Family Promise of the AVAC ( formerly known as Interfaith Hospitality Network)
Family Promise of the AVAC is an affiliate of the national organization, Family Promise, and provides shelter, meals and assistance for families experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness and helps to alleviate homelessness by increasing the number of people from the religious community who are actively involved in providing support and advocacy.
Since February 1993, the program has housed more than 1,500 people (80 percent from the local area). Upon leaving our care, approximately 80 percent of the families in the network move into a home of their own.
Basic Components of the Program
1. Temporary Housing
Housing is provided at the Family Promise House, located in Brackenridge, PA. Family Promise House provides short-term, family friendly, emergency shelter, food and housing-focused case management services. FPH Is a 24 hour facility where families can be together as they navigate through a difficult period with a host of caring staff and volunteers. The facility is welcoming and provides cooking amenities, laundry room, private meeting space, 4 station computer lab, and a state of the art tele-health room.
Guests may use our kitchenette to prepare breakfast and lunch for their family. Evening meals are provided by partner churches, volunteers, community organizations, and businesses. Guests have the option of signing up for the prepared meal or choosing to provide dinner for their family on their own. local day center from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, where the IHN director, a professional social worker, provides case management services. There, guests pursue employment, tend to pre-school children, shower, and do laundry. The day center provides guests with a mailing address and a base for housing and employment
searches. Many guests are employed during the day, while older children attend school.
Volunteers are fundamental to the Family Promise program: offering dignified and compassionate assistance to families who have suffered the ordeal of losing their home Volunteers make a difference in the lives of these families. Through simple things like talking and listening to a guest, volunteers can provide a context for the restoration of the human spirit, when hope has been lost. Volunteers provide various services: cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping them with homework, interacting with guests with respect and compassion.
4. Case Management
Professional case management services are provided for all guests of Family Promise House. Guests are assisted with many aspects of need. Job search assistance, housing search assistance, mainstream benefits assistance, budgeting and financial literacy are just a few of the services available to families.
Who is Homeless?
Today’s homeless population is very diverse and goes beyond the stereotypes of bag ladies and skid row derelicts. The US Census Bureau reports that over 12% of the U. S. population now lives in poverty. That’s more than 1 in every 9 people and 1 in 6 children.
Millions of people whose income is above the official poverty line also cannot afford basic necessities. They do not have things that many American families take for granted and regularly have to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table.
Families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population- 40% of the urban homeless population and 50% in rural areas.
Homelessness is more than just houselessness, but also the profound loss of family, friends and the support systems that connect a person to a stable life.
How You Can Help
Become a Partner Church
The Family Promise program programs enable members of the religious community to unite
their efforts in a focused and important way. It provides an opportunity for religious groups, working with other civic and community organizations, to assist families experiencing this crisis and to build broader, informed support for
Volunteers are fundamental to the Family Promise program: offering dignified and compassionate assistance to families who have suffered the ordeal of losing their home. Volunteers make a difference in the lives of these families.
Through simple things like talking and listening to guests volunteers can provide a context for the restoration of the human spirit, when hope has been lost.
If you would like more information on volunteering, see our volunteer page or contact us.
All referrals now come from the Allegheny Link. If you are experiencing homelessness and are in need of shelter, please contact the Link at 1-866-730-2368.