The Family of Florence Gathers together to help those in Need
After a search by many interested individuals, social service agencies and churches in the Florence community for a complementing solution for families who find themselves homeless in the Florence community, Family Promise of Florence will begin operation at its location at 1022 West Darlington Street in November. On Oct. 18, area churches are invited to join in the Blessing of the Day Center at 1022 West Darlington St.
This is the site of operations for all activities for the organization. The event begins at 2 p.m. and a reception and tours for members of the church community will be available through 4 p.m. On Monday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. the Florence community at large is invited to the official ribbon cutting ceremony and will also have the opportunity to speak with Board members and tour the facility and learn more about how Family Promise will work with our local partners here in Florence.
Founded in 1988 by Karen Olson, through a simple gesture of offering a sandwich to individual in passing on her way to work into a national movement, with 192 Family Promise Affiliates in 42 states. The organization engages 160,000 volunteers from 6,000 congregations nationwide to provide services to more than 50,000 homeless and low-income people annually.
Olson believed that by engaging a community, they could accomplish together what they could not individually. Thus formed the Interfaith Hospitality Network and the beginnings of Family Promise. Locally, 12 churches have stepped forward to assist with providing housing for families during their transitional time through the Family Promise program.
They are: Calvary Baptist, Central United Methodist, First Baptist Florence, First Presbyterian Florence, Grace Baptist, Greenwood Baptist, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Immanuel Baptist, John Calvin Presbyterian, Mt. Zion AME, Pisgah United Methodist Church and Southside Baptist. Additionally, other churches have stepped forward to offer support in a number of ways toward the efforts of supporting this mission in the Florence community.
The partnership of these churches and volunteers provide immeasurable support towards the belief that we can address family homelessness – right here in our own communities. Mike Henderson, Pastor of Highland Park United Methodist Church, believes “Family Promise is a way for the compassionate people of Florence to work together so that homeless families find not only a place to live, but a community of support.”
Upon the completion of a successful Cardboard Box City event this September, with 200 participants, notable events are still upcoming for the Florence community to be aware of and participate with this effort. Jo Ellen Schneider, is the executive director of Family Promise of Florence. Any questions or to find how you can get involved with helping solve homelessness in our community can be directed to the website at www.familypromiseofflorence.com, or by calling 843-407-5745.