A mother loses her job, a father is kept from working by an injury, a family is forced from their home by fire or natural disaster. Healthcare costs soar, public transportation is underfunded, affordable housing is almost impossible to find. These are the reasons why families now make up 40 percent of the homeless population, and why one out of every four homeless people is a child.
In response to this crisis, the Family Promise Network brings the faith community together to help families regain their housing, their independence, and their dignity. Family Promise is a partnership of congregations within a community helping families who are facing homelessness. It offers an opportunity for volunteers of all faiths to reduce homelessness and transform lives.
Family Promise is currently operating in 41 states and the District of Columbia, in large cities, suburbs, and rural counties. They mobilize community resources: houses of worship for lodging, congregations for volunteers, social service agencies for assessment and referrals, and existing facilities for day programs. This strategy enables networks to help homeless families achieve lasting independence at a third of the cost of traditional shelters.
Nationally, 80 percent of the families that Family Promise serve go on to long-term housing. In 2009, Family Promise affiliates served more than 47,000 children and adults and involved more than 130,000 volunteers in 5,000 congregations.