Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Family Promise Metrowest is continuing to provide shelter and support for families in our programs, in addition to welcoming new families. All families are routinely surveyed for any health concerns that may arise so that appropriate resources and treatment can be secured.
Day Center Operations: Our Day Center in Natick is still closed to the public but open on weekdays for staff. While most employees are working remotely, others are rotating shifts in the office to attend to organizational needs. We are checking messages and mail daily, and receiving donations of specific items requested for our families (see our Items Needed list on our website). Specified drop-off hours and instructions are stated on the website when items are requested.
Shelter Program: The four families that were residing in our shelter in March were moved out of the congregational rotation and into an extended-stay hotel to ensure their safety. All four families have now moved from the hotel into apartments and have entered our SAIL program. We have now accepted four new families directly into the hotel shelter. Our shelter case manager is meeting remotely with all families each week to continue to work toward their goals, including managing their fluctuating budgets due to employment changes.
SAIL and LIFE Programs: The families in our SAIL and LIFE programs are all safely housed in their apartments. Case managers are meeting remotely with these families to evaluate needs that have emerged due to changes in employment, income, and childcare. We are continuing to take calls from families seeking support through the LIFE program and have accepted several new families since the COVID crisis began.
Challenges Our Families Are Facing: Many of the families we support have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut significantly. After all other avenues of support have been exhausted, we are providing subsidies to help our families pay their critical expenses so they can keep their employment, vehicles, and/or apartments. We are also offering grocery store gift cards to supplement SNAP benefits and food pantry donations. We have experienced a sharp increase in referrals to our shelter and LIFE programs this fall and winter as unemployment subsidies have ended and eviction moratoriums have been lifted. We are currently working to increase capacity and funding for our programs to meet this need.
How to Help: We are accepting financial donations of any size to provide direct support to our families during this challenge, in addition to gift cards to Stop n’ Shop, Wegmans, or Market Basket in increments of $25. Donations can be made online on our Donate page or mailed to our office at 6 Mulligan Street, Natick, MA 01760. Thank you!