In 2008, Lisa Rose and a group of women started First Friday, a free once-a-month speaker event to give women a practical hand up to navigate life’s challenges. Local and national experts were hosted at their local movie theater in Southlake, Texas, where more than 350 women each month would receive “real talk about real life.”
Through volunteering in the community, they were meeting many women who needed more than a one-hour message and a book signing. As a result, the First Friday experience transformed into the 501(c)3 projectHandUp (PHU), through which founding leaders could create a way to offer women a hand up with resources needed for permanent change.
In 2011, a program design for a supportive living community for women in crisis was presented to Lisa and Matt Rose. This resulted in the creation of the second initiative of projectHandUp, The Gatehouse.
In August 2012, projectHandUp purchased 61 acres outside DFW Airport with unanimous Grapevine City Council approval, 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, positive change. The Gatehouse opened in March 2015.