Family Promise of Northern Kentucky is restarting.
The organization, which provides homeless families temporary shelter in church buildings while helping them to find permanent housing will be opening soon. It closed in 2014 when it was unable to maintain sufficient funding.
Family Promise has been the only organization in the region that enables homeless families with men and teen boys to remain together while they worked toward a permanent housing solution. Some organizations serving the homeless won’t accept men or older male teen in their shelters, others accept men exclusively.
That makes it especially tough because families confronted with homelessness have to deal with being split up as well, said Denise Strait, whose family was helped by the program in 2013. Before they found Family Promise, Denise and her teen daughter, Emily, wound up in one shelter and her husband, Randall, in another.
“In hard times, families should be together,” Denise said. “During the time we were apart, Emily was constantly worrying about her dad."
Faith congregations can participate in one of two ways, as host churches or support churches. Host churches shelter families in their buildings. Support churches provide meals, volunteers and other assistance. Host churches provide shelter for one week at a time in a rotation with other congregations. If there are 13 host churches, for example, a congregation would host once every 13 weeks, or four times a year. Support churches help when the host church to which they are assigned is providing shelter.
On a typical day for a host church, families are transported in a Family Promise van to the church in late afternoon, eat dinner there, and have evening activities with volunteers. Families spend the night there, and eat breakfast there the next morning. The van then transports them to the Family Promise Day Center, where they collaborate with a caseworker on finding permanent housing. The caseworker also helps the family with employment and other issues, if needed.
Currently, Family Promise has eight host churches committed to the program.
The board of trustees that has been overseeing the revival effort is “is very much alive and excited about opening in 2016,” said Tom Yocum, a Fort Thomas attorney who is chairing the group. “We are committed to re-establishing the program and determined to continue serving families who are experiencing homelessness.”
Among the group’s other goals is to recruit additional board members, recruit 13 host congregations, identify an appropriate space and for a day center and secure it.
Nationally, Family Promise has 142 affiliates that served 3,817 homeless families in 2014. More than 75% of them achieved transitional or permanent housing through the program.
Ways to help Family Promise of Northern Kentucky
- Become a host or support church. Contact David Roeding at 513-479-5163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make a financial contribution or encourage your church to do so. Donations may be made via PayPal at www.henryhoseahouse.com.
- Volunteer with the group that is working to restart Family Promise. Contact:NKYfamilypromise@gmail.com for more information.