"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
This quote may be about the postal service, but at Family Promise, we regularly see how it represents many of our faithful volunteers. John, a long-term congregational coordinator at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, recently lived that out during his church’s hosting week.
Weather reports showed bad weather was going to hit the Salem area, but we didn’t expect a giant sheet of ice to shut down the valley. In fact, the ice even shut down the postal service.
The scheduled meal and shelter volunteers were not able to reach the church. John volunteered to stay and host the families in our IHN shelter program from that Thursday afternoon until the roads opened up on Christmas Eve.
John connects his service to his faith, saying, “How would you respond if you knew someone died for you? What could you give?” Those couple of days, John gave his time providing hospitality, watching children's movies, and eating leftovers with four homeless families – four families with nowhere else to go.
Before we joined Family Promise, our family was struggling. We were evicted from our home, and even though both my wife and I had jobs, we couldn't get accepted to another apartment. We stayed in a motel for a while but ran out of money fast. My 6 months pregnant wife, our two kids, and I ended up sleeping in our car. We were starting to lose hope when Family Promise called.
Our lives changed when we joined the shelter program. My kids had a safe comfortable place to sleep at night. I was able to work more regular hours and save money for rent. Family Promise even helped plan a baby shower for us! Shortly after our baby son was born, our prayers were answered: we found a home.
Family Promise helped us with rental assistance and we were able to save enough money in our rainy day fund to pay our rent and utilities for a year! Every day my wife and I work our hardest to keep stable housing for our 3 kids. Today, our goal is to work towards homeownership. We learned a lot during our time with Family Promise and are so grateful for the support we received.
We will never forget everyone that helped us along the way.
Envisioning a nation where every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future.
We help families experiencing homelessness and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.
Madison and her three children celebrated 2022 in their own home.
Madison and her three children came to Family Promise when they were facing homelessness after Madison could not find a job. Madison recovered quickly after receiving our homelessness prevention funds, which helped Madison and her family with the first month’s rent and deposit for their new apartment. This allowed Madison to regain stability and achieve lasting independence.
Your support makes it possible for Family Promise to continue helping families like Madison’s every day with shelter, homelessness prevention, and stabilization.
Four-year-old Breelynn cherishes the Minnie Mouse doll she received as a a guest of Family Promise.
Breelynn and her family were living in a hotel when they found Family Promise. Her Minnie Mouse doll became a constant companion and source of comfort during this
uncertain time. With the help and services of Family Promise, Breelynn’s life returned to normal. Breelynn’s story is one of the hundreds that begins at Family Promise each year. Every story is a gift, and these gifts are made possible by supporters of Family Promise.
Thank you to Temple Beth Sholom for your lasting support for our newly resettled refugee neighbors.
In our partnership with Salem for Refugees, Family Promise was able to provide rental assistance subsidies and ongoing case management to support our new neighbors. This assistance enabled families to transition from resettlement agency services and receive tools to thrive in our community.
A note from our Director
Family Promise, formerly Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network, was founded on the beliefs that kids in our community should not be homeless, our community has the resources to help our neighbors in need, and when faith is moved to action, transformation happens. Yet, in many ways, we continue to see new challenges and threats – there is a lack of affordable housing, inflationary factors that hit the cost of goods and services, unemployment, and underemployment – it’s clear families are headed toward crisis and it’s the time to come together and act.
So, what is Family Promise going to do about this?
For more than two decades, we’ve partnered with the faith community, local governments and community partners to take action on the Mid-Willamette Valley’s greatest challenges. Through the years, we’ve met families facing the crisis of homelessness and together forged a path forward. Let me tell you, we’re so proud to help guide the grassroots response to ending homelessness for families and their children! We’re proud to work alongside a community that embraces the holistic impact of providing shelter, serving a meal, providing hospitality, or moving furniture. Because of this work, in 2022 we saw amazing outcomes that ensured children and their families have a safe place to sleep at night.
In the last year, that included building upon our established programs and partnerships to expand our impact:
Our Shelter Program utilized multiple models to meet emergency needs and help families focus on the next steps in their journey. This included a model where we sheltered children and their families in motels, in various houses around town, and even reopened our rotational shelter in the faith community.
Our Stabilization Program focused on bringing resources and building skills to help families remain housed. In addition to rental assistance – that helped with deposit and rent – we also provided intensive case management that supplemented weekly life skills classes. These classes taught tenancy training, financial capability, educational initiatives along with health and wellness.
Our Prevention Program focused on avoiding the imminent loss and the family trauma of losing housing. We leveraged our intensive case management with community resources to provide needed stability and help a family avoid crisis.
Our other initiatives included furniture delivery, birthday and Christmas celebrations, and supporting community partners to ensure our work reflected the action and transformation established over 20 ago.
Family Promise did a lot of great work in the last year and we’re not stopping. Going forward, we will continue to provide a grassroots response to ending homelessness for families and their children. We’re proud to share the following report and hope you find inspiration in everything you read.
Thanks for your partnership and support.
2022 Financial Overview
Though prevention funds and services aren’t as well-known as our shelter program, they keep people in our community from becoming homeless, decreasing the need for shelter and provide a lower-cost way to help end homelessness. Although our shelter program already operates at about 1/3 of the cost of traditional shelters, prevention still costs significantly less than that. In fact, the average cost of stabilizing housing for one child, keeping them from becoming homeless, is only $250. That’s 95% less than the average cost of one family’s stay in a traditional emergency shelter.
We offered strategies to ensure the people we serve do not fall into the cycle of housing instability that can devastate families and alter the course for the next generation. This included providing rental assistance and landlord mediation, and community-based approaches that keep families housed.
Since COVID, we leaned into our community's flexibility with shelter and operated multiple models. 2022 was a year where we operated a static site shelter in motels and various houses around town, but also went back to our rotational Interfaith Hospitality Network. Thankfully, the engagement of our faith community and other community partners did not change. We secured multiple sites around town for families to stay when they entered the crisis of
Volunteers connected families to the community, lending their passion and prayers to help families get back on their feet. Volunteers are the core of this program and provided every item for the new shelter; they provided funding, food, and encouragement
that helped families move forward. The families we served were able to create a home—and a community—for families with no place left to turn.
Families are the most vulnerable to losing housing the first year after experiencing an episode of homelessness. We recognize the inherent opportunity to not only focus on building the assets to increase housing stability, but to also address areas that directly impact stability, like barriers to positive health, educational, and economic outcomes.