Our shelter program and warm hospitality is the foundation of the Family Promise model.
Across this country, communities offer hospitality to families through Family Promise Affiliates like ours in Southern Delaware. The innovative model — using existing space like congregations and volunteers motivated by compassion —has helped hundreds of thousands of children and adults in a national network of 200+ Affiliates. Working with community resources, Family Promise Affiliates provide comprehensive and targeted services, including extensive case management, at 1/3 the cost of traditional shelter. Furthermore, Family Promise Affiliates serve families of all compositions, often providing their only shelter option in a community.
And it works.
On average, 88% of the people served in the shelter program secure housing within nine weeks. Because of the depth of services and community support, families stay housed, and Affiliates provide both prevention and stabilization services to increase their impact.
HOW IT WORKS
The resources are already there. In the community, there are congregations and organizations that can provide space in their buildings to serve as temporary homes. We envision having a single site shelter, however, ultimately the model will take the shape of what the community is able to provide. We also want to establish a Day Center to serve as our central office, where families can take care of basic needs such as laundry or showers, receive case management, and look for housing and jobs. It can be located at a house of worship or agency. With volunteers giving their time, making meals, and sharing hospitality, family homelessness is addressed without the creation of expensive shelters. Across the country, people have realized that this innovative approach truly makes a difference for families experiencing homelessness—and more than 200,000 volunteers.
These volunteers are the core of the program. They share food, spend the night, play with children and lend their passion and expertise to help families get back on their feet. They prove that motivated people can solve family homelessness. And, in the process, they truly create “home” – and a community – for families who have no place left to turn.
A COMMUNITY RESPONSE
In every community, these core elements exist. By bringing the community together on the issue of family homelessness, Family Promise addresses a major social problem in a holistic, effective way. Once the community becomes engaged, people understand the root causes of family homelessness and take steps to address them. Family Promise Affiliates have created more than 1,700 community initiatives—housing programs, homelessness prevention, childcare and much more—that target the issues of poverty and homelessness on a local level.
A LONG-TERM SOLUTION
Not only does our 88% success rate mean many more families stably housed, it is also a tremendous cost saving to the community as diversion from far more expensive interventions. Our approach of keeping families together, identifying their strengths, and partnering with the community for solutions means that families are at much lower risk of returning to homelessness.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Family Promise changes lives. We served 126,000 parents and children last year, giving them the ability to realize their true potential. We also change the lives of our 200,000 volunteers, giving them a meaningful outreach right in their own communities.