Combatting North Shore Homelessness
The root of the problem of homelessness on the North Shore is simple: Employment doesn’t pay a livable wage and housing is unaffordable. To combat this, Family Promise works intensively with 4 families at a time in our program and up to 5 more in the community at risk of becoming homeless.
In our first three years, we provided shelter, meals and extensive support services to 27 families. That’s 51 children and 31 adults who stayed off the street and had the support they needed to regain their independence.
Keeping Families Together
Our program focuses on serving families experiencing homelessness in a manner that preserves the dignity and strength of the family. This includes keeping families together during this difficult time and ensuring that children may remain in their own school system.
Engaging the Community
We rely on an interfaith network of over 35 local congregations to serve families in need. We mobilize more than 1,200 volunteers from the community to work directly with our guests, both at host congregations and at our Day Center. These volunteers constitute a powerful force for change in ending homelessness on the North Shore.
Family Promise doesn’t stop at shelter, meals and hospitality. All of our guest families work through a financial literacy program, job skills assessment, monthly budgeting accountability and any other necessary services, such as family therapy, crisis intervention or theraputic mentoring. We provide peer mentoring, as well as helpful workshops for families to learn more about tenant rights & responsibilities, employee/employer rights & responsibilities or nutrition & exercise. And we engage local and State advocacy groups on behalf of legislation that affects our families’ employment, service delivery options and housing availability.
Providing aftercare is an important part of the Family Promise program. Our staff meets with ‘graduate’ families each month to ensure they maintain their monthly budgets and continued debt reduction. We identify new needs that arise, such as summer camp/after school needs and referrals for additional services.
To date, none of the families that have successfully graduated from the Family Promise North Shore Boston program have experienced homelessness again.
Our volunteers come to know the human face of homelessness. Family Promise builds greater understanding of problems – and of solutions.