When families are faced with homelessness, Family Promise, a nonprofit organization, exists explicitly to keep families together. While typical homeless shelters separate men from women, which often includes young adolescent boys from their mothers, Family Promise’s unique setup affords families the ability to stay together.
With assistance from local church congregations, church buildings provide temporary shelter as families work toward attaining permanent and sustainable housing. The 90-day program equips families with a plan to become self-sufficient through training in financial literacy and case-by-case management of resources and services.
Family Promise is part of a national movement that began 28 years ago. Today, the national organization has 180,000 volunteers that serve more than 50,000 people annually. The Hillsborough County Family Promise opened its doors on May 4, 2014. To date, the local nonprofit has graduated 46 families to safe and affordable housing. Among those families were 99 school-aged children. Last year, through the partnership with Manna Ministries, Family Promise distributed more than 11,000 pounds of food to graduate families and others in need in the community.
Family Promise attended the Community Roundtable of Brandon’s annual dinner on February 27 and was awarded ‘Nonprofit of the Year.’ Then the following day at the ‘WEDU Be More Empowered’ luncheon, Family Promise received the ‘Ultimate Medical Academy, Small Nonprofit Award,’ which recognizes organizations with a budget under $500,000 that has a significant impact on the community.
Edwina Reddick, executive director of Family Promise of Hillsborough County, said, “It was such an honor and very humbling to be selected as the winner. First time in a long time I was speechless.”
Family Promise of Hillsborough County operates with minimal staffing but makes a major impact on the community. The nonprofit heavily relies on its generous volunteers, congregations and donors. Without volunteers and donors, Family Promise would cease to exist.
When asked about needs, Reddick replied, “Currently, we need more host facilities; volunteers for the Day Center on the weekend; toilet paper, paper towels both the single fold and roll kind; and monetary donations.”
Family Promise has 12 host facilities—most of which are houses of worship. Reddick said Family Promise is open to using other facilities as host sites. To learn more on how you can donate or volunteer, please visit www.familypromisefl.org or call 681-6170.