Family Promise – NOT USED – MOVE TO MISSION
Family Promise of Southwestern Pennsylvania connects families displaced from their homes with a network of local congregations and dedicated staff, all focused on providing them with shelter, meals, hospitality, and support until they are able to return to sustainable independent lives in their own homes. Family Promise is a nationwide organization that provides services to homeless families using an ecumenical church network as overnight hosts. It is a unique ministry to homeless families in that it keeps mothers and fathers together with all their children, rather then splitting them up into separate shelters for males and females. Each church in the network hosts for a week at a time, starting on Sunday evening and ending on the next Sunday morning. In addition to providing overnight accommodations, dinner is provided every evening. Starting in November, 2013, Bower Hill is participating as a host church for Family Promise. If you would like to get involved, please contact Jean Miewald.
The Session has approved the proposal that BHCC become a host church for homeless families in the Family Promise program. Family Promise is a nationwide organization that provides services to homeless families using an ecumenical church network as overnight hosts. It is a unique ministry to homeless families in that it keeps mothers and fathers together with all their children, rather then splitting them up into separate shelters for males and females. Each church in the network hosts for a week at a time, starting on Sunday evening and ending on the next Sunday morning. In addition to providing overnight accommodations, dinner is provided every evening. We will be hosting two times in 2013, the week of November 10th and the week of December 29th. After that we will be hosting every 7 or 8 weeks. There are many volunteer opportunities available in this ministry and they are listed below. If you haven’t already indicated your availability to volunteer, please review the list, fill out a survey (in September newsletter) and return it to the church office. For more information, contact Jean Miewald.
Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities
Each host week, the host congregation needs many volunteers to prepare meals, serve as evening and overnight hosts, drive, coordinate activities, purchase and organize supplies, and assist in many other ways. Although most hosts are adults, youth can participate as well by arranging activities for young children and socializing with older kids. Volunteering together as a family to help support the families in the Network is a great way to teach your own children generosity of spirit.
Daily volunteer requirements:
Afternoon Van Driver (1 volunteer, approximately 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
The afternoon van driver picks up the Family Promise van, which is parked at the host church, and drives to the Day Center to collect the guest families and bring them to the host church. The afternoon pick-up is always at 5:00 p.m. at the Day Center.
Dinner and Evening Hosts
(2 or 3 volunteers or a family, 5:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
Dinner is a hot, informal meal that is prepared in the church’s kitchen or at volunteers’ homes and brought to the church. It is served at about 6:00 p.m. Dinner hosts prepare the meal and welcome the guests for the evening, and eat dinner and socialize with the guests. They oversee the clean-up of the kitchen and dining area. Serving as dinner hosts is a good opportunity for congregational groups – such as Bible study, women’s circles, men’s groups, elders, deacons or other leadership groups – to get involved. After dinner and clean-up, the hosts may conduct children’s activities, arts and crafts, or a pre-approved outing, help with homework, read to young children, chat with adult guests, hang out and watch a movie or simply be on hand to offer fellowship or a listening ear. Hosts also ensure that the common areas are tidy at the end of the evening.
Overnight Hosts (1 or 2 volunteers or a family, 8:15 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.)
Overnight hosts spend the night at the host church and are the go-to people in case of emergency. They introduce themselves upon arrival, are on-hand to assist guests if needed, and know the time for the morning pick-up. These hosts make sure the families are up and ready for the morning drive, ensure that the church common areas are left ready for the day and that all guests are on the van when it leaves.
Morning Van Driver (1 volunteer, approximately 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
The morning van driver arrives at the host church to warm up (and clean off if necessary) the Family Promise van and drives the guest families back to the Day Center. The morning driver knows the morning pick-up time, which varies from church to church, and is usually later on the weekends than on the weekdays.
Once a week volunteer requirements:
Launderer (1 volunteer)
The sheets and pillowcases need to be washed after each host week.
Van delivery to next host church (2 volunteers, Sunday morning or early afternoon)
One volunteer to drive the van and one to follow in a vehicle to bring the van driver back.