Our purpose is to help families with children transition out of their homeless situation. Families normally stay in the program 45-90 days providing they are adhering to guest guidelines and making progress in their own efforts toward self-sufficiency. To date there are no shelter programs for anyone in Southern Jefferson County. Family Promise of Jefferson County, Inc. is a network affiliated with the National Family Promise.
There are five parts to Family Promise:
- 1. Host Congregations. About four times a year – for a week at a time; host congregations provide overnight lodging, meals (supper, breakfast and bag lunch) and hospitality. Hosting rotates among congregations, which provide lodging for three to five families (up to 14 individuals) from @ 5:30 pm to 7 am the next morning.
- 2. Volunteers. Volunteers cook, serve meals, play with children, help with homework and stay overnight (only 1-female and 1-male are needed to stay overnight). They interact with guests, treating them with respect and responding with compassion.
- 3. Social Services. Local agencies screen guests and refer families to the network. They may help guests find housing, jobs and government assistance. Guests are screened for active substance abuse, psychiatric problems and domestic abuse. Those that fall into that category will not be allowed in the program.
- 4. Day Center. Guests use the local day center from 8 am to 5 pm to shower, care for pre-school children, and seek employment. Many guests are employed and go to work during the day. During the school year, children go to school. The day center provides guests with a mailing address and a home base from which to conduct their housing search.
- 5. Transportation. A van transports guests to and from the day center. The van also carries beds and luggage to the next host congregation.
Summary of Program Benefits:
Safe, homelike shelter where families can stay together.
Guests cite the caring of volunteers as one of the most important benefits.
Intensive case management by Family Promise director to assist in finding housing and jobs and meeting other needs.
Guest families secure long-term housing.
Opportunity to help homeless families directly; to make a difference.
Opportunity to do outreach within their own congregation.
Wide range of volunteer activities to vary schedules and levels of commitment.
Opportunity for families to volunteer together.
Opportunity for outreach (within the congregation’s own facilities) focusing on the needs of people in the community.
Opportunity for participation in the community interfaith project.
Increased sense of community among members as they share the effort.