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A community response for homeless families. Family Promise Interfaith Hospitality Network Just Neighbors Family Mentoring Interfaith Advocacy Program.

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Presentation on theme: "A community response for homeless families. Family Promise Interfaith Hospitality Network Just Neighbors Family Mentoring Interfaith Advocacy Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 A community response for homeless families

2 Family Promise Interfaith Hospitality Network Just Neighbors Family Mentoring Interfaith Advocacy Program Community Initiatives

3 Our Mission Our mission is the transformation of the lives of children and their families. Through hospitality and daily living support, we provide safe shelter, food, counseling and training in partnership with local communities of faith. Lawrence Family Promise assists families as they identify and overcome obstacles and move quickly to sustainable housing.

4 Our Mission Our Mission Also Provides: Congregations with local mission opportunities Initiatives and community involvement for serving local needs Volunteer opportunities for people of all ages Advocating locally for the homeless population

5 The Lawrence Family Promise Affiliate Helping homeless families regain their independence Mobilization and cooperation of community resources to provide shelter, meals and assistance through use of:  Congregational facilities for overnight accommodations.  Caring volunteers providing hospitality  Day center  Social service agencies for screening and referrals  Transportation to and from day center  Staff for case management, family advocacy, liaison to agencies, job enhancement training, resume building, interview skills, budgeting skills etc.

6 The host congregation helps by providing: “Hospitality.” Safe, homelike accommodations. Healthy, home-cooked meals. Friendly support. A place where guests can maintain their dignity.

7 Host Congregations 13 hosts make it possible for us to provide year round hospitality – 365 days a year – while each congregation hosts no more than once a quarter. Who are they? First Christian Church First Southern Baptist Church Eudora United Methodist Church Plymouth Congregational UCC Morning Star Church Lawrence Wesleyan Church Corpus Christi Catholic Church First Baptist Church Grace Evangelical Presbyterian St. Margaret’s Episcopal Trinity Lutheran Church First United Methodist Church Immanuel Lutheran Church

8 Support Congregations: St. John’s Catholic Church Lawrence Jewish Community Center Vintage Church Ecumenical Christian Ministries Holy Family Catholic Church Lawrence Free Methodist Bishop Seabury Academy Central United Methodist Good Shepherd Lutheran Ives Chapel UMC Islamic Center of Lawrence Trinity Episcopal Church Eudora Baptist Church Eudora Assembly of God Vinland United Methodist Church Stull United Methodist Church Hesper Friends Meeting Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Community Church of God Judah Worship Center Eastlake Church Community Church of God

9 Partnering Agencies Who are they? DCF, Eckan, Bert Nash, Social Service League, Ballard Center, Heartland Medical Clinic, USD 497, Housing Authority, Success by Six, Salvation Army, Tiny K, LCS, Just Foods What services do they provide? Referrals, Financial assistance Section VIII housing vouchers Clothing, Parenting classes Transportation, Food pantries Jobs, Child care services

10 Day Center Where is it?  905 Tennessee How is it staffed?  Director, Family Service Coordinator, Guest and Volunteer Coordinator, van drivers, and volunteers! What services are provided?  Laundry, showers, telephone, address, computer labs, case management, quiet space, and serves as an address for guests

11 The Network’s Guests The reasons for homelessness vary from family to family. Precipitating causes may include: Loss of job Divorce/separation Family violence Major illness Low wages Other family problems

12 The Network’s Guests Restrictions: Up to 4 families at a time, limit of 15 people. No single men. No persons with an active substance abuse problem, serious untreated mental illness, violent crime, sex offense, or risk of domestic violence.

13 Staffing The Network: Roles and Responsibilities

14 Volunteer Hosts Volunteer Hosts are the most important component of the Family Promise Network

15 Characteristics of Volunteers Are Open and caring Kind Friendly Respectful Safe – not pushy Helpful Compassionate Hospitable

16 Compassion What is it? Why is it important?

17 Compassion “Frequently people think compassion and love are merely sentimental. No! They are very demanding. If you are going to be compassionate you are prepared for action.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu “You may call God love, you may call God goodness, but the best name for God is compassion.” Meister Eckhart “As we create light for others, we naturally light our own way.” Mary Ann Radmacher

18 Hospitality What is it? Why is it important?

19 Hospitality “Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.” Henri J.M. Nouwen “Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to participate in God’s actions by bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.” Letty M. Russell “Our actual theology is best expressed in our actual theology…Hospitality is life with no gates.” Ann Voskamp

20 The Role of Volunteers Create a homelike atmosphere where guests can receive what they need most: rest, rejuvenation, hope, respect, confidence boosting, a sense of control in their lives. If they need quiet – a door and a place to just be with a family is a gift!

21 What Volunteers Do in the Network Serve as hosts: Welcome guests, answer questions, assist with any needs, play with children, help with homework, share a meal, be available. Prepare meals and share a meal with the guests. The meal may be prepared at home, or prepared along with the guests at the congregation Serve as Coordinators Day center administration, activities with kids, work days

22 Primary Coordinator(s) Supervisor of congregation’s program. Available to volunteers to answer questions, discuss concerns – the communication guru. Involved in planning and implementation of orientation program, for congregation’s volunteer hosts. Greets the guest(s) on Sunday. The person to call in an emergency or with a problem. Determines scheduling needs, along with assistant coordinators.

23 Assistant Coordinators Host Coordinator Makes schedule, ensures that shifts are covered. Serves as alternate to Primary Coordinator on Network Committee Meal Coordinator 1. Schedules volunteers to prepare dinners. 2. Ensures that meals are nutritious, balanced and not duplicated during the week. Supply Coordinator 1. In charge of keeping supplies and staples stocked. Activities Coordinator 1. Plans special activities for children and adults. 2. Ensures that there is an adequate supply of games/toys. Donations Coordinator 1. Coordinates donations to guest families (clothing, furniture, household goods, financial help).

24 Policies and Procedures Procedures for Guests Hosts

25 Meal Preparation The Meal Coordinator addresses the following: Organizes volunteers to provide healthy, nutritionally-balanced meals. Food for the evening meal is usually prepared in the volunteers’ homes and brought to the congregation for serving. Evening hosts dine with guests

26 Meal Preparation, cont’d Bag lunches are made available by the coordinators. Breakfasts are simple: muffins, granola bars, yogurt cups, little box cereals, fruit, juice boxes and coffee. Weekend food may be a hot option for breakfast, pizza, or a grill out!

27 Housekeeping Encourage guests to share in housekeeping duties (most guests will want to help.)

28 Recreational Events and Activities Games and activities may be organized for children on a regular basis but should be kept simple, especially during the week. Activities Coordinator (if applicable) organizes weekend trips, etc.

29 Donations Time and service as a volunteer – critical! Financial gifts to Family Promise of Lawrence – see website: or send check to PO box 266 Lawrence, KS Donations of furniture for graduates Any financials gifts to guests should be coordinated with the Network Director to ensure that they are wisely directed. Household cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items are always needed for the guest use in the day center and in transitional housing

30 Medications and Medical Needs All medications MUST be stored securely Do not recommend medicines; give guests their options and let them make their own decisions. An on-call physician will be available at all times; number should be listed on emergency form, near phone(s).

31 Medical Emergencies Emergency Procedures form will be posted by all phones. Follow steps listed on Emergency Procedures form.

32 Parenting Issues There are a number of issues related to parenting. The two main issues are: The right (and responsibility) of guests to parent their own children; and In rare circumstances, the need for volunteers to protect a child if his/her safety is endangered.

33 The KEY POINTS are: Parents are responsible for their children. Always ask permission before giving things to children or engaging them in an activity. If a parent is having trouble, offer to assist. If child abuse or neglect is observed or suspected, volunteer MUST immediately contact the volunteer coordinator. If child is in immediate danger of being hurt, volunteers should first call the police.

34 Spiritual Nurturing Volunteers may be tempted to share religious beliefs with guests. However, it is inappropriate, unless the guest specifically asks. Inviting guests to attend services is fine, but do not push. Provide transportation as necessary if guests are interested in attending services.

35 Confidentiality Do not discuss any information about guests with others.

36 Procedures for Network Guests Guests sign a set of guidelines upon entering the Network. Volunteers should be familiar with guidelines. Guidelines should be posted. These guidelines are the key ground rules; guests can be asked to leave the program if they do not abide by them. If a guest disregards a guideline: report to Coordinator and/or Network Director as soon as possible.

37 Conduct and Discipline Everyone is expected to behave in a courteous and respectful manner. Immediately report any behavior of an abusive nature to the Coordinator and Network Director.

38 Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs No smoking is permitted in the any building. There should be a designated smoking area outside. Alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited. Volunteers should NOT confront guests who are under the influence. They should notify the Coordinator and Network Director as soon as possible.

39 Policies and Procedures Summary The Key Points are: Use your best judgment. Use common sense. Discuss things with other volunteers on duty. Call Coordinator for guidance. Call Network Director for guidance in emergency.

40 The Hospitality Code 1. It’s nice to hear your name. 2. Labeling people creates invisible barriers. 3. Personal questions can be tough to answer. 4. Never assume that a guest can’t hear you. 5. Everyone can use a little privacy. 6. Sometimes we need to spend time alone. 7. We all have bad days. 8. We understand and care for our children. 9. Parents need a break. 10. Adult guests should be treated like adults.

41 A community response for


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