Family Promise of Hillsborough County Inc., located in Brandon, provides food, shelter and support services for homeless families through a network of community-based organizations, area churches and local businesses. Its goal is to help homeless families become self-sustaining while they work toward safe and affordable housing.

Family Promise of Hillsborough County Inc. (Family Promise) is a local affiliate of the national organization. The local affiliate, which helps all of Hillsborough County, was established in 2010 and took in its first family in May of 2014. Family Promise addresses the issue of homelessness.

The mission of Family Promise is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Family Promise provides a means to address family homelessness in a way that most organizations cannot. The unique way it does this is by keeping the families together, regardless of their makeup, during a very vulnerable time of their lives.

Family Promise provides food, shelter and support services for homeless families. It also provides advice and advocacy for at-risk families to prevent them from becoming homeless. Family Promise is a 90-day program. After the 90 days, they can sign up for the extended care program where Family Promise stays with them for up to a year and beyond.

To be eligible for help from Family Promise, a family must be homeless in Hillsborough County for at least one night prior to entry in the program, have minor children in their custody, be willing to live in a community setting and be willing to participate in a case management plan.

If a family is in need, the first thing to do is to call 813-681-6170. A partial intake will be done by a call specialist. The application is forwarded to a case manager, who will then call and complete the application.

Edwina Reddick is the executive director for Family Promise. Reddick said, “The most important service we provide is case management. Families must meet a minimum of twice per week with a case manager. We provide a budgeting class written expressly for Family Promise by Woodforest Bank. We require mandatory savings based on an established budget. Family Promise provides food, clothing, an array of personal needs. We provide hope, we provide a home, and we provide love.”

Reddick added, “The goal is to empower the family to become self-sustaining while they work toward safe and affordable housing and stabilization once they secure housing. We also provide some prevention services as well as some rehousing services.”

Family Promise partners with a number of area organizations, including ECHO, for clothing and job search coaching, as well as 13 area churches, which provide the lodging and food.

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