Our second Family Promise week of 2018 is coming up (Jun 3-10, 2018). Family Promise of Wake County helps families without homes achieve independence by providing temporary housing, lodging, meals, case management, and educational services. St. Paul’s serves as a host congregation, providing meals, supplies, and volunteer support to families temporarily residing at White Plains United Methodist Church in Cary several times each year.
Several times a year, St. Paul’s co-hosts a Family Promise (formerly known as Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network) week with White Plains Methodist Church. The participants are families in the Triangle area. Most have lost their homes while they struggle to get make ends meet. There are many reasons for their struggles, but often the families who are just barely making ends meet, then are faced with a medical problem or other unexpected major expense. Family Promise seeks to give these families a hand while also setting them on the path to independence.
For those several months when the families are in the program, they move from church to church, staying one week in each. The church clears out SundaySchool rooms, where the families sleep. Each morning, the kids go to school or day care, while the parents go to work or get assistance finding jobs, etc.
We partner with White Plains UMC, that provides the facilities and half the labor for our week. We provide the other half of the labor. There are a few options for volunteering. One is to be a social host. Social hosts help out after dinner, entertaining the kids while the adults get just a little time to themselves (which they may even use for things like tracking down job leads). This is a good opportunity for a volunteer family to interact with the kids. Another volunteer opportunity is to be an overnight host. Those arrive around between 8:00 and 9:00 PM. They often have conversations with the families, then lock up and sleep in a classroom. Conversations with the participants are often very rewarding. This program is really making a difference in their lives (even though it isn’t easy to move from church to church, living out of Sunday School rooms).