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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 4:17 pm | A Few Clouds 62º


Transition House Offers a Million Thanks to Late Philanthropist Léni Fé Bland

Léni Fé Bland Click to view larger
Léni Fé Bland (Courtesy photo)

For more than 30 years, Transition House has been providing vital and loving support to help local homeless families with children transform their lives.

To continue that work far into the future, Transition House gratefully has announced the establishment of a new sustainability fund created from the largest gift in its history: a bequest of $1 million from the estate of Baroness Léni Fé Bland.

“We are humbled and honored by her generosity, but we think it’s a credit to our staff and to the families that work so hard in our programs,” said Executive Director Kathleen Baushke. “Léni would often tell people that Transition House was the best run nonprofit agency she was involved with. She meant that we were careful with our resources and didn’t spend beyond our means. Sometimes it has been a challenge, but we have managed to run the agency for over 30 years without having to borrow money to pay our operating bills. Léni appreciated that.”

To help keep that record of both family and financial success going into the future, the agency has announced that the gift will form the basis of the Léni Fé Bland Transition House Tomorrow Fund, which will grow over time to support the good fiscal health and sustainability of the agency.

Fé Bland was a longtime donor and advisor to Transition House, which helps Santa Barbara-area homeless families with children by providing emergency shelter and intensive antipoverty services designed to help families return to stable, permanent housing.

The agency hopes that Fé Bland​’s gift will help leverage additional contributions from the community to the fund. Investment earnings from the fund will help pay for some of the agency’s operating expenses in the future.

“The board of directors was blown away by Léni Fé Bland’s amazing gift. It’s really a game-changer for us and will provide a foundation of stability for years to come,” said Jim Buckley, Transition House board president. “The board feels strongly that we need to ensure the ongoing success of our hard-working staff, who are the agency’s greatest resource. As things like health insurance and local housing costs increase, we want to make sure we have an income source to help the agency take care of its staff members so they can take care of Transition House families. Income from the Tomorrow Fund can provide this in the future.”

Transition House is seeking additional donations to the Léni Fé Bland Transition House Tomorrow Fund, so named because of the belief, shared with and taught to the agency’s clients, that you need to work hard today but also plan well for the future.

Tomorrow will be here soon. If you would like more information on being part of the Tomorrow Fund, contact Transition House at 805.966.9668 or [email protected].

Transition House was founded in 1984 by an interfaith group of community members. It provides non-sectarian shelter, permanent housing and antipoverty support services to over 500 parents and their children each year. More than 93 percent of its clients come from the greater Santa Barbara area.

— Kathleen Baushke is the executive director of Transition House.

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