"This is all about the kids," explained Director Joyce Shoudy when I asked her why the emphasis on expanding services at Family Promise of Knoxville, Tennessee. The nonprofit keeps a small group of homeless families together at one time, providing a daytime base for education and job searches, while coordinating with area churches that offer temporary lodging.
What most of us don't realize, Shoudy sees firsthand in the faces of displaced children. "Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population," she noted. Family Promise knits together a blanket of professional services by social workers like Shoudy with volunteer support from a diverse faith community. Together, it's enough to offer a safe place for families to live, send children to school and get parents on their way to meaningful employment. The togetherness of the program is unique, while many homeless programs end up separating families. It's also a program that prides itself on quick turnaround from homelessness to self sufficiency for the families it serve.
Family Promise of Knoxville is in the midst of a building campaign that would allow it to move to a larger day center and offices, thus serving more families. The nonprofit is $75,000 away from its goal of being able to transition to the larger, existing space. While our family can only make a modest donation, we want to do our part on this #Giving Tuesday. If you're looking for a specific way for your family to give back, please consider how a program like Family Promise serves to help children and strengthen our communities.