2018 promises to be an exciting year for many reasons at UPC but one of those reasons is our ability to host Family Promise with a consortium of churches in Laramie. In the following weeks you will hear much information about this organization and how you can support and personally be involved with this ministry. We want to make sure you understand this organization and what will be asked of the UPC community as we partner with Family Promise. The Homeless population in Laramie may be bigger than you think.
The following highlights some of the mission and history of this organization:
Family Promise MISSION
The Mission of Family Promise is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.
TACKLING THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY
Poverty is a complex problem. It won't yield to a simple solution. It requires an integrated approach that reaches beyond immediate needs.
They initiate coordinated local efforts that bring communities together to help homeless families regain their housing, their independence, and their dignity.
PROVIDING A WAY TO HELP
Americans are a compassionate people. Enormous numbers of people would help their neighbors in need if they had a way to help. Family Promise brings people in need together with people who want to help. Family Promise provides the framework that turns compassion into action.
EMPOWERING COMPASSIONATE INDIVIDUALS
The issue can seem overwhelming and individuals may feel powerless to change the lives of people in poverty. Across the country Family Promise volunteers...more than 180,000 people have found a way.
Working together, they provide temporary housing, meals, and services to nearly 70,000 family members annually. They mentor at-risk families. They teach financial literacy. They help find jobs and affordable housing. They create programs to meet specific needs in their communities. And they advocate for public policies that alleviate poverty and promote the economic stability of low-income families.
Family Promise VISION
The Family Promise vision is a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future.
THE FIRST NETWORK started in New Jersey by a woman named Karen who
learned that homelessness was affecting families right in her own community. She brought together people in need and people who wanted to help. Existing community resources could provide shelter, meals, and housing. Volunteers could use their skills, knowledge, and compassion to help their homeless neighbors find employment, reconnect with society, and restore their dignity.
She approached the religious community. Congregations offered hospitality space within their buildings. The YMCA provided showers and a family day center. A car dealer discounted a van. The first interfaith hospitality network opened on October 27, 1986.
the network goes national. As word spread, more New Jersey congregations formed a second network. Other congregations were inspired to develop similar programs. In 1988, we formed the National Interfaith Hospitality Network to bring the program nationwide. In addition to shelter, meals, housing, and job-seeking support, our Affiliates began developing programs for transitional housing, childcare, and homelessness prevention. In 1992, Family Promise was awarded one of 21 Points of Light, out of a field of more than 4,500 nominees, by President and Barbara Bush.
In 2003 they became Family Promise.
They changed their name to reflect the broad range of programs and vision of ending family homelessness. The name refers to the promise, in the sense of commitment, which communities make to families in need. But it also refers to the promise, the potential, inherent in every family.
Family Promise has come to represent not just the programs that touch the lives of more than 67,000 people in need annually and engage more than 180,000 volunteers. It represents a national movement that believes we can address family homelessness-right here in our own communities.
I have worked with Family Promise in Denver for 16 years and I know first hand what a fine organization they are. I am excited for this church to begin its ministry with Family Promise. Plean to attend our Congregational Meeting on January 28 at 10:00 for more details about partnership.