my Six Words:
Happy people -- nice highchair -- Happy Family
[click to enlarge -- Backspace button to return]
Pictured are a couple of happy people, my wife (Mrs. Jim) and Martha, director of the Montgomery County chapter of Family promise. The high chair was a gift which would go to one of the families being served.
Family promise is an 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which helps families displaced from their homes to get back on their feet again. The standard term of stay in the program is three months during which the family has a job or jobs, a place to live, and most often a car. And then a financial plan to stay solvent. This is a tall order and there sometimes an other three month, an extension.
Housing, food, help with getting a job (which may include training and possibly continuing education upon graduation from the program) , the car, and day care for the children are the most pressing needs. Local churches and church people are a major source of funds. Grants are also obtained. although they have dwindled to some extent due to the poor economy. Another source is from fund raising projects and fund raising drives.
A family in need may be referred to the Director or Assistant Director or the clients themselves may make application. Around sixteen to twenty parents and children are considered a "full house." These families week will start Sunday afternoon by their moving into church rooms provided that week by one of the supporting churches. Meals will be provided by the church people of the church for that week.
The next morning it is breakfast and then off for the day. Typically things are progressing for the families so parents or parent will be off to work. If they don't have a job it will be spent job seeking and doing activities to find opportunities or to attend training for a job that will sustain the family. The children go to school if they are of school age or attend child care if not.
In the evening the families return to their church home for the week. At around 5:30 a host couple(s) from the church greets and helps the families to be ready for a hot dinner prepared by a volunteering Sunday school class. Many times the adult clients are in evening classes or have homework to do. Church families come in to eat with the families, then visit with them or play with and help with the children until bedtime. One couple will stay with the group overnight and help with breakfast and transportation in the morning.
The Day Center is where parents not yet having a job stay to make phone calls, prepare their resumes and complete application forms, prepare themselves for interviews, and things like this. There they are assisted by the Director and Assistant Director. The chapter has a van to transport to where the clients need to go if they don't have transportation yet of their own.
Cars and furniture are provided by donations. Some of the cars are trade-ins that dealers will give. Other times someone will donate their former car instead of trading it in. Sometimes the car is purchased by an individual or a group of persons. The chapter gets them ready by turning the car over to a local automotive repair shop. Cars donated by dealers are generally fault free, i.e. in fine shape to drive.
This high chair was donated by a local neighbor of the Day Center. The young family receiving it was most happy for their youngest child having such a nice gift. The father now has a nice job, one with family health benefits.
Montgomery County Family promise has fifteen or sixteen participating churches. Mrs. Jim is on the board of directors. There are several other chapters in the Houston area for this much needed area of service. Montgomery County borders on Harris County (home of Houston, Texas).
Check where you live, very likely there is a Family Promise chapter with a place where you can help.
Six Words Saturday fine print:
Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words for Six Word Saturday. Click the box at right to visit Cate's blog with Mr. Linky showing all the other blogs participating this week. Cate is the boss at Six Word Saturday. She would like for you to participate.
Mrs. Jim's Status:
She is driving again, even alone by herself. She is to wear "strong" shoes like her running shoes with a firm sole. Also only light walking in shoes, heavy stuff she should wear her boot. That was for this third month. We still do the home therapy of 'bending' her two affected toes. Next Friday, March 28, we are hoping for a complete release by her doctor. Her surgery was on January 2 of this year.
Labels: Six Word Saturday, Status Report, Things to know