Local Family Promise to hold open house

After months of effort to implement a plan to alleviate family homelessness, Family Promise of Southern Chester County (FPSCC) is inviting its volunteers and the public to an open house at its newly refurbished Resource Center.

Family Promise of Southern Chester County is hosting an open house on Oct. 22 at its newly renovated Resource Center in West Grove.
Family Promise of Southern Chester County is hosting an open house on Oct. 22 at its new Resource Center in West Grove.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m., attendees will have an opportunity to tour the center, which is located at 105 W. Evergreen St., in West Grove. The Family Promise board and staff will be on hand to answer questions and celebrate the work of hundreds of volunteers from churches, service clubs and businesses who have renovated the Family Promise Resource Center in recent months, a FPSCC press release said.

“I am very excited to celebrate the opening of our Resource Center,” Susan Minarchi, FPSCC’s executive director, said in the release. “We are grateful to Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary Church in West Grove for providing this space, which is ideally suited to achieving our mission … I hope residents, volunteers and church members throughout southern Chester County will join us to celebrate our new facilities and see what we’re all about.”

Family Promise of Southern Chester County is committed to helping children and their families who are experiencing homelessness in the Oxford, Avon Grove, Kennett Consolidated, and Unionville-Chadds Ford School Districts.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education reported that 494 school-age children in southern Chester County were impacted by homelessness during the 2013-2014 school year. A sharp increase from the previous year, coupled with the lack of available shelters in southern Chester County, prompted the formation of an area Task Force on Homelessness to address this critical problem.

The Task Force, which included community leaders, agencies and churches, determined the Family Promise model used by 189 affiliates around the country provided an ideal solution to alleviating family homelessness in our area. Family Promise of Southern Chester County is part of a national, nonprofit initiative founded in 1986 that currently has operations in 43 states. There are 13 affiliates located throughout Pennsylvania with three more in the process of opening.

The mission of the Family Promise program is to help children and their families achieve lasting self-sufficiency and stability by providing meals and shelter through a network of volunteers at church congregations until sustainable housing is found. The families will stay at a host church facility for dinner, fellowship and overnight sleeping accommodations.

After being served a morning breakfast, families will then travel back to the Family Promise Resource Center where they will work with a case manager to find employment, affordable housing, and other needed social services. School children will be picked up at the Resource Center by their schools so that they are able to maintain educational continuity.

The program will accept four families or 14 people at any one time. There are currently 11 host congregations and 13 support congregations committed to participating in the Family Promise program in southern Chester County.

The goal is to have a full network of 13 host congregations so each congregation will host only four weeks per year, once every calendar quarter. The host congregations will be supported by support congregations, which do not have large enough facilities to accommodate families.

“Many generous people have worked long and hard for this moment by making donations of time, effort, money, and in-kind materials and services,” Dave Haradon, president of FPSCC’s board of directors, said in the release. “Opening and sharing the Resource Center is an important milestone toward achieving our mission to alleviate homelessness in southern Chester County.”

To volunteer, make a donation, or provide services, contact Family Promise of Southern Chester County by calling 610-345-1100 or by emailing susan.minarchi@gmail.com.



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