<< Visit Website
Categories: Community Service, [ View All ]
Family Promise of Delaware County Charity Profile
Family Promise® is a national interfaith organization providing food and hospitality for homeless families since 1988. The program has grown to include more than 152 networks in 39 states, involving more than 125,000 volunteers from more than 5,000 congregations – assisting more than 250,000 people, including more than 130,000 children.In February 2010, we began operations for the first affiliate network in Delaware, specifically for residents of New Castle County above the canal. We have a Family Promise Center located at St. James Mill Creek Church where the families receive assistance (job leads, counseling, etc.). In the evenings the families are transported by Family Promise to an area congregation where members of the congregation provide dinner and the families are provided with their own rooms for the night. In the morning, the congregation provides breakfast and the families are taken back to the Family Promise Center. Participating congregations host three or four families for one week each quarter (four weeks a year).The IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network) program provides families in need of emergency shelter a cost-effective way to address that crisis. They receive home-like accommodations, meals, and case management to help the family move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The national average length of stay in 2007 was 56 days with an 80% success rate of placement into long-term housing that the family controlled.
In many ways the bigger issue is the engagement of volunteers. Most IHN volunteers, despite their compassion, would not have initially gotten involved in service to homeless families if it were not for the fact that they could do it in their own houses of worship. This brings in a talented pool of people and their resources to address the issues of poverty. This happens in four tiers:
1) Volunteers, now engaged on the issue, recognize that they can help in additional ways, whether it is simply contributing toward homelessness prevention or goods for a new apartment, or a dentist offering free care, someone donating a vehicle in good shape to allow a head of household to keep his/her job, people helping with leads on housing or jobs, church offerings and childcare scholarships.
2) Congregations recognize their assets can be used in more direct ways: donating an adjacent house to become a supportive or transitional housing unit.
3) Recognizing gaps in care and partnering to create childcare programs, financial literacy classes, life skills workshops and more.
4) Advocacy: Creating awareness on issues affecting the working poor: affordable housing, school breakfast programs, transportation etc and mobilizing large numbers of people toward addressing policy on these issues, people from typically suburban districts that have not engaged on these issues before
The multitude of example in these four points have all happened in FP affiliates. Over 700 community initiatives have been started as a direct outgrowth of IHN program nationwide.