Families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, making up almost 50 percent of those who are homeless in West Michigan according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.
Family Promise of Grand Rapids works with families who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless by helping them get back on their feet so they can create a stable lifestyle for their children. Family Promise is unique in that it does not split up families during their crisis; dads and boys over the age of ten are allowed to remain with their families, keeping the family unit strong.
Their goal is to help families build a strong foundation for their future by providing emergency services, affordable housing, case management, employment assistance, mentoring, and furniture donation services. Family Promise wants to help families thrive – not just survive.
There are 16 Host Congregations throughout the greater Grand Rapids area, which also provide emergency shelter to families on a rotating basis. Along with the Host Congregations, there are over 20 additional Support Congregations which partner with the Host Congregations to provide extra volunteers, and meals for families.
With the start of The Pathway Home Initiative, a partnership with Mel Trotter Ministries, Family Promise was able to expanded their shelter housing units by 300 percent; enabling them to help even more families during their times of need. They now have a total of 27 rooms for families needing emergency shelter – 5 through the Innerfaith Hospitality Network, and 22 rooms through the Pathway Home partnership.
During the day, families come to the Family Promise Day Center where they can take care of family business. Through the use of their computer center, and working with case managers and mentors, they are able to access community resources to search for employment and housing. The key to success is the fact that every family is connected to the community through volunteers from local congregations and mentors in the Family Mentoring Program. Families are able to build a new community network that will help them achieve their goals of independence.
During their twenty-year history Family Promise has helped over 3,000 children and 1,300 families, with 96 percent of families still in permanent housing two years after leaving the program.Back