What role does the Host church play?
Hosting families speak to the scripture of all faiths and provides families who have lost their homes with safe, secure lodging and a sense of community. It gives volunteers the opportunity to provide hands-on outreach in their own congregational facility.
The following are the basic elements needed for a congregation to be a host for Family Promise:
Space for 5 families, 14 individuals, to stay for a week at a time, once every 2 or 3 months. The space used can be classrooms, offices or a large hall with dividers. Since a host congregation is providing hospitality to families for the week, the guests’ areas are not broken down during the day. (Usually, congregations host 3 or 4 families at a time.)
A common area for meals, homework, relaxation and fellowship.
Two bathrooms: one for women; one for men. (The day center provides showers.)
Space for volunteers to sleepover (any available space at the congregation can be used, e.g. offices, hallway, etc.).
A kitchen for meal preparation (dinners may be cooked at the congregation or brought in and heated there), a refrigerator, food staples and necessary clean up items.
The congregation is responsible for all meals (nutritious cooked dinners, simple breakfasts and supplies for sack lunches), utilities (heat/cooling, water and electricity), linens, and various basic items such as toys, soap, etc. The Affiliate supplies the beds.
Volunteers: A congregation should always have at least 2 volunteers present and generally not more than 4 at a time. Volunteers can come from other congregations and organizations; all volunteers undergo orientation before they begin.
What role does the Support church play?
A Support Congregation is different from a Host Congregation in that it doesn’t open its facility to host families. Instead the Support Congregation is partnered with a Host Congregation and provides volunteers to help the Host Congregation during their host week. Many congregations choose to become a Support Congregation because of space limitations, size of congregation or while adding additional space to their current facility. This is a great option for these congregations because their members are still able to volunteer and impact local families’ lives without having to commit their building. The following are the basic elements needed to be a Support Congregation:
Volunteers: A Support Congregation provides needed volunteers for their Host Congregation to help cover volunteer shifts during the host week. There should always be at least 2 volunteers present and generally not more than 6 at a time at the Host Congregation. All volunteers complete training and orientation before they begin serving.
The congregation provides a person(s) to serve as the Primary Coordinator to recruit needed volunteers for the host week, attend scheduled meetings and act as the main contact for the congregation.
The congregation will consider providing financial support.
The Support Congregation also commits to:
Make a minimum one year commitment in writing.
Publicize and promote the Family Promise Program within the congregation.
Promote and support fundraising events.