Frequently Asked Questions
Is Family Promise a shelter?
No, FPGV is a transitional program for families with children interested in creating a stable, permanent situation for themselves and their families. If you are in need of emergency shelter, please contact the Help Center at 406-586-3333 or dial 211.
How does the program work?
Families sleep at various community churches for one week at a time. Dinner is served every evening by volunteers. During day hours, family members who are not in school or at work stay at the FPGV Day Center where they work on a family permanency plan.
Who can apply?
Any family with at least one minor child can apply. Both one-parent, two-parent, mixed generation, and guardian-led families are considered. Adults must sign a contract agreeing to active case management and be willing and able to work.
Are there any exceptions?
FPGV is unable to accept anyone with:
- an active substance abuse problem
- a serious untreated mental illness
- risk of violence or sexual offenses
How do I qualify for your program?
If you feel you qualify for the Family Promise program, call the office at 406-582-7388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set an appointment to meet with our Family Case Manager, Kara Meier.
Is there a waiting list?
On occasion, FPGV services do fill up however it is still important to fill out an application. Living situations can change rapidly and we can serve families more efficiently if we know how many families are in need.
How long can I stay?
Length of stay depends on the individual needs of the families in the program. The average stay is from six to eight weeks.
What about my pet?
Thanks to PetSmart, families are able to keep their pets with them during their time in the program. Fish and small mammals are allowed in the day center while dogs are housed outside in our heated/cooled kennel. Cottonwood Veterinary helps us to care for pets while families are in transition.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers can contribute in many ways. The majority of our volunteers assist at the host congregations:
- Cooking and serving meals
- Playing with children and helping them with homework
- Staying overnight with guest families
- Just being there for children and their families, showing them compassion and respect, and sharing a sense of community
We also utilize volunteer mentors for guests who have left the program, tutor kids or provide specialized services, like resume writing, financial counseling or provide tech support, do upkeep on our Day Center as well as help out with special events. If you are unsure of how best to contribute, contact our office at 406-582-7388 or via email at email@example.com.
Why do you call them guests?
Family Promise is one of more than 180 Interfaith Hospitality Networks that bring together faith communities to help families by providing safe-home like accommodations and healthy meals served in a community setting. The foundation of Family Promise is hospitality which is why families served are referred to as ‘guests’ and the volunteers as ‘hosts’. It is in this environment that we believe we can help families maintain their dignity, even under the harshest of circumstances.
What does the training involve and when is the next training?
Volunteers who wish to have direct contact with guest must complete 2-hour FPGV training which details the causes and impact of homelessness, the Family Promise Interfaith Hospitality model, and how to interact with guests. Please call the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the next training date. Trainings are generally offered once per month.
Can I still volunteer if I am not part of a faith community?
Yes, in fact, unaffiliated volunteers are a critical to our operations. Unaffiliated volunteers help mentor family members, fill holes in congregational schedules, transport guests, plan events, and help maintain our Day Center. If you would like to volunteer, contact our office at 406-582-7388 or email@example.com.
Does Family Promise have faith requirements?
While Family Promise relies heavily on local churches for volunteer and financial support, it is not a religious or faith-based organization. Furthermore, Family Promise of Gallatin Valley does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or religion. Although we are not a faith-based program, we believe in putting our faith into action, not words. Proselytizing is strictly forbidden and guests need not attend any religious activities to receive services.
Is my FPGV donation tax-deductible?
Family Promise is a 501(c)3 registered with the State of Montana. You can make a tax-deductible contribution by mail or online.
Do you accept donations of goods & services?
We do accept donations of clothing and household goods for current families only. However, because we have limited storage space, please call before you come to ensure that we it is something we can use.