Empowering our Families
Family Promise has worked with countless homeless families for nearly three decades. We get calls all the time from people we have helped, and that is a wonderful thing for us. Many times the call is to tell us how well they have been doing. But, unfortunately, some times the call is to tell us that they are still struggling. And we’ve decided that it’s time we do something different so that we don’t get THOSE calls any more.
The fact is this, if you are a single mom and you are earning $10 an hour – which is 25% above the minimum wage – and you have one or two children, it’s very possible that you could be homeless the rest of your life.
So we’ve decided we need to change our business model and attack the real issue, helping the parents get the education or job training they need to get a job that pays them enough to keep them from being homeless. This means we will need to increase the amount of time we support our families, instead of supporting them for up to two years, we may need to support them for three, four, or even five years. Because it’s seldom possible to go from an $8 or $10 an hour job to a job that pays $15 or more per hour without more education or job training, we’re committed to helping our parents get the education they need.
That may mean that we need the parents to leave their current jobs to get that education. In those cases, we’ll need to subsidize them for their lost wages in the short-term so that we can help them get sustainable wages in the long-term. We will help them with soft skills – how to write a resume, how to prepare for a job interview, how to communicate in the business world, and even what to wear.
We’ve started working with community colleges and will work with vocational schools to get our parents the education they need for real jobs with sustainable wages. And we’ll work with companies to provide internships and full-time jobs for our trained, educated, enthusiastic, and motivated parents. We’ll help them with the cost of childcare, transportation, other costs and provide the case management to help them and their families get through this phase of their lives.
This is a major change in our mission. The fact is simple – “Band-Aids” are everywhere, but solutions are few. We are committed to change lives in a way that no one else has tried.The parents in our families are very strong people, working hard to get themselves back into apartments and to provide a safe place for their children. This is not easy, and it is why Family Promise exists.
We’ve done wonderful work for nearly three decades, but we now need to help our families in a different way. We need to do what no one else does, commit to helping the parents in our program get long-term jobs paying sustainable wages.
So, what can YOU do?
We are looking for people who can work with our parents to provide them the soft skills they need. We need employers who can give our parents a chance. And we need people who can help us in ways that can empower, teach, and support our parents. Kate and I are available to meet with anyone to talk about our future and, more importantly, the futures of our families. YOU can change the lives of people who need a little support. Talk to us about how you can do that.