I’m honored to serve as the convener for the Hamilton County Homeless Shelter Task Force, a collaborative effort of trustees and nonprofits which is developing options for those facing homelessness. Increasingly we see individuals and families needing to sleep in their cars, or “couch-surf” – moving from one friend’s couch to another’s.
I am thrilled to announce that Family Promise (Interfaith Hospitality Network) has agreed to begin working in Hamilton County. They already run a successful program in Marion County, partnering with a wide variety of faith organizations to provide shelter to families. They have developed a religious community-based approach to offering caring assistance and currently have more than 160,000 people volunteering in 6,000 congregations throughout the country with Family Promise Affiliates.
The Family Promise program of providing shelter, meals and support for homeless families is easily developed because it relies on existing community resources: houses of worship for overnight lodging, congregations for volunteers, social service agencies for screening and referrals, and existing organizations for day facilities.
Jim McElhinney, Executive Director for Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis, will be in our area on Thursday, Sept 3rd, at 7pm at St. Mark’s United Methodist and Thursday, Sept., 10th at 7pm at St Peter’s United Church of Christ for an open meeting to present information about Family Promise and show us how a Family Promise Affiliate would enable us to help homeless families in Hamilton County.
Thursday, September 3rd at 7pm at St. Mark’s UMC (4780 E. 126th St, Carmel)
Thursday, September 10th at 7pm at St. Peter’s UCC (3106 E. Carmel Dr, Carmel)
I urge you to attend this very important meeting to learn more. We need at least 13 congregations to partner with Family Promise to provide this program for homeless families. Winter is around the corner, so now is the time to act.
With all my best wishes and thank you for spreading the word.
Cindy Benedict, Community Engagement Manager for the City of Noblesville