An important part of the work of Family Promise of Longview is hosting families while they participate in our program. Previously, we worked with churches who hosted our families, but Covid put a stop to that in 2020. In 2022, the leadership of Family Promise of Longview began considering how we could begin hosting families again. We want to provide an even better quality of service to more families, so we decided that our previous model of church hosting was no longer the best option.
After discussing the situation with representatives from the national office of Family Promise, we visited another affiliate in Temple, Texas. We decided to adopt their centralized model, hosting families in a building designed specifically to meet the needs of families with children who are experiencing homelessness. In this new model, volunteers will come to serve the children and guest families at this central site where families will stay while they participate in our program.
In May 2022, Family Promise sold its offices and day center. In December, we acquired 1.6 acres of land on Gilmer Road in Longview, where the new Family Promise campus will be built. The Promise House will be a new 6,000 square foot building that will increase both the quality of our service and the number of guest families we serve.
The Promise House will include
- 7 Bedrooms with private bathrooms for guest families
- 3 Staff offices
- 2 Bedrooms for volunteers
- Living room
- Dining room
- Laundry room
- Back patio
This is the Promise House.
The Promise House will allow Family Promise of Longview to serve roughly twice as many families per year as the previous rotational model. Previously, we could accommodate up to four families at one time. The Promise House will accommodate up to seven families and will eliminate several hours per week of transporting families to and from the Day Center and the host churches. Children will be able to get more sleep since they will not have to wake up so early.
A critical aspect that remains the same with the Promise House is that volunteers will continue to play a central role in our work with families by preparing meals, building relationships, and staying overnight. We encourage continued involvement from the community. Churches are encouraged to continue volunteering a week at a time: preparing meals, building relationships, staying overnight, and sharing God's love with each child and parent.
Please check out the many benefits that The Promise House will bring to everyone involved with Family Promise of Longview:
- Increase the number of families we serve
- Dedicated spaces for education classes (personal finance, parenting, cooking, etc.)
- Shared spaces with shared responsibilities for those spaces
- Central kitchen for parents and volunteers to prepare meals
- Private bathrooms with tub/shower for each family
Social & Emotional Support
- Secure offices allow more privacy for meeting with caseworkers
- Less travel back and forth from churches to Day Center
- Less mental stress from travel, forgotten objects, etc.
- More sleep for children and parents on clean, regular beds
- Special events for families throughout the year
Volunteers & Churches
- Increased flexibility and support for volunteers and more opportunities for churches without being locked into full-week blocks
- Reduced burnout for churches (eliminates rearranging rooms, driving vans, filling holiday weeks, etc.)
- Opportunities for more volunteers regardless of whether their church is involved
- Opportunities for churches and volunteers to work with families as mentors, educators, connectors, etc.
- Clean regular beds and mattresses for volunteers in volunteer bedrooms
The Promise House will help meet the Family Promise goals of breaking the cycle of poverty, obtaining critical life skills, and maintaining housing self-sustainingly over the long term. The Promise House not only will provide a place of safety and comfort for those in need but also will serve as a hub of operations for volunteers and staff as we offer a hand up to our clients.