Our rotational shelter program and warm hospitality is the foundation of the Family Promise model.
The innovative model — using existing space like congregations and volunteers motivated by compassion —has helped hundreds of children and adults in Gallatin Valley. Working with community resources, Family Promise of Gallatin Valley provides comprehensive and targeted services, including extensive case management, at 1/3 the cost of traditional shelter. Furthermore, Family Promise of Gallatin Valley serves families of all compositions – couples, single mothers, single fathers, expecting parents, and grandparents with custody.
Last year, 90% of the people served in our shelter program secured housing within 12 weeks. Because of the depth of services and community support, families stay housed, in part due to the fact that we
continued to provide both prevention and stabilization services to increase their chance of success.
HOW IT WORKS
Family Promise of Gallatin Valley works with 12 host congregations and 9 partner churches that provide shelter, meals, and support for one week a quarter. A typical day in the shelter program is not an easy routine. A normal day starts at 6:00 am, as families need to wake their children, get dressed, and leave the church by 7:30 am to go to work, school, or back to our Day Center. Here at the Day Center parents receive case management services, kids can catch the school bus, and families can have a little piece of normalcy. By 3:30 pm kids are back from school and families are getting ready to go back to the host church for dinner by 5:30 pm.
With volunteers giving their time, making meals, and sharing hospitality, family homelessness is addressed without the creation of expensive shelters. These volunteers are the core of the program. They share food, spend the night, play with children and lend their passion and expertise to help families get back on their feet. They prove that motivated people can solve family homelessness. And, in the process, they truly create “home” – and a community – for families who have no place left to turn.
A COMMUNITY RESPONSE
In every community, these core elements exist. By bringing the community together on the issue of family homelessness, Family Promise addresses a major social problem in a holistic, effective way. Once the community becomes engaged, people understand the root causes of family homelessness and take steps to address them. Family Promise Affiliates have created more than 1,700 community initiatives—housing programs, homelessness prevention, childcare and much more—that target the issues of poverty and homelessness on a local level.
A LONG-TERM SOLUTION
Not only does our 90% success rate mean many more families are stably housed, it is also a tremendous cost saving to the community as diversion from far more expensive interventions. Our approach of keeping families together, identifying their strengths, and partnering with the community for solutions means that families are at much lower risk of returning to homelessness.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Family Promise of Gallatin Valley changes lives. We served 28 families last year, giving them the ability to realize their true potential. We also changed the lives of over 700 volunteers, giving them a meaningful outreach right in their own communities.