Family Promise and BUMC

FPGV  An important way that BUMC serves the homeless in our community is through our support of Family Promise of Gallatin Valley, a nonprofit  network of interfaith organizations working together to “end homelessness, one family at a time.”  Family Promise helps families in Bozeman become self-sufficient and find lasting solutions to their unique situations.  Since its inception in 2006, Family Promise of Gallatin Valley has provided shelter and opportunities to 426 people, including: 127 separate families, 232 children and 194 adults. They have hosted 71 babies 0-2 years, 46 preschoolers 3-5 years, 88 children ages 6-12, and 27 teens.  
 
Families are referred by local agencies and screened before being accepted into the Family Promise program.  Families must work hard to complete the program – they must agree to participate in case management, self-sufficiency, and life skills classes; remain drug and alcohol free; follow guidelines for staying in host churches; find or maintain employment and start a savings plan.  During the day school-aged children must attend school and younger children must be enrolled in preschool so the parents can work or seek employment.  With the help of many faith communities and  volunteers, families receive  food, shelter and clothing for 90 days at no cost to participants.  
 
BUMC is one of 11 host congregations which means that several times a year we provide a place to sleep, meals, and compassionate hospitality for up to four homeless families for a week at a time.  At each site, volunteers cook meals, socialize with guests, play with children and stay overnight.  Volunteers can sign up to cook dinner or spend the night, typically for one night at a time.  BUMC hosts families about four times a year, so there are many opportunities for you to help out.  Volunteers who would like to do direct service with families must complete a 2-hour new volunteer orientation (the next one is scheduled for Tuesday, February 17).  There are a wide variety of other volunteer positions available.
 
Gloria Edwards is founder of Family Promise of Gallatin Valley and an active member of our congregation.  After nine years as their Executive Director she is retiring, and was featured in a lovely article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle on February 1, 2015.  She is a tremendous resource, and a very compassionate person.  A farewell potluck for Gloria Edwards is planned on Saturday, Feb. 14, from noon to 3 p.m. at Bozeman’s Lindley Park Center.  Family Promise friends, families and well-wishers are invited. 
 
For more information on Family Promise, visit their website at http://www.familypromisegv.org/ or contact one of the BUMC Family Promise Coordinators – Sally McConnell or Irene Eidet Martin – or our Mission Coordinator, Cathy Baumbauer, at cathy@bozemanumc.org.