Thousands of people in Central Florida are on the verge of homelessness, but one local organization is working to prevent that. By Joe Kepner
Family Promise of Greater Orlando opened its doors back in 200 with a unique approach, working with local faith communities and using their facilities as temporary housing.
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to shift their strategy, moving families into hotels.
Now, as more churches reopen their doors, Family Promise says they’re ready to shift back, and are hoping to find even more facilities willing to help.
“It’s such a magic that happens, because they love on our families, and they provide them that fellowship, and meals, and a safe place to be,” Family Promise Executive Director Kathy Southern said. “Right now, we’re in a position where we really are needing to find additional churches and congregations to come on board and support our shelter to get it back up and running.”
Southern says they helped 200 families last year find what she calls a “path towards stability.”
“This isn’t about giving families money and sending them on their way,” Southern said. “This is about helping them on that journey, and guiding them to the resources and supports that they need for that long-term stability.”
Southern also says some of their federal funding from the pandemic will soon come to an end, so it was a cause for celebration when Family Promise learned they’d be receiving $30,000 from the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.
The donation was a part of the team’s effort to donate to 30 local charities in honor of their 30th anniversary season.
“Being able to have that kind of flexibility in funding to be able to meet families’ needs, and to be able to cover some of those costs that we don’t normally get covered in some of those really particular funding sources is an incredible gift to us,” Southern said.
According to Family Promise, approximately 85-percent of the families they help are able to remain in permanent housing.
For more information on how to help support their mission, click here.