Family Promise program graduate Joy Flynn has worked at the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport for 21 years. She participated in the program through the Bryan County affiliate, which has since merged and become part of Family Promise of the Coastal Empire.
“Family Promise helped us so much when we needed it. I was having a lot of trouble with my ex-husband, and it wasn’t safe for us to live there anymore. My daughter suggested I talk to her teacher [at Richmond Hill High School], who recommended Family Promise. When I told Miss Katrina about the situation, she helped me get into the home as soon as possible,” Flynn said.
Flynn, her mother, and her 16-year-old daughter, Kristin, were guests at Family Promise of Bryan County for close to five weeks in fall 2019. During the day, Kristin – who has Down’s Syndrome – continued attending school and her grandmother stayed at the affiliate’s day center. Knowing the center was secluded and her husband didn’t know where it was located gave Flynn the peace of mind needed to focus at work. Because she was able to save all her earnings while staying at Family Promise, she also knew she’d soon be able to find them a permanent home.
Flynn happily recalls the warm welcome they received from Executive Director Katrina Bostick and her staff at Family Promise: “It was a great experience. There was another mom with three kids staying there and we all got along really well. We helped each other out, and I was sad when they left. Every night a different church family would bring us food, then stay to talk. I hadn’t realized how many really nice people were in Richmond Hill,” she said. “At first, it was embarrassing to us, but Miss Katrina said, ‘It’s OK, just talk to them.’ So that’s what we did. Now, I’ll never forget it. Miss Chris, the house manager, was very nice and helped with any concerns or questions. Miss Katrina was great; she listened and took care of us until we moved. They’d say, ‘Be strong, you can do this!’”
After graduating from the program, Flynn was able to rent a small, affordable apartment in Richmond Hill, where the family feels safe and happy. “Family Promise even helped with the deposit!” she said. Because of the support and encouragement Flynn received at Family Promise, she remained strong. After divorcing her husband, she fought for and was granted custody of their daughter, who is doing well in 10th grade and visits her father when accompanied by Flynn or her 22-year-old sister.
“Sometimes we visit the other family who lived with us at Family Promise and lives nearby now,” she said. “And sometimes I miss Family Promise, too – so I’ll stop by to see if anyone’s home! I’ve talked with my friends and told them about my experience. If anyone ever needed it, I’d tell them to go to Family Promise. I’m very thankful for this organization — for everything they did for me and my family.”