Interfaith Hospitality Network

The overall goal and purpose of Family Promise is to provide children and their families with safety, shelter, food, basic needs and assistance as they seek permanent housing.  Family Promise of Greater Roanoke is unique in that it does not split up families during their crisis and is the only emergency shelter in the Valley that serves only families.

Four to five times a year, for a week at a time, each host congregation provides a place to sleep, meals, and hospitality for up to 4 families at a time.  Each family has their own room within the congregational facility.  Families are at the host congregation from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.  The host congregation and support congregation provide volunteers who cook, serve meals, socialize with the guests, assist the parents with the children, and stay overnight.

Families are provided transportation to and from the host congregation to the Family Center daily.  The Family Center, in Salem, has showers, a kitchen, laundry facilities, computers, and a small area for each family to keep their belongings.  Here, the family can work one-on-one with our Program Manager to look for employment, housing, child care, and address other problems that stand in the way of permanent housing. This is their home base and serves as their mailing address during their stay.

For the safety of the volunteers, staff, and guests, our hosting rotation program and in-person volunteer opportunities have been suspended. We have been able to temporarily shelter families in our Family Center and in a duplex owned by Family Promise. Our Program Manager has worked closely with them, and when possible the families will move into their own housing during the crisis. For now, our focus has pivoted mainly to caring for families who have been through our shelter program. Our staff is part of an intensified collaborative effort of community organizations, and are therefore able to refer families not only to the kind of help they may usually need, but to assistance unique to their needs during this pandemic.