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Helping the Homeless: Family Promise at Second Presbyterian

What is Family Promise? In short, it’s an emergency housing organization for families. Many of the area shelters are unable to keep families together, Family Promise is different in that regard since they only accept families (hence the name).  Additionally the day center is staffed with a Case Worker who helps the families sort through the problems that caused them to become homeless and help them get back on track. It’s a very short term program (3 months) with fairly strict entrance requirements as well as requirements for staying in the program. The program has a maximum occupancy of 4 families or 14 people (whichever comes first). The reason for this is two-fold; one, there’s only so much room on the van and two, to ease the space requirements on the member churches since each family has their own room. We host utilizing the Bible Village hallway. This gives us “bedrooms” for each family plus our overnight hosts, a kitchen, and a den. It’s also in close proximity to the laundry and shower facilities.

So, you might ask yourself how you can get involved or find out more.  We have many volunteer opportunities available (both hands-on and “behind the scenes”).

Fridge Stocking
These folks provide the staples for the fridge each week (milk, juice, breakfast stuff, lunch stuff, snacks, etc.)

Overnight Crews
These groups of 2 (sometimes related, sometimes not) come to spend the night at church.  They lockup when it’s lights out time and set breakfast out the next morning.

Set-it-up / Pack-it-up Crews
These folks help unload the closet the 1st Sunday and pack it all back up the 2nd Sunday.

Dinner Crews
These small groups of folks (3-4 is plenty) fix one of the meals during the week (lunch and dinner on Sunday, dinner Monday – Friday, all 3 on Saturday).  They bring the meal at 5:30, eat with the families, then hang around until the overnight crew gets there at 8:30.

There’s a few spots on Sunday and Saturday (and occasionally during the middle of the week if there’s a holiday) when we just need someone to be there.

You’ll notice what’s missing from the list is baby-sitting, dish washing, bathroom cleaning, etc. The families are expected to help keep their “home” clean. They help with “chores” on a rotating basis that they work out on Sunday.

Our next rotations are:
September 23 – 30
December 30 – January 6

Contact Sam Byrd ( or Amy Palmer ( for more details or to volunteer.