The roots of Family Promise Metrowest were planted in 2003 when members of the Wellesley Village Church and Christ Lutheran Church of Natick noticed an alarming rise in family homelessness in our region and realized that their congregations could play a role in addressing this crisis. While researching ways to help, they learned about Family Promise, a unique shelter model in which congregations of all faiths open their doors to provide overnight accommodations to families in need. After five tireless years of groundwork, the vision of a Family Promise affiliate in Metrowest Boston came to fruition with the welcoming of our first family into shelter in October 2008.
FPM is now one of over 200 affiliates of Family Promise National located in 43 states across the country. Our approach to addressing family homelessness and housing instability is simple. We believe motivated, hard-working families can move out of poverty and into stable homes if they are given encouragement, guidance, and the resources to reach their goals. We know if we all take a role in addressing this issue as a community, we can change lives permanently.
To provide shelter, our 19 host congregations convert their classrooms into bedrooms for our families, one week at a time, three to four weeks a year. With the help of 31 support congregations and volunteers from the community at large, they also provide meals, friendly companionship, and overnight staffing. Our 3,000+ trained volunteers embrace our families with a network of people who truly care.
Family Promise is much more than an overnight shelter, however. During the day, our professional staff work with families to provide intensive support in accessing community resources, securing stable employment and childcare, creating a sustainable budget, and setting long-term goals to address the root causes of their homelessness or near-eviction. As our organization has grown over the last decade, we have expanded our programming to meet the needs of our families. In addition to shelter and case management, we also offer a SAIL program, launched in 2013, which supports families for one year after leaving shelter, and the Steps to Success program, launched in 2015, which provides educational and career-building opportunities. In 2017, we launched our LIFE homelessness prevention program, which helps families avoid eviction by providing subsidies for rent in arrears, advocacy with landlords, and one year of case management and life-skills workshops.
When our hard-working families and passionate community of volunteers, staff, and donors come together, incredible change happens. Our families dare to imagine a new future, and then bring their dreams to life.