Growing Hope with Family Promise
Posted on February 28, 2020 | Posted by Pastor Daniel
About five years ago Family Promise had a long-shot opportunity to expand by applying for a big grant. I was on the board of directors at the time, and I was anxious. We didn’t end up getting it. I was sad.
But I was also relieved. I wasn’t sure we were ready to grow. But also, I wasn’t sure I was ready for Family Promise to grow. This neat little ministry, this interfaith network of congregations providing hands-on hospitality to homeless families – I was worried we’d lose all that as we grew. Ascension had gotten this thing started in the mid 1990s, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it grow beyond what we’d imagined.
I’m ashamed to admit that now. The mission of this organization, the mission of all of those congregations was to bring homeless families out of the dark, into our communities, and finally into homes of their own. The mission was to provide hope. Nostalgia gave me passion, but it also threatened to get in the way of providing hope and homes to families.
Fortunately, others wiser than I have been committed to this mission. Many faithful board directors, staff members, and congregations have seen an opportunity to do more, and look what they’ve done! There are programs to prevent families from falling into homelessness, transitional homes for Interfaith Hospitality Network graduates who need a little extra time and support to find a home that works for them, a mobile home program that starts families on a path to home ownership. And, of course, there are still four families at a time receiving security, hospitality, and compassion in congregation basements every night all over town. As I write this, they’re settling down to bed in our Sunday School rooms. All this growth enabled Family Promise to serve 130 families last year!
And now, this week, there is a new homeless shelter for families in Colorado Springs. It’s only the third in the country! The shelter can serve seventeen families at a time, providing safety, dignity, and a supportive path towards living in a home of their own. Seventeen! As Kat Lilley, executive director of Family Promise, said at the ribbon cutting on Thursday, this is a place of hope.
The mission continues and I’m thrilled.