As we head into the busy holiday season I thought I would take the time to update all of you on Advent Family Promise. It’s been a busy year, both here in the church and on the road.
First and foremost, it’s exciting that we will be hosting at Advent during the week of December 11-18th. We are on solid financial ground after raising $2982 during the Giving House Fundraiser. Many planning meetings have taken place and will continue inorder to prepare the facility and the volunteers. The construction phase is almost complete. There are two new access doors in the Nursery and St. Jude’s classrooms, as well as a bank of new windows in St. Elizabeth’s. These three additions will allow safe egress out of the sleeping rooms in case of fire. A set of stairs still need to be built for St Elizabeth’s to access the windows in an emergency. Also, blinds and/or curtains need to be purchased and installed in all three classrooms to provide privacy for our families. All this work will be accomplished by the middle of November. Thank you to all our donors, people who worked behind the scenes to make this all happen, our volunteers, our vestry and our entire congregation. It will be awesome to finally host here at our beautiful facility.
I attended a meeting of Primary Coordinators last Wednesday. Sue Minarchi, FP Director, informed us that at the close of our first year of service, Family Promise of Southern Chester County assisted 18 families find permanent housing. These 18 families included 23 adults and 40 children. Some families have even moved onto bigger and better homes since they left us. The average stay in the program is 49 days, as compared to the national average of 60 days. Finding homes is our major goal but many of these families have also been helped in obtaining affordable child care, health care, jobs, cars, and other services that make their lives better. It’s a wonderful thing to observe individuals being helped to become independent by a caring community of their neighbors.
We now have a year-long host schedule for 2017. It’s great knowing when we will be hosting so far out. Those 2017 dates are March 19-26, June 25-July 2, Sept. 17-24 and Dec. 17-24. We have about 30 dedicated volunteers we can call upon to help each week but we could always use more. Even if you can only volunteer once a year, that’s a big help. An acute need is our Overnnight Hosts. Sue Thomas generously donated a queen-size airbed for our use, so a good night’s sleep is definitely guaranteed. So please, consider how you might be able to be a part of this great ministry, especially now that we are hosting at Advent. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610.347.0650 to discuss the variety of options for volunteering. As in all things, training and background checks are required.
Thank you again for all your support for this important ministry.
Paula McLean Primary Coordinator