Family Promise of Albany County Aims to Provide Assistance to Homeless Families
An organization dedicated to helping families struggling with homelessness to get back on their feet is having its official launch party this Saturday, April 28.
Family Promise of Albany County will be hosting the party at its location at the United Presbyterian Church at 215 South 11th Street in Laramie.
Crystal De Boer, AmeriCorps VISTA member for Family Promise, said the mission of the organization is to empower children and families who are experiencing homelessness.
“Our goal is to help them reach sustainable independence through a community based response,” De Boer said. “We partner with other organizations and businesses in Laramie to provide classes and resources to the families within our program.”
Family Promise’s core program partners mainly with churches to provide shelter and food services. De Boer said the churches partnering with Family Promise lend out their spaces for a week at a time for each family, where they can stay temporarily and receive meals from church volunteers. De Boer said families are rotated each week.
Families in need can also get new parenting classes through Heart to Heart, job searches and interview skills through the workforce center and more, through Family Promise’s partnerships. De Boer says that Family Promise of Albany County has an affiliate in Cheyenne that’s been in operation for 16 years, but that the model Family Promise uses to assist families is a national model that began in New Jersey in 1988.
“A lot of affiliates have additions to that core program and that’s our goal – is to be able to provide more services through us than simply connecting with other resources, but we will see how that develops over time,” De Boer said.
De Boer said that in order to receive assistance from Family Promise, applicants must be families with children under the age of 18. She said many of the families Family Promise assists are referred to the organization through other services such as Interfaith Good Samaritan.
Volunteers who are interested in helping provide for homeless families through Family Promise are encouraged to contact the group through their website. De Boer said people are also welcome to volunteer though their church – Family Promise has nine host congregations and four support congregations in Albany County.
De Boer said that while Family Promise partners with many churches in order to help homeless families, it is not a religious organization.
Family Promise will be having their launch party at United Presbyterian Church from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday and De Boer said anyone is welcome to attend the party for cake, tours and information.