Community Initiative

Family Promise understands the needs of vulnerable families. So, we offer innovative programs — such as tenancy preparation, financial literacy, and virtual career pathway training — to address them in a cost-effective, targeted approach.

Prevention

Preventing families from becoming homeless in the first place with Shelter Diversion, Rental Assistance and Transportation programs.

With more than 40% of Americans a $400 expense away from financial distress, the threat of crisis looms closely for too many families. Preventing families from spiraling into homelessness is an essential part of the Family Promise mission.

PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS

Affiliates offer a variety of strategies to ensure the people we serve do not fall into the cycle of housing instability that can devastate families and alter the course of children’s lives. These include administering  formal diversion programs with government funding, providing rental assistance and landlord mediation, and community-based approaches that keep families housed.

Our national partnership with Help Us Move In (HUMI) helps support prevention programming in Affiliates and is an example of how best practices are applied through our federated model.

HOUSING. CHILDCARE. TRANSPORTATION. EDUCATION.

All of these issues—and many others—are part of the myriad causes of family homelessness. As volunteers engage in the Family Promise program,they realize if they can address these challenges, they can serve more people more effectively.

Community Initiatives include a wide array of programs. Some get to the heart of core needs, such as childcare and job training, families face in order to regain self-sufficiency. Other initiatives find ways to match the strengths of local volunteers and the interests of local corporations with the needs of our guests, like financial literacy. Similarly, many initiatives build off core tenets of the Family Promise Program itself, leading to efforts like food assistance, furniture and clothing donation and health, and wellness programs.

Probably no community initiative is more vital or more involved than the many housing programs Affiliates run: transitional, supportive and permanent housing programs. More than 100 Affiliates have some kind of housing program and cumulatively provide more than 2,000 beds.

Key to these programs is the other most widespread initiative —post-shelter extended support. The underlying causes of homelessness are not alleviated simply by providing housing, as crucial as that is. The immense variety of services provided, from family mentoring to case management, ensures that families do not slip back into homelessness so that the changes Family Promise has made are enduring.

The key is that the solutions exist right in the community. Congregations convert an old rectory to transitional housing. Affiliates partner with civic groups to create childcare. Volunteers supply families with good quality vehicles—often the one element they may need to stay out of homelessness.

Since 1988, more than 1,700 initiatives have been developed, matching local needs with local resources. Community initiatives are a testament to the compassion—and the innovation—of Family Promise volunteers.

Graduate Support Services

Helping the families we serve not only succeed today but remain stable in their housing, financial capability and career paths tomorrow.

Family Promise_tree_graphic_2019-1-min.j

Workforce development. Partners in Housing. Financial capability. Health and wellness. Homelessness has many causes and housing stability involves many solutions. Family Promise Affiliates have developed and implemented more than 1,000 different programs that address every aspect of stabilization.

Some get to the heart of core needs, such as childcare and job training, families face in order to regain self-sufficiency. Other initiatives find ways to match the strengths of local volunteers and the interests of local corporations with the needs of our guests, like financial literacy and mentoring. Similarly, many initiatives build off core tenets of the foundational shelter program itself, leading to efforts like food assistance, furniture and clothing donation, and health and wellness programs.

Probably no community initiative is more vital than the many housing programs Affiliates run. Currently, 104 Affiliates nationwide serve individuals in housing programs, including Permanent Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing, and others. As of December 2018, Affiliates were providing nearly 2,000 beds outside of their emergency shelter programs to parents and their children.

But our goal is not simply getting families into housing; it is keeping them in housing.

Key to this is identifying needs specific to the local community and tapping into the diverse resources our volunteer pool and partnerships provide. The result is families no longer at risk of homelessness.

And, even more importantly, through programs we have launched for tenancy preparation, micro-entrepreneurship, and virtual career pathway training, Affiliates create the basis for security and stability that separates families from poverty and allows them and their children to aspire to the future every child deserves.

Emergency Shelter

Our rotational shelter program and warm hospitality is the foundation of the Family Promise model.

Across this country, communities offer hospitality to families through Family Promise Affiliates. The innovative model — using existing space like congregations and volunteers motivated by compassion —has helped hundreds of thousands of children and adults in our national network of 200+ Affiliates. Working with community resources, Family Promise Affiliates provide comprehensive and targeted services, including extensive case management, at 1/3 the cost of traditional shelter. Furthermore, Family Promise Affiliates serve families of all compositions, often providing their only shelter option in a community.

And it works.

On average, 88% of the people served in the shelter program secure housing within nine weeks. Because of the depth of services and community support, families stay housed, and Affiliates provide both prevention and stabilization services to increase their impact.

HOW IT WORKS

The resources are already there. In the community, there are congregations and organizations that can provide space in their buildings to serve as temporary homes. Day Centers, where families can take showers, receive case management, and look for housing and jobs, can be located at a house of worship or agency. There are multiple options for transportation to get families from the host shelters to the Day Center and back. With volunteers giving their time, making meals, and sharing hospitality, family homelessness is addressed without the creation of expensive shelters. Across the country, people have realized that this innovative approach truly makes a difference for families experiencing homelessness—and more than 200,000 volunteers.

These volunteers are the core of the program. They share food, spend the night, play with children and lend their passion and expertise to help families get back on their feet. They prove that motivated people can solve family homelessness. And, in the process, they truly create “home” – and a community – for families who have no place left to turn.

A COMMUNITY RESPONSE

In every community, these core elements exist. By bringing the community together on the issue of family homelessness, Family Promise addresses a major social problem in a holistic, effective way. Once the community becomes engaged, people understand the root causes of family homelessness and take steps to address them. Family Promise Affiliates have created more than 1,700 community initiatives—housing programs, homelessness prevention, childcare and much more—that target the issues of poverty and homelessness on a local level.

A LONG-TERM SOLUTION

Not only does our 88% success rate mean many more families stably housed, it is also a tremendous cost saving to the community as diversion from far more expensive interventions. Our approach of keeping families together, identifying their strengths, and partnering with the community for solutions means that families are at much lower risk of returning to homelessness.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Family Promise changes lives. We served 126,000 parents and children last year, giving them the ability to realize their true potential. We also change the lives of our 200,000 volunteers, giving them a meaningful outreach right in their own communities.

With more than 40% of Americans a $400 expense away from financial distress, the threat of crisis looms closely for too many families. Preventing families from spiraling into homelessness is an essential part of the Family Promise mission.

PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS

Affiliates offer a variety of strategies to ensure the people we serve do not fall into the cycle of housing instability that can devastate families and alter the course of children’s lives. These include administering  formal diversion programs with government funding, providing rental assistance and landlord mediation, and community-based approaches that keep families housed.

Our national partnership with Help Us Move In (HUMI) helps support prevention programming in Affiliates and is an example of how best practices are applied through our federated model.

Prevention

Preventing families from becoming homeless in the first place with Shelter Diversion, Rental Assistance and Transportation programs.

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