- On Saturday the families can sleep in and enjoy a hot breakfast (pancakes or bacon and eggs). Families go back to the Day Center and do what families typically do on weekends-see friends and relatives, take children to activities, etc.
The next Sunday:
- On Sunday the families are packed up and out of the facilities prior to Sunday services. They are taken to the Day Center for the day until it is time to move on to the next congregation. Families that want to attend services will usually do so at their own congregations; some may choose to worship at a host congregation.
…and the next host congregation begins its week.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many host congregations are needed to form a Network?
A Network has 13 host congregations in order to provide a quarterly rotation. Additional Support Congregations are welcome in the Network to provide a way for congregations to serve homeless families alongside other congregations in a volunteer capacity. This option is good for congregations that do not have an adequate facility to host families.
Where do families go during the day?
Families enjoy dinner and sleep within the congregations, but the Day Center is a facility will be operated by Family Promise of the South Bay to provide daytime support where families can have access to showers, laundry facilities, Internet and case management by the Family Promise staff.
How do we handle transportation?
Family Promise of the South Bay is in search of a 15 passenger van to transport families to and from school, work and the Day Center. Secure transportation will be provided by Family Promise staff and is not the responsibility of the host congregation.
What facilities do host congregations need to have for guests?
Facilities must include a lounge area (with sofa, chairs, tables, TV), a dining area, a kitchen, bathrooms, and sleeping accommodations. Ideally, congregations provide a separate room, such as a classroom, for each family. If that isn’t possible, a multi-purpose room can be divided by partitions to provide privacy. Some congregations across the country provide tents for each family to provide privacy in a large room.
Our building is in use almost all the time. How will we find the space?
Churches and synagogues are busy places with many demands on their space. Rarely does a perfect space exist. Hosting almost always means making some scheduling adjustments for activities and meetings. For example, four or five times a year, AA or the Bible Study Group may need to move their Tuesday night meeting to another room.
Can families’ belongings be moved in the morning and moved back in the evening to permit the congregation to use the space during the day?
No. The sleeping accommodations need to be dedicated to the families for the entire host week. The beds and the guests’ belongings must not be moved in the morning and put back in the evening. Besides being cumbersome, moving the beds and the guests’ belongings would be difficult for guests. When guests arrive on Sunday, they come with their belongings and perhaps a few of their children’s favorite toys. They want to arrange their space as if it were their home.
How long do families stay in the Network?
In some communities, families can find housing within 30 days. In other communities-where there is a severe shortage of low-income housing, and waiting lists for public housing and Section 8 are closed-finding a home can take 60 days or more.
How are families referred to the Network?