Families face homelessness for many reasons and they often need a hand to help lift them out of defeat into hope.
Family Promise helps families address both the external circumstances and the personal choices that have led to homelessness as they work back toward greater independence and stability.
Family Promise responds to the needs of homeless families through an integrated approach. Basic needs are met to help families have the capacity to focus on their futures. Local congregations provide shelter and the evening meal each day, and families are able to shower, do laundry, use the computer and take care of other family needs at our day center. Staff members work with parents to put goals in place and then to provide accountability and support as parents make progress on goals each week. Employment and budgeting are emphasized. Education on financial literacy, parenting, and other essential life skills is provided. Community partners are engaged.
The objective is for families to leave the shelter component of Family Promise when they are able to move into their own home; continued aftercare case management is in place to help promote long-term stability.
After a New Yorker named Karen Olson learned that homelessness was affecting families right in her own community in New Jersey, she knew she had to do something. She brought together people in need and people who wanted to help. Existing community resources could provide shelter, meals, and housing. Volunteers could use their skills, knowledge, and compassion to help their homeless neighbors find employment, reconnect with society, and restore their dignity.
Religious congregations offered hospitality space within their buildings. The YMCA provided showers and a family day center. A car dealer discounted a van. The first interfaith hospitality network opened on October 27, 1986. There are now over 200 independent affiliates across the country.
Family Promise of East Bell County was founded in January of 2004 to provide help to homeless families in the Temple - Belton area of Bell County, TX.
Since its founding, Family Promise of East Bell County has grown to include a network of 13 faith-based organizations who provide guests with food and shelter, a day center provided by the city of Temple, a 15 passenger van donated by a local family trust, and partnerships with dozens of other organizations, which collaboratively invest in the families we serve.
With more than a decade of serving families through our core program, we are excited to expand our impact in 2016. Some key ways we hope to engage include the following:
- Implementing new homelessness prevention services for low-income families in Bell County.
- Identifying creative solutions to reduce length of stay in our hospitality network, while increasing the level of support provided before and after.
- Providing stronger aftercare services for our successful families, including a year of follow-up case management and access to family strengthening opportunities.