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It started with a desire to help women.

In 2008, Lisa Rose and a group of women started First Friday, a free once-a-month experience to give women a practical hand up to navigate life’s challenges. Hosting experts from all over the country at the movie theatre in Southlake, Texas, more than 350 women each month would receive “real talk about real life.”

The First Friday experience transformed into the nonprofit projectHandUp (PHU), through which women who needed more than an event and book signing could receive practical resources as they were empowered to end cycles of abuse and poverty.

In January 2012, the second initiative of projectHandUp was created. Sixty-one acres in Grapevine, Texas outside DFW Airport, was purchased and the stepping stones were laid for The Gatehouse, a community where women and children leaving a crisis receive safe refuge, ample time, practical resources and healthy relationships to discover new paths for permanent change. The Gatehouse welcomed their first families in April 2015.

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