Family Promise Metrowest
The Metrowest IHN is a cooperative, interfaith partnership offering hope to homeless families with children through safe transitional shelter, meals, and supportive case management as they seek permanent housing.
Where The Families Stay
FPM’s seventeen Host Congregations provide overnight accommodations for families by converting their classrooms into bedrooms, one week at a time, three to four times a year. Each Host Congregation is paired with one or two of the twenty-three Support Congregations who provide additional volunteers, supplies and support during host weeks.
Family Promise is able to provide shelter to four families, up to fourteen people, at any given time. Families arrive at the scheduled Host Congregation around 5:30 each evening. Here they are welcomed by Family Promise volunteers, provided a hot nutritious meal, a safe warm bedroom, support and fellowship. Guest families and volunteer hosts come together for the evening meal around 6:00pm. After dinner and clean up, families are able to relax and unwind a bit. Volunteers may assist a guest child with homework, read a book, or play a game with them.
Families arise early in the morning, are provided breakfast by the volunteers return to the Day Center to begin their day.
The Common Street Community Church in Natick donates the space for FPM’s Day Center that serves as their families’ home base. It is available to their families 365 days a year from 7:00am to 5:00pm. Here, families shower and prepare for the day. During the week, school age children catch their school bus, young children are taken to daycare and parents either head to work, school or continue their job search. On the weekends, families may choose to spend their time at “home” at the day center, catching up on laundry, doing homework and preparing for the week ahead.
In addition to the regular daily activities that we all experience, parents in the program work closely with their FPM case manager to address the issues that led to their homelessness, to set goals necessary to help them regain sustainable, independent housing, and to connect them to Family Promise and community resources. Each family’s needs and goals are different. For some, it may be working with an FPM volunteer to study for their GED or connecting with the local career center for assistance with resume writing and interview skills. For others who are already employed, it may be working with their case manager to budget their income, pay down debt and save for an apartment. Whatever their goal may be, parents are working hard to take care of their families’ ongoing needs while working towards independent living. As one guest said, “Life still goes on, we just don’t have a place to call home.”
Mary and her two young children arrived at FPM 3 months ago. In that short time, Mary has received her GED, enrolled in school fulltime to become a medical assistant and found part time employment. Mary’s children are doing well in school and Mary continues to work hard on budgeting, debt reduction and saving for an apartment.
Tyreese and Kelly arrived at FPM with their 1 year old son. Neither parent had their GED and had been having difficulty finding employment. Within 4 months, both Tyreese and Kelly received their GEDs and Tyreese found work in a local restaurant where he received on the job training to become a prep cook with the hopes of moving up to a line cook. They were able to save up and move into their own apartment within 5 months of entering the program.
Family homelessness is on the rise in Massachusetts and across the country. According to the Mass Coalition for the Homeless, the average age of a homeless person in Massachusetts is 8 years old. That’s a 3rd grader! In order for these children to grow into healthy, educated, self-sufficient adults, they need to have a safe and stable home to grow up in. By helping their parents receive the education and job and life skill training they need to provide a safe and stable home, Family Promise Metrowest is helping to ensure that each child has the opportunity to become a healthy, educated, self-sufficient adult.
How Support Can Help
Support will enable Family Promise Metrowest to provide ongoing case management services, transportation to and from work, school, and medical appointments, childcare and shelter to families who are homeless. They welcome support through the donation of your time as a volunteer, donation of items needed for our families and financial support. To learn more how you can help, please visit their website at www.familypromisemetrowest.org.