With help from Family Promise, homeless families and those who are hungry are getting the help they need during COVID-19
Dear Friends of Family Promise,

Family Promise continues to provide shelter and support to families who are homeless and food to those who are hungry. Here is the latest on Family Promise's response to these acute issues facing our community during COVID-19.

The Network, New Leaf and Post Shelter Programs

All of the previously homeless parents and children in our Network, New Leaf and Post Shelter Programs are safely housed in apartments, with friends, or in a hotel. Most parents spend the day with their children because either their jobs have closed or they have lost their childcare due to the closing of daycare centers. Living in small quarters with children can be challenging in the best of times. Sheltering in place with little ones takes this to a new level. (see article below.)

During weekly Zoom gatherings run by our family case managers, parents brainstorm questions such as, "How do I shop for groceries safely without my children when no one wants to come out of their homes to watch them?" and "How do we stay good neighbors when the kids are more active than usual and the couple downstairs is working from home?" Creative solutions and emotional support are just two of the resulting outcomes. 

The face-to-face contact in these gatherings, albeit virtual, is extremely important. The parents are friends. Seeing each other and knowing that they are experiencing similar issues brings real comfort. There is lots of laughter and sometimes a few tears but families sign off from the meetings feeling more relaxed and renewed.

Regular, individual case management "meetings" are also continuing. Case managers have daily contact with the families as they all work to make the most of this unprecedented time. The personalized support that Family Promise is known for will definitely be necessary in the days to come.
We know that many homeless families are doubled up with relatives or friends. Small, shared apartments make social distancing impossible, accelerating the spread of COVID19. Read The New York Times article , "The Coronavirus Class Divide: Space and Privacy", describing space as a luxury, especially during a pandemic and how a lack of space impacts physical as well as emotional health.
Walk-in Dinner Program

Family Promise has been providing food to hungry people for 29 years via our Walk-in Dinner . Our dinner service has continued uninterrupted even as the number of volunteers able to go to the shelter has fallen dramatically. Although the population in the shelter has been reduced to allow for social distancing, the number of to-go meals needed each night for former shelter residents and people from the community in need of a free meal is on the rise.

With more people losing their jobs, Family Promise is exploring ways to ensure that ANYONE from the community in need of a free meal has access to one. We are keeping a close eye on the number of to-go meals served daily so that we are poised to respond when there is a spike in the demand (which most experts predict there will be).

We are keeping our promise to the community to be here for them during challenging times. As always, we are grateful for your support. Thank you.
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