How Family Promise Works
"For me it was an opportunity to 'walk the walk', which I don't take advantage of too often. I felt a little uncomfortable (nervous) about it but, ultimately, it's not about us, it's about doing something for people who find themselves in a pretty rough spot. I was glad to do it." -Patti, volunteer
It is through our partnerships with local congregations that we are able to provide shelter to our families. Presently, seventeen houses of worship provide overnight accommodations to our families by converting their classrooms into bedrooms, one week at a time, three to four times a year.
Each Host Congregation is in turn paired with one or two of our thirty-one Support Congregations who provide additional volunteers, supplies and support during host weeks.
Our families arrive at the scheduled Host Congregation around 6:00 each evening. Here they are welcomed by Family Promise volunteers, provided a hot nutritious meal, a safe warm bedroom, support and fellowship. Guest families and volunteer hosts come together for the evening meal around 6:30pm. After dinner and clean up, families are able to relax and unwind a bit. Volunteers may assist a guest child with homework, read a book, or play a game with them. Some families may retire to their bedroom after dinner for some quiet, private family time. By 10:00pm, everyone is quiet and in their rooms.
The Common Street Spiritual Center in Natick hosts our Day Center; it is available to our families 365 days a year from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. At the Day Center, parents in our program work closely with their Case Manager to address the issues that led to their homelessness, to set goals to help them regain independent housing, and to connect them to community resources. Each family’s needs and goals are different. For some, it may be working with a volunteer at the Day Center to study for the GED or working with resume writing and interview skills. For adult guests who are already employed, a Case Manager may work to help budget their income, pay down debt and save for an apartment. Whatever their goal may be, parents are working hard to take care of their family’s ongoing needs while working towards independent living.
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Here, family shower and prepare for the day. During the week, school age children catch their school bus, young children are taken to daycare and parents either head to work, school or continue their job search. On the weekends, families may choose to spend their time at the Day Center, catching up on laundry, doing homework and preparing for the week ahead.