Family Promise News:
Since its beginning in July, 2012, Family Promise has been hosted 20 times at our parish, involving over 100 volunteers and countless hours spent hosting, sleeping over, washing linens, cleaning, setting up and taking down beds. It has been an important outreach project for our parish to the community. While changes may be taking place in the structure of Family Promise over the next couple of years, we will continue to be committed to helping host homeless families by housing and feeding them and offering support. Later this spring, a questionnaire will be available to recruit new volunteers and to give our current and past volunteers the opportunity to provide feedback.
The following dates are scheduled for the coming year, so please mark your calendars and watch and listen for the white board to be announced:
April 16 – 22
July 16 – 22
December 17 – 23
Thank you for all you do to make this program such a success!
Family Promise of Missoula is a nonprofit network of interfaith congregations working together to reduce homelessness and transform lives. Family Promise of Missoula offers shelter, food, and advocacy services to families with children living in homelessness by utilizing existing church facilities and the talent, passion and energy of volunteers from twenty-five Missoula congregations in the faith community. Family Promise of Missoula offers a 90-day maximum stay for homeless families, and serves up to four families (up to 14 people) at one time. Some Vital Statistics:
- Poverty rate in Missoula area is at 22%, about 7.5% higher than the state average
- Homeless families make up more than 40% of the homeless population
- School personnel continue to see increases in homeless families in the Missoula school district
The need to fund Family Promise of Missoula services continues to grow. We have been fortunate to receive the incredible support we have, but this work is ongoing. In order to enhance services to our guest families, FPM has hired a new executive and a part-time case manager to better help families. We have relocated to our new day center at 2816 South Avenue (which is more accessible and home-like for guest families) and we will be incurring additional costs to expanding our services to guest families. This expansion is a direct result of the need we continue to witness with families impacted by homelessness.
- We appreciate our generous volunteers, and we hope that you will join us in offering your prayers for all of the families and those who have helped out with this important ministry.
- Many of you have expressed interest in helping out with Family Promise but weren’t sure how or have not been able to help as a volunteer. PLEASE support Family Promise at St Francis Xavier and Family Promise Missoula!
- Monetary donations are always needed in addition to the following volunteer positions:
evening hosts or overnight hosts bring and/or serve meals help with laundry, set-up and/or take-down of sleeping spaces. someone to pull the trailer containing beds and families possessions to the next church
- Please prayerfully consider how you might help be part of Family Promise. So far, the feedback from those involved has been extremely positive!
If you have any questions, please call Pam in the parish office at 406.542.0321
For any volunteers who will be in direct contact with the families, there will be mandatory VIRTUS training sessions held at different Missoula area Catholic Churches. (Check your bulletin for scheduled sessions.) We need you to make this a success! Family Promiseof Missoula brings the faith community together to help families regain their housing, their independence, and their dignity. Family Promise is a partnership of religious congregations within our Missoula community helping families who are facing homelessness. Participation in this network offers an opportunity for volunteers of all faiths to reduce homelessness and transform lives. Pick up any thesaurus and you’ll find hundreds of synonyms for the word “home.” Terms range from the most obvious—abode, dwelling, and residence—to the protective—shelter, refuge, and haven. More emotional and perceptual descriptions include roots, serenity, nesting, hospitable, relaxing, and anchor. The imagery for home is vast and complex, and usually involves more than a physical structure, with most of us associating the word with memories of family, feelings, experiences, and pivotal life events. The mission of Family Promise of Missoula is to help families impacted by homelessness rebuild their lives through the compassion and dedication of hundreds of volunteers in the Missoula community. With this support, “home” is provided for families in need so they can move to stability and self-reliance in their efforts on their destination home. See the website at www.familypromisemissoula.net