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Review for Family Promise Of Reno-Sparks, Inc., Reno, NV, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping families work out their plans for permenant and stable housing. Building understanding and empathy in the volunteer community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

promote the building of transitional housing and a larger day center and develop a community mentoring program to assist formerly and potentially homeless families in maintaining a stable lifestyle.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

helping people help people in ways that have long lasting results.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

executive directors, case managers, office assistants, AmeriCorps*VISTAs, AARP employment trainees, evening, overnight and dinner host at host and support congregations. All of them were capable, caring people committed to helping others.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build transitional housing and a larger day center, develop a community mentoring program and expand both its staff and its services.

Ways to make it better...

more people could have been helped at a time.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

limited funds, limited number of congregations willing or able to become host congregations, and due to the small size of the day center and lack of transitional housing, limited volunteer oportunities outside of the congregations.

One thing I'd also say is that...

anyone who has not been an evening or overnight host with this program has missed out on a marvelous experience and anyone looking for an organization worth supporting can stop looking with Family Promise.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Former staff & AmeriCorps*VISTA 3 years (Volunteer Coordinator 2 years - Development Coordinator 1 year).