Family Promise of Southern Chester County understands the needs of vulnerable families. So, we offer innovative programs — such as tenancy preparation, financial literacy, and virtual career pathway training — to address them in a cost-effective, targeted approach.
Lack of Affordable Housing. Childcare Costs.
Insufficient Public Transportation.
All of these issues —and many others— are part of the myriad causes of family homelessness in Chester County. As a community, we’re facing a housing crisis that is going to take help from every sector to solve.
The basic issue is that the demand for affordable housing in Chester County has outpaced the supply, and this has caused costs and rents to rise. This issue is especially visible in Kennett Square, where there were a large number of affordable homes and apartments that have been renovated and now demand higher rents than local wages can support.
Not only is it expensive for many families to stay in Chester County, but it’s often too expensive to leave, as well. These families have children in the school district, relatives nearby, and jobs in the community. Without access to transportation and no robust bus or subway system to commute, leaving would mean losing all income. This is not to mention the costs of moving and the financial strain of gathering deposits and first and last month’s rent for new rental properties.
To address these problems, Family Promise of Southern Chester County offers a unique solution that costs 70% less than a traditional shelter to operate. By calling on local congregations to provide food and shelter and offering the Resource Center as a home base for families in our program, we have been able to keep families from being separated in the social service system and get them back on their feet with lasting results.
Community initiatives include a wide array of programs. Some get to the heart of core needs, such as childcare and job training. Other initiatives find ways to match the strengths of local volunteers and the interests of local corporations with the needs of our guests, like financial literacy and GED tutoring. Similarly, many initiatives build off core tenets of the Family Promise of Southern Chester County Program itself, leading to efforts like food assistance, furniture and clothing donations, auto donations and health and wellness programs.
Key to these programs is the other most widespread initiative—post-shelter extended support. The underlying causes of homelessness are not alleviated simply by providing housing, as crucial as that is. The immense variety of services we can provide ensures that families do not slip back into homelessness, so that the changes that the family has made are enduring.