Our children are the heart of our program. We strive to create a safe, home-like environment for our families with children. We enroll all of the children in day care or school as well as provide an after-school tutoring program.
What is Family Promise of Greater Orlando? Family Promise of Greater Orlando (FPGO) is a nonprofit, interfaith hospitality network providing temporary assistance, hospitality, and case management for families with children experiencing homelessness. Family Promise provides these services through the participation of local congregations, dedicated staff, and hundreds of volunteers.
Family Promise’s Focus:
We provide shelter, meals, and case management for homeless families with children.
We strive to help our families regain their financial independence within 90 days.
We organize congregations to provide shelter, meals, and comprehensive support services to homeless families.
We promote and support the growth of new communities of congregations.
We assist in the search for adequate housing and support services for low-income families.
Panel hears sobering testimony on region’s lack of affordable housing.The region’s booming population and rising housing prices are leaving tens of thousands of Central Florida families at risk for homelessness and giving those already homeless little hope of getting help. [Read More]
Nineteen year old Yazmin was determined to help her mom get the family back into a home of their own. She did some research and started calling area shelters for help. That’s when she found Family Promise of Greater Orlando.
When Yazmin called Family Promise, she and her mom, Maritza, and three younger siblings were living in a cramped hotel room, just barely keeping up with the weekly room rate. Just two years before they had been living in a comfy house, but life took an unexpected turn when Maritza got sick. Her job didn’t provide paid sick leave so it didn’t take long for her to run through her savings and fall behind with bills. Ultimately, they were evicted from their home.
After two years of homelessness and at Yazmin’s insistence, Maritza and her family came to Family Promise. They were amazed by the warmth and compassion of the volunteers who surrounded them with love and support. Maritza’s youngest son, Daniel, even celebrated a birthday while they were with us. Working with a Family Promise Case Manager, Maritza, has been able to continue working part time and save money.
Just this week we found out that Maritza will be receiving a year of rental assistance through the Homeless Services Network. Maritza qualifies for disability and will be working with our new friends at Legal Aid to secure benefits within the year she has rental assistance. The family will be moving into their new home any day now. The younger kids do not know about the big move yet; Maritza wants to surprise them by going “home” when it is time for them to move.
With tears in her eyes Maritza said, “it’s been so long since we have lived in a place with more than one room. None of us will know what to do with ourselves! I’ve been so excited I’ve been shaking all day!”
Family Promise would like to welcome two new members to our staff!
Maggie Townsend joined the staff in October as the Case Manager for Family Promise. With her master’s degree in social work, Maggie understands the importance of case management in a homeless shelter program. Prior to Family Promise, Maggie worked for Family First in Pensacola, Florida. Her previous experiences involved working with families in need, and she is excited to share her expertise with Family Promise.
In addition, Tia Aery began as the Executive Director in November. Tia’s experience with Family Promise is vast. She began her journey with Family Promise as a volunteer in Essex County, New Jersey. Next, she served as a board member and eventually became the Executive Director for that same agency. Most recently, Tia served as a Regional Development Director for Family Promise National. She was responsible for developing and implementing an annual fundraising plan to maximize revenue as well as writing and developing grant proposals for affiliate development across the country. She understands the vital role that Family Promise plays in our community and the impact our agency makes one family at a time.
We are thrilled to have Tia and Maggie on board with Family Promise. Please come by the office and meet them!
A mother loses her job, a father is kept from working by an injury, a family is forced from their home by fire or natural disaster. Health care costs soar, public transportation is underfunded, affordable housing is almost impossible to find. These are the reasons why families now make up 34 percent of the homeless population, and the number continues to grow faster than any other segment of the homeless population and why one out of every four homeless people is a child.
January 19, 2011 – Family Promise of Greater Orlando is hosting the annual 2011 “Share the Love” Walk for homeless families in Central Florida on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Walkers may choose from either a three-mile walk/run (untimed) through beautiful Winter Park or a one-mile family friendly course. The walk begins at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park at 125 North Interlachen Avenue. Registration opens at 8 am and the walk begins at 9 am. Registration costs $30 per person and children under 10 walk free.
As one of the major fundraising events for Family Promise, all of the funds raised will go toward helping low-income families achieve lasting financial independence. “This walk is a great community event to engage the people in the Winter Park area,” says Mary Alice Fish, the Executive Director. “Families and friends can come and enjoy a walk through scenic Winter Park, while raising funds for the homeless families in our program.”
Family Promise of Greater Orlando
The mission of Family Promise of Greater Orlando, whose primary program is Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), is to mobilize volunteers in the faith community to help homeless families achieve and sustain independence and self-sufficiency.The program is collaborative effort of 17 host and support congregations located in Orange and Seminole Counties that that take weekly turns to provide overnight lodging and meals to homeless families. Families have access to a staffed Day Center where they receive intensive one on one case management, access to support services and employment assistance. Children receive homework supervision and families are provided with an address and phone number while without a permanent home address.
Families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. They account for one third of our nation’s homeless, and half of the children are under the age of six. In Central Florida, 6,300 children were identified as homeless in the 2008-9 academic year in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties (Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Student Assistance, 2008-2009 Final Survey Homeless Counts). According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, over 1.5 million children experience homelessness each year. The current economic crisis promises to increase the number of families forced into homelessness.