What We Do
Preventing families from becoming homeless in the first place with Shelter Diversion, Rental Assistance and Transportation programs.
2020 – Wow, What a Year!
In 2020, the pandemic forced us to temporarily close down our “church rotational” program, in which families were housed each week through a network of churches. We were incredibly lucky to have been offered a temporary location from a volunteer who owns several properties in the area. We called this a “static shelter” and the families were able to stay at that location. At the beginning of this year however, after over nine months of generously donated space, the temporary location was no longer available. We’ve seen the value in having a static location, and continue to seek a similar alternative.
Helping “Doubled Up” Families
Determined to continue to serve families, we turned to our waiting list. We started providing case management services without moving families into shelter, but rather working with them in the situation they were in. Many are “doubled-up” living with friends or family. But for many reasons, these families find themselves unable to move forward. Some are living in crowded or not very habitable conditions. The need in our community is so great that sometimes once families are “diverted” from street homelessness to somewhere – anywhere – where they have a relatively safe roof over their head, they are no longer considered homeless. But we know that the situation may not improve, and they may end up homeless, unless there is some assistance available to them. So right now our focus is on these families.
2021 – Onward and Upward!
As we move into 2021, and more people become vaccinated, we will begin to prepare to restart our church rotational program. The start-up time will largely depend on our volunteers, for without them, we have no program. Once we are in the clear from COVID, we will hopefully return to that way of housing families.
We have called our program “Every Child Deserves a Home.” 2020 has taught us that there are several ways of working with families. Whether the family is in our care and staying at a church, a static location, or doubled-up somewhere, we can work with them to help them help themselves find stable housing.
Kennett Square Resource Center for Daytime Services
The Resource Center in Kennett Square is not a shelter. It offers a true home base to families in our program.The Center offers many services and amenities that families need, including basic necessities such as showers, laundry, and a kitchen. Beyond that, we provide a mailing address where families can get mail and have their children enrolled in their own school district, toys for the kids, a place to spend family time together on the weekends, and games for the family. We also provide crucial support resources, such as computer access, community resources, case management, and job search assistance.As guests of our Resource Center, each family has their own set of chores to maintain the home. Everyone plays a role and does their part. The Resource Center is truly a place that provides an invaluable sense of routine, safety, and security for families with children. Children come home from school to see their parents every day while doing their homework. With a beautiful living room and a fireplace, the Resource Center offers all the comforts of home to families who have endured the hardship of homelessness.
Fellowship and Compassion
Volunteers are the heart of Family Promise of Southern Chester County. They cook, serve meals, play with children and help them with their homework, and stay overnight. Most importantly, volunteers interact with the guests, treating them with respect and responding with compassion.
Support Services to Address the Root of Poverty and Homelessness
The Family Promise of Southern Chester County Case Manager works with local social service agencies to help guests find jobs, housing, and other social services. The agencies assist guest families to work through substance abuse, domestic violence or psychiatric problems which may be impeding their ability to find and sustain stable housing.
Housing & Meals
We partner with local congregations to provide safe, comfortable and private nightly shelter and daily meals including dinner, breakfast, and a brown bag lunch. Congregations also provide hospitality and fellowship through the work of volunteers, who stay overnight with their guests and spend time in the evening hours playing with children and helping with homework.
Families typically arrive at the Host Congregation around 6 p.m. and leave the next morning at 6 a.m.. The Resource Center in Kennett Square has showers and laundry facilities. Small children, along with their parents, and those who are not working spend the day at our Resource Center looking for work or meeting with the Case Manager. Families are welcome to spend weekend days at the Resource Center, doing what families do on their weekends.
Hosting rotates among congregations for a week at a time, which provide lodging for four families of up to 14 people total. The families arrive at a new congregation on Sunday evening and leave the following Sunday morning.