In addition to being former staff, I was also a volunteer, both before and after my service as staff, both within my own faith community and at other congregations of various faiths and at the day center directly. This organization not only provides shelter and meals, it assists families dealing with homelessness to obtain and maintain permanent housing. Since opening its doors on June 24, 2001, Family Promise of Reno/Sparks (formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Truckee Meadows) has been all about community. It welcomes homeless families as members of the community at large, it depends on volunteers from various faith communities, and it cooperates with other community organizations to avoid duplicating efforts and to provide the most comprehensive service possible to the families it serves. Family Promise brought together Temple Sinai (a reform Jewish congregation) and members of Northern Nevada's Islamic community to provide shelter and meals for the homeless families during Christmas time when the Christian churches are so busy. Unlike many faith-based programs, the guests (homeless families) are not proselytized, but rather empowered to develop their own plan for obtaining and maintaining both gainful employment and a stable living situation through the cooperation of people and organizations throughout the greater Reno/Sparks community. I know of no organization any more integrated into the community or more deserving of community support. Although I moved away from the area in April of 2008, I still keep in touch with some of the former guest families, many former board members and staff, and several still current volunteers. When I visit the area next week, dropping by the Family Promise day center is on my list of things to do.
Family Promise of Reno-Sparks helps families in crisis with transitional shelter and comprehensive assistance. One of the wonderful aspects of Family Promise, is how faith groups of all types- Lutheran, LDS, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim- all work together to help these families in need.