In Matthew 25, Jesus tells his disciples to show hospitality to strangers. We live out this teaching through our involvement in Family Promise (formerly the Interfaith Hospitality Network). Three times a year, for a week each time, St. Andrew’s hosts temporarily homeless families. Volunteers from within and beyond the congregation provide set-up, clean-up, meals, and companionship associated with this program. New volunteers are always welcome to join the great team of caring congregants active in this ministry.
More about Family Promise of Grand Rapids:
The Family Promise program brings shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes. Family Promise is a cost-efficient, effective, and replicable community response to family homelessness. There are five basic components to the Family Promise program.
Hosting rotates weekly among the 14 host congregations in the Network. In turn, each host congregation provides lodging, three meals daily, and welcoming care.
2. Day Center
Guests use a local day center from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, where the Family Promise director, a professional social worker, provides case management services. There, guests pursue employment, tend pre-school children, shower, and do laundry. The day center provides guests with a mailing address and a base for housing and employment searches. Many guests are employed during the day, while older children attend school.
Volunteers provide various services:
- Cooking and serving meals
- Playing with children or helping them with homework
- Interacting with guests, with respect and compassion
4. Social Service Agencies
Local social service agencies refer families to the Network. The agencies may also help guests find housing, jobs, and benefits.
A Family Promise van transports guests to and from the day center. The van also carries bedding and luggage to the next host congregation.
Volunteers are always needed and you are encouraged to offer your help to our Family Promise coordinators, Marcia Baker and Kathy Griffes by calling 616-361-7887.
You may find more about Family Promise here: http://www.familypromisegr.org/