SAVANNAH, GA – June 8, 2020 – The soon to be re-named Family Promise of the Coastal Empire – which is planning to merge from three area affiliates in Savannah, Bryan and Effingham counties – has announced they will start housing families enrolled in their program again at the organization’s static locations in Bryan and Effingham counties on Sunday, June 14.
Family Promise works to alleviate homelessness among families with children by providing full-service emergency shelter, meals, and inclusive support. At the static locations, guests can shower, attend to laundry needs, care for their children, and meet regularly with case managers to map their progress and navigate through the systemic barriers that lead to their homelessness. Family Promise is one of the few emergency shelters in the area that allows all members of the family to reside together, while working on their sufficiency plan. Guests are linked to available resources designed to help them achieve lasting independence.
To work toward this effort, Family Promise usually utilizes a network of local host congregations of all faiths, called the Interfaith Hospitality Network, where Savannah guests can spend each evening having dinner and networking with motivated volunteers who are eager to help them achieve their goals.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches closed and were no longer able to serve as shelters for families in Savannah; and the static locations for Bryan and Effingham counties had to be shut down in order to honor the state public health guidelines.
Therefore, families had to stay in local Airbnb’s and hotels, which lead to an inadvertent launch of Family Promise’s new Diversion Program, which keeps homeless families safe in hotels as they wait to be admitted into the homeless prevention program. The COVID-19 pandemic moved up Family Promise’s implementation of this program and successfully led to stable lodging for the families in the program. There were originally 10 families that Family Promise was assisting before the pandemic, and because of the Diversion Program, eight of the families have transitioned into permanent housing. Two more will graduate from the program soon. Shelter services in Chatham County are continuing with the use of hotels until the organization secures locations to house families in until they can resume their traditional rotation in the congregations.
Although Family Promise had to operate under different conditions and protocols, the organization stepped up to the plate during these challenging times as many low-income families in the Coastal Empire turned to them for help. As social distancing was enacted, Family Promise knew that families could not shelter-in-place if they have no place in which to shelter. Although the nonprofit’s budget was tight, they never turned a family away and accommodated many area families who desperately needed assistance.
“Our mission and duty never ceased at Family Promise. We continued to aid families most in need and were able to provide them with the opportunity to achieve lasting independence,” said Executive Director Katrina Bostick. “We are very excited to open our static locations back up in Bryan and Effingham so we can continue providing these valuable programs to those who need it most.”
To learn more about Family Promise, please visit www.familypromisesavannah.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 912-790-9446.
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