Family Promise of Montgomery County to hold first “Night Without a Bed Sleep Out”
CONROE, TX – Family Promise of Montgomery County will hold their Inaugural National #NightWithoutABed on Saturday, June 26, throughout Montgomery County. Show your support for children and families battling homelessness and raise awareness of this crisis by setting up a tent in your back yard, making a fort in your living room, wrapping up in blankets on the sofa or in a sleeping bag on the floor. Give up your comfortable bed for one night and share the experience with friends and family.
Post photos of your Night Without a Bed on social media using #NightWithoutABed, tag Family Promise of Montgomery County, and ask sponsors to support your efforts to help families battling homelessness.
Here are true stories about a local homeless child and a family:
A child with Family Promise was made fun of at school because his clothes were too small, and his shirts would rise over his tummy. His shoes were laughed at by other school kids because they were old and no longer fit his feet. Family Promise helps families holistically to meet the necessary needs, not wants. After transitioning families into stability with shoes and clothing that fit, children can blend in with other students. They do well in school because their self-esteem improves.
He is not alone. One in 16 children in the U.S. experiences homelessness by the first grade. They and their families can be found sleeping in motel rooms, with friends, or even in their cars. And kids who face homelessness suffer in other ways, as well. They ae more likely to drop out of school, repeat a grade, suffer from depression, and attempt suicide.
Brenda came to Family Promise with her two children. She left her unsafe household with her children for a safe environment. She was employed but had no place to live with both her parents and grandparents deceased. Her car needed repair with bald tires. Scared and seeking help, she found Family Promise and made the call seeking shelter assistance.
When Brenda entered Family Promise 90-day program her income was not enough to cover any rental property. She and her case manager discussed continuing education and careers of interest to help her earn more income and become stabilized.
She never realized she could continue education without funds to do so. Within the first week Family Promise provided her with safe shelter, childcare so she could work, paid for her application for a career certification course, a gas card to get to and from work and had her car repaired, including new tires to keep her family safe. Her daughter was enrolled in school and given a backpack full of school supplies. Working as a partner to guide families for long term success and creating generational change, Family Promise empowers them with guidance and resources.
Brenda was determined and stayed focused on her goals. She was able to move into her apartment within 72 days having saved money. Her daughter was so excited to have a place to live where a friend could come over and play and start a more normal childhood. Realizing her rent would go up within a year Brenda and her case manager discussed longer term goals. An application was given to her to apply for a Habitat for Humanity home. It was an exciting day when she was accepted.
Working full time as a single parent, going to school online, and committed to her “sweat equity” towards her new home with no excuses but determination. She will go from homeless to homeowner within 13 months.
Since 2001 Family Promise of Montgomery County has been helping families in need find stable housing, develop the skills and tools to succeed independently by empowering families for success.
Family Promise, a 501c(3) nonprofit, serves 4 homeless families at a time in rotating faith communities in a collaborative mission to increase their job readiness, and stability to enable them to be self-sustainable. Approved families with children are entered into Family Promise’s 90-day personal plan to reach attainable goals with a case manager. Topics include positive parenting skills, stress management, family safety, and budgeting. Families are provided meals, hygiene items, clothing, childcare, transportation, and shelter through partnering churches in the community.
Although 2020 was a challenge for everyone, families without homes faced very tough challenges. Fortunately, Family Promise of Montgomery County was able to provide 581 nights of safe shelter, 1,914 meals for families, and many supportive services including transportation, workforce development, continuing education, and skilled certifications into stable employment.
“All of the Family Promise families secured employment while in the program and were rehoused to permanent shelter for long term stability,” said Executive Director Marilyn Kasmiersky. “We provide workforce development and find scholarships for continuing education. Educational advancement assists families in having a job that will provide a sustainable income for their families for long term stability. We are proud of our success rate of helping families to provide for their families and not become homeless again.”
Church partners set up bedding accommodations on Sunday afternoon for a weeklong stay through the following Sunday morning. Volunteers with the church provide a morning breakfast for the guests and evening meals. Each family must leave each day to seek work, get children to school or daycare, or work on their goals at the Family Promise Day Center located near downtown Conroe. Church involvement is critical to the success of Family Promise. The Day Center is where the families conduct job searches, receive case management, cook mid-day meals, do laundry, and store most of their belongings.
All donations directly assist families with needs of obtaining their driver’s license, meeting medical needs, paying rental deposits, providing families with gas cards, and covering childcare amongst many other essential services.
Additional costs for the organization include maintaining the Day Center and supplying household supplies to support approximately 20 families a year.
Family Promise of Montgomery County recently held an event celebrating their new 6,000 square foot facility, located at 109 Commercial Circle in Conroe. The building was acquired through a 2020 Community Development Block Grant to serve up to six individual families as they transition every 90 days into stability, with an average of serving 96 individuals annually. The goal is to have the static site project completed by Dec 31, 2021. Family Promise will continue the rotation model in their host congregations throughout the rest of this year.
“This is a dream come true to serve more unsheltered families with children into long term stability and create generational change,” Kasmiersky said. “Family Promise of Montgomery County truly transitions lives of unsheltered families with children.” Kasmiersky continued, “#NightWithoutABed is bringing awareness to the over 700 school age children in Montgomery County considered homeless. Consider donating to help support generational change by sponsoring a family.”
In addition, Family Promise is holding a benefit concert for homeless children with American Idol Finalist, Phil Stacey, on Friday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. Christ Church United Methodist will host the benefit concert for a Love Offering Donation. They are located at 6363 Research Forest Dr. in The Woodlands.
Follow the link www.familypromiseofmc.org/donate and click on the “Donate” button and sign up to help fundraise for our homeless families in the community. Participants will challenge another friend to complete the #NightWithoutABed and make a donation to Family Promise of Montgomery County. Those that accept this challenge and raise the most will receive a special gift of appreciation. Text to Give 26989 and in the message space type FAMPROMMC.
Find out more about Family Promise of Montgomery County by visiting www.familypromiseofmc.org. Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FPMCT, or call (936) 441-8778 from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.