Graduated family Nancy and Austin in their new home

Graduated family Nancy and Austin in their new home

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines home as:

one’s place of residence, the social unit formed by a family living together, or a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment.

But what does “home” mean to you?

I grew up in a quiet town in Northern Idaho. Our neighborhood played “Kick the Can” at night until dark. Our family enjoyed summer BBQ’s and building snowmen during the winters in our back yard. Home was safe. Home was a healthy community. Home was constant.

At Family Promise many families come to us who lack something very important: a supportive network or a community. That is why our program is different from a traditional homeless shelter.

Family Promise focuses on the importance of relationships. Our volunteers provide a supportive network of listening ears, hugs and encouragement for families going through a “housing crisis”.

Since I began working for Family Promise I have realized that the idea of home is relative to each person. To me home has become less about an address and instead more focused on the idea that “home is where the heart is” or where your community is fostered.

The goal of our program is to help our families regain their independence. We do this by supporting the whole person-not just their housing needs. We work on budgeting, childcare, parenting skills and other vital life skills that our families can use once they graduate our program.

Yes, the goal of our program is to help our families end their issue of homelessness. However, it is deeper than that.

Each day we are supporting our families. Loving our families. And in the process we become part of their family.

Our volunteers and staff are the family members who are invited to baby showers, graduations and birthday parties of our past and present guests. We truly become a family during each guest’s time in the program.

Join us in the fight to end homelessness, one family at a time. This year, make a resolution to build a relationship with a family that needs a little extra support.

After all, don’t we all need a place and a community to call home?