Family Promise of Southern Chester County, an organization dedicated to helping families experiencing homelessness, now has a new home of its own.
The organization left it’s old building in West Grove and moved its Resource Center into new space on Baltimore Pike in New Garden Township. Family Promise Executive Director Sue Minarchi said the new location “gives us additional space and a long term lease to put down our own roots.”
She said the old space — donated by Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish — was a blessing for the young organization, but became too small. Her group was able to work out a deal to rent the larger space at a good price from Wm. P. McGovern, Inc.
“ABVM welcomed Family Promise to the community with open arms, donating the space we desperately needed to launch our nonprofit. The comprehensive nature of our services has increased tremendously and we’ve outgrown our current space. McGovern came to our rescue, opening their heart to our cause,” Minarchi said.
Speaking to a gathering of supporters at the new location, Minarchi said Family Promise is truly a “product of the community and it’s really all of you who have helped us put it together, to get it running and keep it running. For that, I thank you.”
Since it began operation in November of 2015, Family Promise has helped 20 families get out of homelessness by working with 27 churches who provide food and shelter while getting back on their feet, Minarchi said. In addition to churches, there are roughly 600 volunteers working with Family Promise.
Kevin McLean, president of the Family Promise Board of Directors, said, “We have families that have graduated from our program, who are in permanent housing. Otherwise, who knows what would have happened to them? What moves all of us who are volunteers is looking in the eyes of the children…The miraculous thing is that when kids come into the program, they’re in absolute shock. When the kids start to heal, this is the most amazing thing about it, the parents start feeling better about themselves and gives them the courage to move ahead and move out of homelessness.”
One of the politicians attending the ceremony was state Rep. Eric Roe, R-158.
“I am so proud to have family Promise of Southern Chester County, with it’s new facility right here in New Garden Township, right in my district. I want to thank you for doing the Lord’s work. I’ve been learning about the partnership with churches. Six hundred volunteers is a lot of volunteers. You’re doing something right and I want to thank you for that,” Roe said.
While the churches help with shelter and food, Family Promise’s Resource Center provides space for up to four families to do laundry and take showers, as well as computer and Internet access for kids to do school work and the adults to look for apartments, jobs and put resumes together.
In addition to getting help finding work and permanent housing, families also receive counseling, budget support, and mentoring. Family Promise provides furniture, housewares, and even cars through donations from the community.
Family Promise doesn’t abandon families once they do find permanent homes. It also follows them for another year to make sure they’re sustaining themselves, Minarchi said.
As with all such organizations, Family Promise relies on donations as well as volunteers. What they need most, Minarchi said, are the basics, toilet paper, paper towels, Lysol — spray and wipes — and laundry detergent.
Anyone interested in making donations of any kind to Family Promise should phone 610-444-0400. Office ours at the Resource Center, located at 1156 Baltimore Pike, are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.