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To mobilize our community to help homeless families achieve stable housing and income through compassionate care, hospitality and professional support.
Family Promise of Linn County, Inc. (FPLC) is a nonprofit and non-denominational organization for families in transition. Part of a national network, FPLC is one of over 163 Networks across the United States. There are over 5000 congregations and 130,000 volunteers making up these Networks. Based on the support of volunteers and Host Congregations, Family Promise programs are funded by donations, grants, and fundraising opportunities. More information can be obtained by visiting www.familypromise.org Why Family Promise?
- During the 2008-2009 school year there were over 1,735 homeless children attending local schools in the Cedar Rapids area.
- The number of homeless persons served by Linn County Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing Programs in 2010 increased 24% from 2009.
- 41% of the homeless are children under the age of 18.
- The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Choice Voucher Program (previously Section 8 Tenant Based Voucher Program) reported 2,544 applicants on the waiting list for vouchers as of July 28, 2010.
- 750,000-1,000,000 U.S. children experience homelessness each year. Families account for 40% of our nation's homeless people. Information from Linn County Continuum of Care Planning & Policy Council and School Districts. Information from Linn County Continuum of Care Planning & Policy Council and School Districts.
Host Congregations provide overnight lodging, meals and hospitality. Hosting rotates among the eight to thirteen Host Congregations, four to six times a year, for one week, providing lodging for three to five families from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the next morning.
Volunteers are the heart of the Network; without them, it cannot exist. Volunteers provide a variety of services: cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping them with homework, and staying overnight. Beyond providing lodging and meals, volunteers interact with the guests, treating them with respect and responding with compassion.
Local social service agencies refer families to the Network. The agencies may also help guests find housing, jobs, and other services. Since Family Promise is primarily comprised of volunteers, the social service agencies help assess potential guest families for active substance abuse, domestic violence or psychiatric problems.
The day center provides guests with a mailing address and a home base from which to conduct their housing and employment searches. It operates from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for guests to shower and care for pre-school children.
Transportation is provided for guests to and from the day center. The van carries bedding and luggage to the next HostCongregation.
- Norah Hammond
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