She sighs and hangs up the phone. No room in the shelter. Her phone is out of minutes, so they can’t call her back if a spot does open up. This is a story we hear all too often.
Alone. One of the worst feelings.
So we work to make sure people are not alone. We seek sustainable solutions WITH families, instead of doing work FOR or TO them. (This concept is borrowed from other wise writers, including the authors of the book When Helping Hurts and Kathy Escobar’s Down We Go:Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus.)
Paths out of poverty are rarely just a matter of giving relief (money, supplies, etc.) but are built and maintained by development of the person and by relationships and support networks.
So we invest in a few families at a deep level. We talk through goals, barriers, and creative solutions to independence with the families we serve. While they are in a homeless circumstance, we partner WITH them.
Many of you provide places to sleep and eat in your houses of worship, plus reliable transportation, crucial supplies, and pet fostering. With that stability, families can move beyond survival mode.
Many of you also provide tutoring, financial counseling, resume advice, and job interview clothing – all investments that help families move forward to independence that is sustainable.
We all come towards the problem of family homelessness from different angles, and we all have different skills, time, and funds to give. For this we are grateful.
In our culture at the holidays, we tend to become more generous and choose to set aside our differences because we pause to reflect on our core values – family, belonging, love, Jesus. When we stop and consider what really matters, and especially when we get to know the families we serve, we can see the common humanity that trumps all our other differences.
Jesus showed that with his life too – he declared value for all people, in his teachings, in his life, and by even choosing to join us in this messy world to begin with.
This Christmas, we’re so thankful to be in this work together with the guest families, our graduates moving forward, and together with all of you.
Blessings as you celebrate.
Katy Penner. on behalf of the Board and Staff
Family Promise of Greater Wichita unites hearts and hands to provide compassionate hospitality and empower homeless families with children to achieve sustainable independence. We are 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.