Family Promise (Outreach ministry)

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New Program Helps Family Promise Participants Keep Moving Forward Karen Amundrud

Our new program to support graduates of Family Promise is now under way. A program manager and a caseworker are offering these services:

* Case management for families once they have moved into homes of their own. (Participants find permanent housing in an average of 80 days in the program.) They receive one-on-one budgeting and credit counseling and participate in an online support group.

* Enrichment classes: parenting, living a healthy lifestyle, resume-writing and interview skills.

* Community: referrals for services, resources and events. Family Promise graduates will share these last two services with graduates from other local programs. The more work participants put into the program, the more they will get out of it.

By participating they can earn points toward:

* Household items such as cleaning supplies

* Gas cards

* Furniture

* Networking opportunities

* Transportation assistance

Family Promise of Pinellas County is part of a national nonprofit organization serving homeless children and their parents. They are housed at participating churches, moving from church to church each week. Four times a year they receive their meals and lodging for a week at Palm Lake Christian Church, with St. Peter's support. They spend days at the Day Center at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N, where they seek jobs, social services and permanent housing.

Want to know more? Please contact Maura Meitz (mmeitc@tampabay.rr.com) or Karen Amundrud (amundrudk@yahoo. com) for details. Learn more at fppinellas.org. Join us once a quarter to prepare meals (great fun) and staff the Day Center one Saturday morning.

The mission of Family Promise of Pinellas County is to help homeless families with children to achieve sustainable independence. This is accomplished through the use of Congregational facilities. We currently have fourteen Host Congregations that house the families on a weekly rotation until they achieve their goals. The Host Congregations are assisted by Support Congregations. St. Peter’s is a Support Congregation for Palm Lake Christian Church. The Host Congregations provide a safe place for guests to sleep, food, and companionship. St. Peter’s assists by providing meals and volunteers. During the day, the families go to the Day Center located at 6201 22nd Ave. N. in St. Petersburg. The Day Center is their address from which the children go to school, where they do their laundry, and where they look for jobs and other needed social services. They are assisted by the Executive Director and the Case Manager as well as a multitude of volunteers. The volunteers come from churches and synagogues throughout the city. Volunteer training sessions are held monthly. Please consider becoming a volunteer for Family Promise.

Contact: Maura Meitz         

by Maura Meitz

Family Promise reports some promising statistics on its work with homeless children and their families.
* Twenty-nine families have graduated from the program, including 72 children.
* Ninety-three percent of graduate families are sustainably housed.
* About 70 percent of families who entered the program have left with a positive outcome.
* Families spend an average of 80 days in the program.

That number has increased since last year because of the scarcity of affordable housing in Pinellas. Family Promise of Pinellas County is part of a national nonprofit organization serving homeless children and their parents. They are housed at participating churches, moving from church to church each week. Four times a year they receive their meals and lodging for a week at Palm Lake Christian Church, with St. Peter’s support. They spend days at the Day Center at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Ave. N, where they seek jobs, social services, and permanent housing. Family Promise provides individual case management, budget and credit counseling, referrals to community resources, children’s programs, and support and friendship from more than 1,200 volunteers.

St. Peter’s volunteers prepare dinner four times a year and staff the Day Center one day each quarter. We provide regular training for volunteers. We welcome you to learn more about us, get involved, and enjoy fellowship with other parishioners. Please contact Maura Meitc (mmeitc@ tampabay.rr.com) or Karen Amundrud (amundrudk@yahoo.com) for details. Learn more at fppinellas.org.