Monday, March 19, 2007

Manatee Churches Uniting to Help the Homeless:

Bill and Mary Townsley, in their Feb. 12 letter to the editor (Bradenton Herald), suggested that area churches open their buildings to help the homeless. The good news is that congregations in Manatee County are responding through the new Family Promise program to create an Interfaith Hospitality Network.

In this program, congregations will open their doors in the evenings to homeless families and provide shelter, volunteers and resources for up to 14 guests. Host congregations, usually three or four times a year, provide shelter in the evenings for a week's rotation. A social worker meets regularly with the families at a day center as guests actively seek housing, services and resources needed to regain their independence.

Volunteers in Manatee County congregations are working hard to get Family Promise up and running this year. So far we have seven of the 10 congregations needed to begin operations. Those participating in the network include: Palma Sola Presbyterian, Trinity United Methodist, Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, First Assembly of God, Harvest United Methodist, Westminster Presbyterian and First Presbyterian Church. The Family Promise day center will be housed at Central Christian Church in downtown Bradenton.

There is great potential for the Manatee County faith community. We have more than 100 congregations in Manatee County that could join us to provide a single, powerful, coordinated solution for homeless children and families. We'd like to encourage congregations of all faiths and interested individuals to join our effort.

The public is welcome to attend our next community information meeting Tuesday, March 20, at 7 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 926 15th St. W., or contact us at 794-6229. Come be part of a solution as we open our hearts and doors to provide hospitality and safe shelter to our most vulnerable neighbors.

Diana Shoemaker, President
Family Promise of Manatee County

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?