Family Promise helps homeless families achieve housing stability by providing short-term shelter, meals, case management and hospitality. Their goal is to provide each family individualized and holistic support that enables them to return to full independence and self-sufficiency.

Description of how the funds will be used:

Renovation of playground, addition of community garden, and outdoor case management area.

Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address:

How many families in Orange County are just a paycheck away from being homeless? Loss of a job, a serious medical condition or the death of a family member can cause financial ruin and put a once stable family in a hotel room or a car. It’s real; it happens. Homelessness is prevalent in our affluent neighborhoods of Orange County. But there is hope and promise for those who are homeless and struggling to keep their families intact. Family Promise (FP) is a premier organization that does it fast: feeding, providing shelter, keeping children in their home schools, and providing job-finding assistance. With its unique program, and the community-based Interfaith Hospitality Network, they are able to boast an average stay of 45 or less days until a family finds housing. This year Family Promise is seeking funds to improve the playground and equipment at one of their facilities. The current playground equipment is old, rusty, and unsafe. Upgrading the equipment will serve the 190 families expected this year, as well as the children enrolled in two other agencies that share the outdoor space – Homework House (afterschool tutoring) and FUNCO (low cost daycare). This grant would also fund an outdoor case management area to be used for play therapy/parenting classes, and a community garden for families that will be used as both a therapeutic tool and a nutrition-teaching opportunity. These kids are already homeless. We have an opportunity to ease that harsh reality by providing some safe and therapeutic fun at their temporary shelter.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards: High Impact, Direct Benefit, Education, Sustainability, Community Building, Innovative, Measurable: High Impact:

Family Promise believes no child should have to sleep in a car, in a park, or under a bridge. Homeless families, 70% headed by women, are provided short-term shelter, meals, case-management and hospitality. Serving these needs of families in crisis, FP’s individualized program achieves one of the highest success rates of rehousing in the county. In 2015, FP will be expanding to address two additional elements of family well-being: nutrition and parenting. Program instruction for clients continues to address time and money management, job search and retention strategies. Direct Benefit: Funds will renovate a neglected playground to provide a safe and therapeutic play area for the children, an outdoor case-management area for parenting classes, and community garden for teaching nutrition science. Education: FP supports the continuing education of both adults and children. They ensure that children remain in school and volunteers provide additional tutoring as needed. Sustainability: FP is a premier agency that continues to succeed with its mission through the development of its 1150 volunteers, 14 emergency shelter sites, and diverse collection of funders. FP donor retention rates are exceedingly high. FP has secured volunteers to help construct and maintain the playground and garden. They have also received commitment from Home Depot and Lowe’s to donate their construction skills and future maintenance of the site. Innovative: There are many agencies in OC that serve our homeless community. However, FP is unique in that it utilizes local houses of faith where families are given private accommodations, 3 meals a day, and tutoring/mentoring opportunities. It serves families of any size or orientation including multi-generational, LGBT, and families with more than 7 members. The entire sheltering program is operated by volunteers from the “Interfaith Hospitality Network.” This innovative approach keeps its staff and operating budget to bare bones and yet provides amazing outcomes.

Organization’s overall annual budget: $517,886