth and children who are amongst the most fragile in our community. Lotus House guests are homeless due to domestic violence, medical or mental health issues, disabilities, loss of employment or other economic reasons. More than a traditional shelter, Lotus House offers social and supportive services that assist women, youth and children in transitioning from the streets by strengthening the mind, body and spirit. This model has helped more than 85 percent of all program participants transition to homes outside the shelter system. Lotus House ensures access to free, holistic health and wellness services, including individual and group counseling, women’s wellness exams, basic health care, eye care, dental care, health and wellness education, and alternative pathways to healing. Learn more at www.lotushouse.org.

About Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc, the sponsor of the Lotus Village Project

The sponsor of the Lotus Village project is Lotus Village Development, LLC, a non-profit subsidiary of Lotus Endowment Fund, Inc., a 501c3, non-profit charitable foundation formed and operated exclusively to support the Sundari Foundation, Inc. dba Lotus House, itself a 501c3, non-profit public charity dedicated to providing support, education, tools and resources to poor, disadvantaged and homeless women, youth and children in our community. Learn more at www.lotusendowment.org.

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