Ending Homelessness One Family at a Time
Through a unique partnership with diverse communities of faith, Family Promise of Greater Denver, along with over 50 congregations, assists homeless families by providing temporary shelter, meals, transportation, and assistance finding work, housing, counseling and supportive services.
Family Promise at Temple Emanuel
August 13-20, 2017
Susie Moss, Co-Chair
Deb Herman, Co-Chair
Sherry Stark, Co-Chair
How Family Promise Works
Three to five families, with a total up to fourteen people, are accepted into the Family Promise program at any one time. These families live in host congregations one week at a time with the goal of staying 60-90 days total. Each congregation hosts the families for one week at a time (usually 4x per year). Families come to the host congregation at the end each of each day, around 5:30 p.m., have dinner, prepare sack lunches for the next day, hangout with their families, sleep in designated rooms overnight, have breakfast, and leave around 7:00 a.m. each morning. During the day, children go to school, parents go to work or work on finding a job or housing, or go to the day site, located at 5th and Lipan. At the end of their week stay, their belongings and Family Promise beds are moved to the next host congregation.
Being a Family Promise Volunteer
Volunteers are the heart of Family Promise. You are invited to be a part of this mission. Spend an evening with these families, offer to spend the night, volunteer to prepare a meal, set-up, clean-up, do laundry or simply come play with the kids. If you want to get involved, there is a little something for everyone.
Family Promise operates under a model of "hospitality". Volunteers are the programs "hosts" and the families staying in the network of congregations are our "guests". We work to meet the "guests'" basic human needs with a spirit of warmth and compassion. In order to make this model work there is a need for volunteers for a variety of opportunities to welcome our guests into the community. Some of the volunteer opportunities include:
Volunteer Van Drivers: During our host week, we need hosts to transport the guests to the day site at 7:00 a.m. each morning and pick the guests up at 5:00 p.m. each evening. We will need these hosts to drive the family Promise van, provide a copy of a driver's license, and sign the driving form for insurance purposes.
Set-up: The Sunday we expect our guests is the time we transform our Temple's designated spaces into living quarters and bring all of the necessary supplies and equipment into each of the rooms we are hosting people in. Hosts are needed to help set-up beds, put up signs, and anything else associated with making the living spaces welcoming.
Dinner Hosts: Dinner hosts prepare a meal for about 18 people, serve the meal, eat with our guests, and clean-up afterwards. Hosts can do the cooking at home and bring the food to Temple, or prepare the meal in our kitchen. We serve buffet style meals and menus are coordinated in advance to avoid duplication. We serve dinner as close to 6:00 p.m. as possible and are usually finished with clean-up around 8:00 p.m.
Overnight Host: This role is far easier than you might think. We need one male and one female host to sleep at Temple overnight. Hosts arrive at Temple between 8:00-8:30 p.m. and meet the guests. Everyone will retire to their rooms by 11 p.m. and hosts will have a bed in the Youth Lounge to sleep in. Hosts are responsible for being sure everyone is up and ready to go at 7:00 a.m. Most days, overnight hosts put out breakfast supplies and guests help themselves. Hosts will need to wash and put away the breakfast dishes and clean-up after our guests. Generally, hosts can leave Temple by 7:30 in the morning. The purpose of this role is to have someone here in case of an emergency.
Enrichment Activities: Occasionally we can offer special outings for the families. A movie, bowling, or a trip to the park can provide a welcome change of pace. This volunteer activity can be a group or a family effort. Do you have a special skill you can offer to our guests?
Activity Hosts: While parents are in training classes, helping with dishes, preparing lunches, doing laundry or simply taking a break, the activity hosts are responsible for supervising the children on the playground or in the youth lounge. Depending on the ages of the children some structured activities are welcomed, but many appreciate the opportunity to run and be noisy either outside or in designated areas. Hosts are asked to come at 6:30 p.m. and plan to stay until 9:00 p.m. This is a great family activity for our congregants.
Clean up: On the Sunday our guests leave, we will need volunteers to clean-up the rooms that were used before religious school begins at 9:00 a.m. We will need the rooms to be cleaned and vacuumed, laundry sorted, toys cleaned, dishes washed, and anything else put away and straightened up.