WHO do you help? Family Promise Sarasota helps families with minor children who have lost their housing. We can assist up to 3 families at a time, for up to 90 days. Families entering cannot be actively using drugs/alcohol (we drug screen), have severe mental health issues, or have felony records.
WHAT do you provide for them? We provide shelter, meals, basic needs (clothing, toiletries, personal items), case management, referrals and resources. All adults meet with an Employment Consultant (to assist in job seeking/placement) and a Financial Counselor (to learn better management of finances and start a savings). We also provide them with a support system; volunteers who are there for them each day.
WHY do you help these families? Families are the FASTEST GROWING population of the homeless. In 2010, the homeless family population increased by 9%, and currently homeless families are 41% of the entire homeless population. In SARASOTA County, there are over 1200 homeless students enrolled in our school system THIS year. (that does not include children under age 5) These children need a CHANCE for a stable childhood. We want to help.
WHERE do you provide this help? Family Promise partners with inter-faith congregations in our community who provide their facilities, volunteers and financial support to assist these families. Some congregations use their own facilities to host the families, and some use a house that we rent. Currently we have 10 hosting congregations and 5 support congregations (who provide more volunteers and/or financial support). The host congregations support our families for a week at a time, about once every 10 weeks (on a rotating schedule). Families arrive about 5pm for dinner, stay in the evening and overnight. During the day, kids go to day care or school, and parents go to work or use our Day Center as a "home base" in the day (which has computer/internet, phone, tv, microwave/fridge).
WHEN can someone come in the program? Families that are in need call us throughout the week. Many are referred by local agencies like Salvation Army, Resurrection House and Manasota 2-1-1. We screen families over the phone, and when we have an opening, we then bring the family in for an interview to go over the guidelines of the program. If family agrees to enter, we contact the family again by the following day to schedule their intake.
HOW do you help these families? We provide them with a safe place to be, and a chance to save their money while normal living expenses are covered, in order to get BACK into their own housing again. Each adult, once working, must disclose all income to our Case Manager who then assists them in putting anywhere from 60% to 90% of their income into a savings account. Once enough money is saved, we assist with local financial resources for the move, and families get BACK into housing. (We also assist with local resources for furniture and household items they will need.)