Last week we began our series on FaithE’s Local Impact partners, starting with Child Bridge. Today we will continue the series as we highlight Family Promise (FP). FaithE has had a relationship with FP for many years as a “host” church, which you may be familiar with. In this role, the church provides a safe, non-judgmental place for families to stay to help FP fulfill its mission “to help homeless families achieve and sustain independence through a community response to homelessness.”
These families stay at the church for a week at a time, typically every 2-3 months. While these weeks are spearheaded by two amazing coordinators, many volunteers are needed to make this happen—to help set up beds, make or serve meals, lead activities with the kids, and just make the families feel known and welcomed. There are 25 other local churches helping to fulfill this mission, but as a selected “partner,” we want to go above and beyond for Family Promise.
Before going into specific needs the organization has, I think its important to paint a picture of how FP is nurturing homeless families towards sustained independence. While churches provide basic needs during the week to families in their emergency shelter, they spend the majority of their time at the Day Center. They wake early to start their days as they receive case management services and do things such as apply for jobs, receive mentoring, and look for housing.
With assistance, families save enough money for both a housing deposit and two month’s rent. After achieving this, they “graduate” from Family Promise’s intensive services, though follow-up can still occur through their transitional housing, Partners in Housing, and aftercare programs.
It is in all this work that Family Promise focuses on providing compassion and accountability. Isn’t that the love our heavenly Father shows us? He pours out kindness and love while not neglecting to hold us responsible for the life He has gifted us. With this in mind, let’s look at the many ways FP needs us to help extend this compassion.
**Adopt a Family: with your life group, group of friends, co-workers, or family members, commit to a family nearing graduation from emergency shelter for a 6-month (or longer) period. What could this look like? Buying essential items for their new home, sending birthday cards, praying regularly for and with them, celebrating anything from holidays to job offers and other successes.
**Adopt a Room: when families become homeowners through the Partners in Housing program, help furnish/decorate/supply a room in their new home.
**Donate: contribute $20/month in their recurring donor program. (A perfect option for the time-crunched, busy family!!) Their website can help you with this.
If you want to learn more about how to connect with Family Promise, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please prayerfully consider how you can make an impact with Family Promise. The opportunities don’t stop here! Other needs include childcare, organizing donations, helping families move, making “birthday bags”…one church’s youth group even brings their video game systems to the Day Center to play with kids and offer an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have. Again, just consider what gifts you have to share.
I’ll leave you with a video to give you a glimpse into the beautiful work Family Promise is doing. May we remember to “keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels” (Hebrews 13:1-2).