Our Local History
Family Promise of Cowlitz County
Family Promise of Cowlitz County is a family shelter program focusing on consistency and stabilization for families with children. FPCC provides hot meals, shelter, basic necessities, connections to local resources, housing and financial planning, referrals, financial assistance, intensive case management, and anything from furniture donations to moving assistance.
Family Promise of Cowlitz County started in 2019 after a dedicated group of local citizens from different congregations came together to address the growing need to help unsheltered families in Cowlitz County.
From the beginning we have been blessed with a $1/year lease of part of a building from Kelso United Methodist Presbyterian Church allowing us room for a day center and office space providing a central safe space and case management.
Becoming an affiliate of National Family Promise provided a model that has succeeded throughout the country sheltering families at participating congregations and rotating weekly.
A NEW CHALLENGE
And then the pandemic hit. What looked like an insurmountable issue became a static shelter practically overnight. Through the hard work and dedication of a fantastic group of volunteers, the Day Center was transformed into an overnight shelter and continued to be remodeled so we are now able to shelter up to five families totaling 20 people maximum.
Since opening our programs have grown from one program, family shelter, to four, including resource navigation, stabilization, and homelessness prevention/shelter diversion.
When families lose housing, our Shelter program can help. Here, parents receive intensive case management, which includes goal setting, connection to community resources, family budgeting guidance, and education on effectively searching and applying for housing. In addition, our shelter program’s volunteer hosts provide hot meals, grocery assistance, and compassionate, nonjudgmental friendship.
Just as in our Shelter program, case management is quintessential to the long-term stability and well-being of the family. We will work to identify and address the problems that caused the family’s instability in the first place, and continue working with them even after the crisis is over.
Stabilization helps assure shelter program graduates remain stable during the delicate first year or two after emerging from homelessness. Resource navigation serves multiple purposes. This is both a standalone program that is the entrance to the Family Promise program world and an important part of our other three programs.
Our primary goal is to keep families from losing their housing, and to that end we were able to begin Promise of Home fall of 2021 with help from a Help Us Move In (HUMI) “Homeless No More” Challenge Grant and many generous donors
The HUMI program is a grant specifically awarded to FPCC to assist families with costs pertaining to KEEPING shelter, as opposed to what happens after someone has lost housing. These funds are set aside to combat the loss of housing. We know that by helping families remain is much more cost effective than trying to regain housing after the fact.
WE BECOME FAMILY PROMISE OF COWLITZ COUNTY
None of this would have been possible except for the immense contributions of many volunteers, craftsmen, and local businesses providing labor, talents and resources.