Members of the community gathered at Carnegie Library Friday to celebrate a man's mission to end local homelessness.
Joe Reitz was honored for starting Lawrence's branch of Family Promise, an organization that aims to help homeless families back on their feet.
He started the branch four years ago, and has since assisted 50 families achieve a normal lifestyle. He says ensuring families are in permanent housing, and staying there, is important to the community.
"It's changed my life," said Reitz. "It's changed the lives of a lot of other people too, it's really amazing.
Reitz said it's the kids he works with who impress him the most. He says their positive attitude in a bleak situation should be an inspiration to all.
"I haven't met a single child who couldn't be my grandchild," he said. "The kids are the nicest, most hardworking kids you could imagine."
The Family Promise organization has established 174 affiliates in 41 states.
A silent auction and refreshments from local restaurants also helped raise money for the 24-hour Headquarters Counseling center at Friday night's celebration.