The Family Promise Metrowest shelter includes 19 host congregations that furnish temporary shelter to our families by converting their classrooms into bedrooms, one week at a time, three to four weeks per year. Trained volunteers from the host congregations, 31 additional support congregations, and the community at large provide meals, room set-up, and hospitality for our families. A safe, nurturing environment is the foundation of our unique approach, allowing families the opportunity to focus on goals that will ensure long-term sustainability.
During the day, families return to our Day Center in downtown Natick, their home base and mailing address while in shelter. This where families store their belongings, take showers, wash clothes, and commute to and from school, day care, and work. It is also where they meet with professional staff who empower families by assisting them in establishing individual goals in areas of health and safety, finances, parenting, and transportation.
- Health and Safety includes enrolling in health insurance plans, selecting primary care physicians, and addressing outstanding physical and mental health issues. We also access community resources for training in health and safety areas for both parents and older children.
- Financial goals include addressing all debt, and establishing a realistic budget that includes families saving 80% of their income after expenses.
- Parenting includes securing affordable child care as needed for preschool and school-age children. It also includes educating parents on how to communicate effectively with schools and all care providers for their children.
- Transportation includes establishing a reliable means for transport to employment and child care or school locations, or potentially assisting parents in working toward a goal of purchasing and maintaining a car for the family.
Families meet weekly with their case manager to review progress and access support as needed. As a result, families gain confidence and control of their own future.
On an annual basis, an average of 8-12 families are served in shelter including a total estimate of 38-45 individual family members.