“Because Every Child Should Have a Home”
The Family Promise mission statement is: “Ending homeless one family at a time while keeping the family intact.” Keeping families together during a crisis so devastating that they no longer have a place to live involves churches coming together and offering their space as temporary havens of warmth, love, and safety. Family Promise is a nation-wide organization and has been successfully in existence for 22 years. It has just recently come to CT for the first time and, more importantly, God has brought it to us at Wellspring! We will be partnering with over 20 local churches in surrounding towns. These churches have been hard at work for the last three years and have reached their goal of beginning the program on March 5, 2017.
The families supported by Family Promise must include a child or children. Once they are identified, they go through a vetting and in-take process conducted by a Family Promise director who is also a social worker. For us that person is Don Carlson and he has just begun work at the “Day Center” located at 40 Cornelius Way in New Britain, a beautifully refurbished home ready and waiting to welcome families into the program. Families stay at the Day Center during the day (other shelters in the area do not allow this), where they are able to shower, wash clothes, and receive help finding jobs and/or adequate and affordable housing. The school-age children are bussed to their schools from the Day Center. The program has a 14 passenger van to transport families from the Day Center to the churches where they will be staying each week in the evenings. There will never be more than 14 guests at a time being housed.
Our guests will arrive for Wellspring’s first week partnering with Family Promise on Sunday April 16th, which we think is perfect. Resurrection Sunday! At around 2:00 pm, cots and the families’ personal belongings will arrive from the previous church so that we can prepare for the families’ arrival at 5:00. We’ll fellowship together and share a meal before giving the families time to pack lunches for the following day, do homework if needed, play games, and sleep. Two or three church volunteers will also sleep over at the church each night of the week-long program. At 7:00 a.m., we will provide a light breakfast and the van will transport the families back to the Day Center. On the following Sunday, April 23rd, at 7:00 a.m. the families will depart with our blessings and start the process over again that evening at the next host church.
Each church, including Wellspring, has committed to a full year of hosting four times a year. With 13 host churches, that makes a full 52 weeks. Most families remain in the program approximately 9 weeks before they are back on their feet again and in their own homes. Each host church has a “support church” that partners with them and ours is Kensington Congregational. We are already blessed and excited about laboring together with KCC.
What do we need most, you might ask? The answer is prayer. God is expanding our “metron” because we asked Him to. With all of these churches–His church–coming together to end homeless, it’s a recipe for a major nervous breakdown for the enemy! Prayer coverage is vital and we can all participate by praying without ceasing and thanking God continually for this great thing He is doing in and through us.
Along with prayer, it will also take several teams of volunteers to provide meals, help with set-up and break down, sleep over, eat dinner and breakfast with guests, as well as donate the many items needed to make a home for our guests the week they will be with us. The items needed most right now are twin sets of sheets, pillowcases, blankets, small bath hand towels, and face cloths. If you can help in this area please contact Val Vujs at 860-841-2738 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also be on the look-out in the coming weeks for lists of other items that will be needed.
We will have a table in the Café again this coming Sunday for sign-up or you can contact me at 860-380-7876 or email@example.com.
Thank you and God Bless,