Social Action helps Family Promise

TBE Volunteers are helping make Family Promise a Success

Thanks to the hard work of Laurel Perry, our congregation is helping Family Promise in San Pedro bring caring, shelter and warm meals into the lives of several homeless families as they continue looking for work and stable housing for themselves and their children. Laurel said, in thanking those who have helped out, “You did a fantastic job of making a difference in the lives of two families who are struggling. Through the program, Family Promise, these families have hope and a future. I know the delicious food, beautiful table set-up, kind faces made them feel good. Whatever job you had, it was done with love and I am so thankful for all the wonderful volunteers. This is my third time participating and I just love this program. Temple Beth El has been an incredible resource to our community in helping those less fortunate. We can be the difference in someone’s life.”

Temple Beth El participates in Family Promise at San Pedro United Methodist Church about 4 times a year on Sunday and Monday evenings. Please contact Laurel Perry if you would like to participate next time or look for our announcements. If you wish to learn more, see the national Family Promise website and Family Promise of the South Bay, the local affiliate that we volunteer for.
For some more photos, click the Family Promise button on our pictures page.

More from Family Promise:

The Beginning

Karen Olson was rushing to a business meeting when she passed a homeless woman on the street. On impulse, Karen bought her a sandwich.The woman, Millie, accepted the sandwich but asked for something more — a chance to be heard. Karen stayed with Millie and listened. What she heard made her understand that homelessness brought profound feelings of diminished self-worth and disconnection from society. Soon after, Karen and her two sons began delivering lunches to homeless people on the streets of New York.

1986: The First Network

When Karen learned that homelessness was affecting families right in her own community in New Jersey, she knew she had to do something. But this was much more than giving sandwiches. She brought together people in need and people who wanted to help. Existing community resources could provide shelter, meals, and housing. Volunteers could use their skills, knowledge, and compassion to help their homeless neighbors find employment, reconnect with society, and restore their dignity. She approached the religious community. Congregations offered hospitality space within their buildings. The YMCA provided showers and a family day center. A car dealer discounted a van. The first interfaith hospitality network opened on October 27, 1986.

1988: The Network Goes National

As word spread, more New Jersey congregations formed a second network. Other congregations were inspired to develop similar programs. In 1988, we formed the National Interfaith Hospitality Network to bring the program nationwide. In addition to shelter, meals, housing, and job-seeking support, our Affiliates began developing programs for transitional housing, childcare, and homelessness prevention. Nationally, we added programs like Just Neighbors and Family Mentoring. In 1992, Family Promise was awarded one of 21 Points of Light, out of a field of more than 4,500 nominees, by President and Barbara Bush.

2003: We Become Family Promise

We changed our name to reflect our broad range of programs and our vision of ending family homelessness. The name refers to the promise, in the sense of commitment, which communities make to families in need. But it also refers to the promise, the potential, inherent in every family. Family Promise has come to represent not just the programs that touch the lives of more than 93,000 people in need annually and engage more than 200,000 volunteers. It represents a national movement that believes we can address family homelessness—right here in our own communities.