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What Helping Family Homelessness Means to Kim Zuleba, Board President

Thursday, January 31, 2019
I am truly honored to serve as president of the Board for Family Promise of Southern Chester County and embrace the vision that we live in a world “where every child has a home.” This Board is comprised of caring, determined community members, representing a broad range of skills, talents and professions, ranging from business owners, social workers, realtors and public relations professionals to stay-at home moms, clergy, engineers, lawyers and financial experts. This Board is diverse; this Board challenges each other to ponder ideas and create solutions that make a true impact; this board rolls up its sleeves and does whatever it takes to get the job done.  My two main priorities for the Board are education and engagement. I will look for new opportunities to educate the Board on the root causes of homelessness and the daunting obstacles our clients' face, such as the lack of affordable housing.  I believe the Board will take Family Promise to the next level by using this knowledge to create additional programs and services, helping the families we serve to rebuild their lives.  
 

Solutions Can’t Be Siloed 

Sadly, family homelessness in our community is a growing problem that can't be solved by working in a silo. I believe the key to creating solutions to end family homelessness is to engage the community -- local organizations, businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, individuals, religious organization, academic institutions and individuals -- to collectively work together. In fact, Family Promise of Southern Chester was established because a group of citizens and community leaders united to create a solution for the increasing number of families being forced out of their homes to live in cars, tents or with a friend or family members.
 

Moved to Take Action Against Family Homelessness and Keep Families Housed Together 

When I learned that families...in MY community... were homeless, I was moved to take action.  I began by volunteering at the Family Promise Resource Center, washing clothes for the families and doing odd jobs.  I quickly learned the face of homelessness is not what you see on TV or on the streets.  It's families just like mine, working hard to provide and build a future; but, a sudden life change (loss of a job, accident or illness) sets them into a downward spiral. The most compelling reason for me to get involved with Family Promise was the sobering fact that single parents entering a shelter with a 12-year or older child of the opposite sex would be separated and put into different shelters. That's an unfathomable choice to make -- risking the safety of your child for shelter.  Family Promise keeps families together during their time of need and gives parents peace of mind.
 

Family Promise Makes a Difference for Family Homelessness  

Family Promise is safe haven for families in crisis.  We offer families all the comforts of home with the vital services needed to regain housing and employment.  Families that graduate from our program continue to receive support, encouragement and the tools to rebuild lives for at least one year.
 
Family Promise is a volunteer-driven organization that relies on the donation of talent, time and treasure to help families struggling with homelessness.  If our mission to help families with children experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable housing and stability speaks to you, I encourage you to consider serving on a committee or interviewing for a seat on the board of directors.