Family Promise applauding its volunteers

Since its inception more than a year ago, Family Promise of Southern Chester County has relied on a cadre of volunteers in its effort to help children and their families who are experiencing homelessness regain sustainable independence.

Family Promise of Southern Chester County is celebrating the volunteers who make its outreach possible.

Family Promise of Southern Chester County is celebrating the volunteers who make its outreach possible.

During the week of Oct. 16 through Oct. 23, designated as National Family Promise Week, the local chapter of this national initiative will join more than 200 affiliates across the U.S. to honor its nearly 600 volunteers, according to a Family Promise press release.

“We are fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers at Family Promise of Southern Chester County,” Susan Minarchi, its executive director, said in the release. “They are truly the life blood of our program, and we look forward to celebrating them and their efforts to help families experiencing homelessness in our community.”

Since 1986, Family Promise has helped more than 700,000 people nationally with housing, case management, and other services. Started as a local effort to address the crisis of family homelessness, Family Promise works on the principle that the elements to help children and their families — who make up 40 percent of all people who are experiencing homelessness — already exist in the community.

The program brings together a network of resources, including congregations to provide food and temporary shelter, facilities to provide space for case management, and most importantly, thousands of volunteers who share a few hours of their time to help families turn their lives around.

Family Promise of Southern Chester County opened its doors in November 2015. Since then, it has served 17 families representing 60 people, including 38 children. It works with a partnership of 27 local congregations and numerous other organizations who provide various in-kind contributions, enabling Family Promise of Southern Chester County to operate economically, the release said.

More than 75 percent of the families served have found stable employment and permanent housing, the release said.

Family Promise of Southern Chester County was created to alleviate family homelessness and works to increase awareness of the crisis of family homelessness in Southern Chester County. In the 2014-2015 school year, 442 school-age children were impacted by homelessness in the Oxford, Avon Grove, Kennett Consolidated, and Unionville-Chadds Ford School Districts, the release said.

To volunteer, make a donation, or provide services, contact Family Promise of Southern Chester County at www.familypromisescc.org or call Minarchi at 610- 345-1100.

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