How Family Promise of Clear Creek Works in League City, TX


Host Congregations:

About four to five times a year, for one week at a time – Host congregations provide overnight lodging, meals (supper, breakfast and brown-bag lunch), and hospitality. Hosting rotates between the twelve to thirteen Host congregations in the network, which provide lodging for four families (up to fourteen individuals) from evening to the next morning.

Volunteers:

Volunteers are the heart of the Network; without them, it cannot exist. Volunteers provide a variety of services: cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping them with homework, and staying overnight. Beyond providing lodging and meals, volunteers interact with the guests, treating them with respect and responding with compassion.

Social Service Agencies:

Local social service agencies refer families to the Network. The agencies may also help guests find housing, jobs, and other services. Since Family Promise is primarily comprised of volunteers, the social service agencies help assess potential guest families for active substance abuse, domestic violence or psychiatric problems.
 
FAQ

How long do families stay in the Network?

Length of stay depends on each family’s situation. Typically, families are able to get back on their feet within three to six months. As long as they are making progress on their goals and abiding by the rules of the program, families stay as long as needed to achieve sustained independence.

Where do guest families stay during the day on weekends?

Everyone who is employed is at work during the day. And anyone who is not employed is at the Day Center, working on finding employment. During weekends, families spend time together and do fun things.

How are families referred to the Network?

Families are referred to our program from a number of agencies including – local shelters, public assistance offices, school homeless liaisons, the Red Cross, local congregations, the police department, and the Salvation Army. Others find us through Internet search or by visiting our website.

Isn't it difficult for families to move week to week?

Moving every week isn't ideal, but most families say that the homelike setting and the support of volunteers more than compensate for the moving. While host congregations change every week or two, the day center remains the same, providing continuity and a home base for families as they look for housing and jobs. The day center also provides a permanent address that families can use in their housing and job searches.

How do the children get to school? What schools do they attend?

If a family is homeless, federal law (the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987) requires that the school provide transportation for the kids to and from school, regardless of the location of their shelter. We work with the school system to ensure that all children attend school. Children go to the school they have been attending or to the school nearest the day center.

Can I bring my entire family to volunteer?

Yes. Adults and children can volunteer. Simply contact your congregation coordinator to sign up.

How are you funded?

Our affiliate is funded through donations from churches, individuals, businesses and grants from private corporations. All donations to our affiliate are tax deductible.

Will the children miss school because their families are staying in different congregations every week or two?

No. The Network director works with the school system to ensure that all children attend school. The day center is the permanent address of the Network. Children go to the school they have been attending or to the school nearest the day center.

Arrangements are made locally with the school system.

In 1987, Congress passed the McKinney Act, legislation that requires all states and school districts to provide for the education of homeless youth. Each state has developed a plan to implement the Act. Most of the state plans are flexible and allow children to attend the school they last attended or the school closest to the shelter (day center).

What are some advantages of the Network program over a more traditional shelter?

An Interfaith Hospitality Network has these advantages:

  • A Network can be developed quickly.
  • A Network is cost-effective because it utilizes existing community resources.
  • A Network program doesn't institutionalize shelter as a solution to homelessness.
  • In Networks, about 80 percent of the guest families find permanent housing, often with volunteers' help.
  • For congregations, the Network is a vital outreach ministry within the walls of the members' own church or synagogue.
  • A Network is a catalyst for other community initiatives. 1VÏany active Networks go on to create new programs in areas such as parenting and mentoring, transitional housing, and housing renovation.