FAMILY PROMISE-GREATER PHOENIX Overview
Programs: We currently shelter up to five families at a time, and are seeking support to expand our capacity so we can concurrently host up to 10 families.The Family Promise model is focused on helping homeless families get back on their feet and stay self-sufficient. First we help the families recover from the crises of homelessness. Volunteers from our host congregations welcome them to their facilities and provide private sleeping quarters, healthy meals, and compassion and understanding. This provides our client families the opportunity to interact with people that have successful life skills. Of course this is a two way street, for from their interactions with our client families, the volunteers have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the many causes and facets of homelessness.We also utilize community resources to get people on the road to independence. We provide case management, counseling, resources for health care, job training and placement, daycare and other services.Here is how our program works: When referred families are accepted into our program, they meet with a case worker to identify their needs, make a plan, and set goals to gain self-sufficiency.In the evenings, the families are transported in our bus (the gift of BHHS Legacy Foundation) to one of our host congregations where volunteers share a healthy home cooked meal, visit with the families, help students with homework and read to the children. The host congregations also provide private sleeping quarters for each family, usually in their activity rooms. Each of our 16 host congregations take turns housing and feeding the families for one week at a time.In the morning, the families board the bus and go to our Day Center at 546 E. Osborn Road to prepare for school or work, care for pre-school children, or seek employment. The Day Center also houses a small office where computers, copiers and phones are available to those searching for a job, housing or other assistance. During the school year, children attend school. The Day Center provides guests with a mailing address and phone number, and a home base from which to conduct their housing and employment searches.During their stay at Family Promise, we provide life skills training, planning skills, parenting classes and job skills training as well as referrals to community services such as day care, transportation, education and health care.On many weekends, our volunteers plan outings for the families such as trips to the zoo, museums, ball games, parks and recreation. We believe our approach to serving homeless families is unique. Our non-traditional shelter model provides families with a homelike setting that is safer for children. We also believe that our volunteers provide positive role models. This, in addition to the hospitality and compassion that our volunteers show our families every evening at the host congregations helps our clients better value themselves. This translates into higher success for our families. When people believe in themselves they achieve greater things.Each family may stay in our program for up to 60 days, and in that time frame over 75% of our clients are able to move forward into permanent or transitional housing, as well as increase their job skills and potential earning power.