West Heights is a Hosting Congregation!

Earlier in 2018, West Heights signed a covenant with Family Promise of Greater Wichita to become a Host Congregation! We are excited to be partnering with Family Promise to help homeless families (those with children) get back on their feet and become self-sufficient. Below is information that will assist you in understanding the problem being addressed, how the program works and our role as a congregation.

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Who is Family Promise?

Family Promise is a nonprofit 501(c)3, non-denominational organization. There are over 200 Networks in 43 states consisting of over 6,000 congregations and 180,000 volunteers. Family Promise is a holistic approach to the crisis of family homelessness. Their programs address the range of issues that affect low-income families. These include direct services, educational curricula, prevention programs and more.

Mission

To help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.

Vision

A nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future.

Impact

  • Provided shelter, meals, and support services to more than 825,000 family members.

  • Believe families should stay together—not be separated—during the most difficult times in their lives.

  • More than 82% of the families served find housing in less than nine weeks because of the intensive case management and community support.

  • For every dollar invested, Family Promise return $3 in donated goods and services.

  • Created more than 1,500 programs for housing, homelessness prevention, health care, life skills, and mentoring.

  • Helped people understand what life in poverty is like. Family Promise builds greater understanding of problems — and of solutions.

Phases of the Sustainable Independence Program (SIP)

Phase 1: Support Services
Families are assisted with urgent/crisis needs for homelessness prevention, as we have resources.
Phase 2: Hospitality/Lodging
Our Rotation Program, to work towards sustainability. Other programs revolve around this. This is where West Heights fits in!!
Phase 3: Mentoring/Aftercare
For families who have participated in/graduated from our Rotation Program.

How the Rotation Program Works

Overnight lodging and meals are provided by congregations, using existing church facilities for temporary bedrooms. West Heights will host up to 4 families consisting of no more than 14 guests for one week every quarter. Our role is to be welcoming, loving, caring hosts; it’s all about hospitality! Meals will consist of a homemade dinner prepared by volunteers, a simply breakfast and something to go for lunch.

A Day House is used by the guests from 7:30am-5pm to pursue employment, connections with community resources, tend preschool children, shower and do laundry. The Day House provides guests with a mailing address and a base for housing and employment searches. Many are employed during the day while older children attend school. The Family Promise Director, social workers and other employees work at the Day House. Case management focuses on walking with families towards sustainable employment and housing, customizing the process to each situation and need.

Transportation for guests to/from the Day House is provided by the host congregation using a van provided by Family Promise. A trailer is used on the first and last day of the host week to transport bedding and personal belongings to the host church.

Volunteers

Volunteers are essential to the success of Rotation Program. There is a wide range of opportunities to serve our guests while they are at West Heights, including setting up/tearing down temporary bedrooms, cooking and serving meals, providing overnight security, transporting our guests to/from the Day House using the van provided, providing fun activities for the children, etc. We hope you will get involved in one of these areas!

Donations of Items and Service

Families graduating from the Family Program are always in need of household items to get started on their new journey. But, it is important to provide items they need most. Family Promise has created a “Housewarming Bundle” that is a great way to celebrate graduation and ease their burden as they transition back to life on their own. There is also a need for new or gently used furniture, such as couches, beds- frames, mattresses and box springs, dressers, desks, kitchen tables and chairs, end tables and night stands. Call the Day House at 316-977-7026 to arrange for pick-up.

The Family Promise program always has ongoing needs for various items. See their wish list here. Your help in providing them would be greatly appreciated! For other ways to donate, take a look here!

Families are also in need of various kinds of services such as dentists, attorneys, hair stylists, landlords, and employers. These services are all important for our guests and offering some of your expertise can be a big hand up to families working towards independence. Do you know of anyone that might be willing to help? If so, please call the Day House at 316-977-7026 as ask to speak to the Executive Director! Thank you!!

More Resources

Website: Wichita Family Promise
Website: National Family Promise
A Video Introduction to Family Promise
Success Stories
Voices of Family Promise: 5 Years Later
Program Pamphlet

Past Service

Would you like to see people in action serving God through Family Promise?  Check it out below!

12/2-12/9/2018
With the help of over 50 volunteers, we hosted 3 families of 11 total people this week. It was truly a blessing to be able to do our little part in helping these families on their journey to self-sufficiency and sustainability. We were humbled and grateful when we heard that the families felt accepted and welcomed at West Heights! God is good!
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