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When Family Promise was born in Bryan County

November 16-24 is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Here’s a look at how Family Promise of Bryan County, the biggest local effort to combat homelessness, got its start.

The group’s roots here go back to October, 2013, when local clergy and other interested people met at Richmond Hill United Methodist Church. Bryan County Family Connection Director Wendy Sims headed up the initial effort, which included a talk from Tom Cioffi, board president of the Family Promise Network in Gwinnett County.

Through the Family Promise program, participating churches form a network, which, in simplest terms, provides shelter and aid to a set number of homeless families — one family per church, it was explained at the time.

Those families rotate from church to church until they’ve spent time at each one.

“(During that time) we work with those families to figure out what the problem is,” Sims said then. “During the day we’re working with the families while the kids are in school. This is not just giving them somewhere to live — it’s empowering them to get back on their feet.”

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