Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa is working with a Phoenix nonprofit to shelter and provide meals for homeless families.
Family Promise of Greater Phoenix rescues primarily first-time homeless families, including their pets, and provides emergency shelter and basic needs while assisting them in regaining independence.
The nonprofit relies on an interfaith network of volunteer churches and synagogues to shelter and feed the families.
The partnership is a community-based model of sheltering that reduces the nonprofit’s costs so it can magnify its impact by focusing on the families’ road to self-sufficiency.
“Unlike other organizations, our goal is to keep families together as they navigate the most difficult times in their lives,” said Family Promise Executive Director Ted Taylor.
“Keeping kids with their parents and pets reduces the risk that they find themselves without a home in the future,” he said, adding churches like Victory Lutheran help his organization during the challenges posed by the Pandemic.
Victory Lutheran set up a temporary facility for the families while congregants prepared them meals.
“Families experiencing homelessness are more at-risk during crises and pandemics than other populations,” a Family Promise spokeswoman said.
“Housing instability limits access to hygiene and families facing homelessness are not always able to secure basic needs such as cleaning products and sanitizers,” she said.
“Additionally, the stress of housing instability and lack of access to nutrition and wellness make families more susceptible to disease.”
Since the beginning of the year, Family Promise has rescued more than 130 families and found them independent housing and also helped 17 more families stay out of the shelter system through their preventative programming.