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About Us

About the Founder

Our founder, Dr. Lorenzo McFarland, grew up in Bellville, Texas, and graduated from Bellville High School in 1986. His mother suffered from mental illness most of her life, causing the family to be homeless several times. They were fortunate to have Great Aunt, Josephine Dotson, to keep the family off the streets. Aunt Joe took Dr. McFarland and his twin brother in when they were eight years old and raised them to adulthood. A commitment to service was instilled in Dr. McFarland at an early age. Aunt Joe was one of the mothers of the African American community. She provided an example of servant leadership and service before self.

While studying social work at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Dr. McFarland completed an internship with SAM Ministries. The internship exposed him to an incredible organization which worked with families living in homelessness. Dr. McFarland realized that nothing like SAM Ministries existed in his small rural community. He remembered, but for the grace of God and the willingness of Aunt Joe, he would have been living on the streets. This experience planted as seed to develop a resource for homelessness families in Austin County.

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Our Vision

The Josephine Dotson Center for Change is an organization that will focus on providing a resource to the most vulnerable members of our community. We seek to provide a vital resource to homeless families in a rural setting. We will build partnerships with community leaders, organizations and business to increase the resources and tools available to homeless families. Soon we will have a marketing and donor sponsorship plan that will allow us to raise funds to make the center a reality.

Our Goals

  1. To provide a stable, caring, and safe environment for homeless families for two years, so that families in a stabilized environment can work to heal and recover.
  2. To increase family coping skills. When homeless families acquire new coping skills like problem solving, time management, financial management and parenting, they have a greater chance of achieving self-sufficiency.
  3. To increase family earning potential. Helping families get their GED, a trade skills and higher education, increases employment and higher earn opportunities.

Our Board of Directors

Dr. Lorenzo McFarland

President

Regarding education and skills, Dr. McFarland has over 30 years of public health experience (military medicine and federal government) in the areas of chronic disease management and prevention, population health, HIV and hepatitis C policy, planning, and prevention. He is skilled in providing leadership, direction, driving change, and delivering support in all areas. Dr. McFarland is results driven with demonstrated ability in planning, development and implementation of programs. He has expertise in management and evaluation of programs and is adept at establishing collaboration with internal and external partners. Dr. McFarland is a certified Project Manager (Project Management Institute) dedicated to applying sound management planning to achieve both short and long-term organizational directives with business acumen and a global perspective.

Dr. McFarland is a Veteran with twenty years of service in the United States Air Force. He holds two associate degrees from the Community College of the Air in Allied Health Sciences and Instructor of Technology in Military Science, a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College, a Masters of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University, a Masters of Public Health from Kaplan University and a Doctorate of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Kenneth Brooks

Treasurer

Mr. Kenneth Brooks has nearly 30 years of experience in meteorology. Mr. Brooks is an intelligent and insightful leader who motivates all to excel. He has been working with multi-million-dollar federal government budgets and ensures contracts are executed in a timely manner to prevent work-stoppage on critical programs and projects. Mr. Brooks is a confident leader with excellent and creative task-resolution skills. He is a dedicated and resourceful leader who possesses a superb breadth of operations and customer focus.

Mr. Brooks is a veteran with twenty-one years of service in the United States Air Force. He holds an associate degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Weather Technology, a Bachelors degree in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Masters of Business Administration in International Management from Columbia Southern University. Mr. Brooks also holds a certification in Business Strategies from Cornell University, and a certification in Entrepreneurship from Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Gayle Lyke

Secretary

Ms. Gayle Lyke has 10 years of public health experience for the federal government in the areas of prevention, population health, HIV, Hepatitis and Influenza policy planning and prevention and programmatic development. She has 15 plus years of clinical laboratory experience providing instruction in and oversight of laboratory inspection and accreditation processes. Ms. Lyke has demonstrated abilities in planning, developing and implementing programs. She is proficient in establishing collaborations with internal and external partners. She has critical skills in effectively analyzing data, targeting areas of concern and developing necessary risk management programs. Ms. Lyke has over 15 years as a Contracting Officer Representative. She holds a VA certification in project management through the VA Acquisition Academy Program Management School.

Ms. Lyke has over 30 years of service with the Department of Veterans Affairs, currently working as a Senior Program Manager. She has 35 years as an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., currently serving as the Director for the State of Maryland. Ms. Lyke holds a Certification in Public Health Concepts from the UNC-Chapel Hill, a Certificate in Medical Technology from the Washington Hospital Center, School of Medical Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science in Health Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.