Featured Grant Story: Family Promise of Lubbock
What is Family Promise of Lubbock? The mission of Family Promise of Lubbock is to provide homeless families with children the tools necessary to achieve long term financial, parental and personal self-sufficiency through a comprehensive program of temporary housing, case management and supportive services. They have been serving homeless families for 20 years.
Families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Finding meaningful employment is a challenge for families wishing to escape homelessness. A lack of education prevents most primary wage earners from finding employment that can sustain a family. Educating and training parents is a key element in helping families become self-sustaining.
The “Educating the Homeless” program addresses the educational and training needs of families experiencing homelessness. Many homeless adults lack identification cards necessary to enroll in GED class or to become employed. Family Promise pays the fees and provides services to help families become employable. Parents need social security cards and numbers for themselves and their children. Many families come from out of state and need to purchase these essential documents.
Family Promise provides access to affordable childcare so parents can work a full-time job. They also pay for GED testing for parents who wish to continue their education but are needing financial assistance to reach their goal. Some adults are also in need of work clothes or tools for their job. Family Promise purchases these items as “seed money” for future success for these parents. Family Promise also works with homeless adults realize their employment potential and tailors training and employment options to their needs.
Family Promise provides a secure, homelike environment for homeless families. This gives parents the security of knowing that their children will be safe. Having a roof over their heads gives parents a starting place for finding employment. After completing the Family Promise program parents receive ongoing mentoring from staff and volunteers, support groups, additional training seminars, and numerous networking opportunities with Family Promise volunteers.
Family Promise of Lubbock in Action As a child Samantha* and her family were homeless. Her memories as a child include standing in front of a grocery store, begging for food and holding a sign that said “homeless.” Her siblings would sleep in a cardboard box with her mother while Samantha slept in a cardboard box with a cat and a woman she didn’t know.
Samantha came to Family Promise when she found herself homeless with three children. She was determined that her children would not grow up in the same circumstances she did. She didn’t have a high school diploma and lacked a passing score on one test required for graduation. Family Promise worked with Samantha and a local charter school to have her take the test with other students. Samantha passed the test and received her high school diploma.
Prior to obtaining her diploma Samantha worked in housekeeping at Covenant Hospital. With her new high school diploma Samantha applied and was hired for a supervisory position at Covenant Hospital. However, Samantha did not stop there. She pushed herself further and applied to South Plains College and was accepted into their nursing program. Her increased salary allowed her to purchase a trailer home where she now lives with her three children.
*Name has been changed for privacy and confidentiality.