Family Promise

UELC is part of the Family Promise network of host congregations.

UELC next hosting  December 2nd-9th, 2018   Won't you join us!

Greetings, everyone! After a long break, we're hosting families in crisis again from

Sept. 23 - 30. We're blessed with such a solid core of wonderfully experienced volunteers at UELC, making my job as coordinator relatively easy. However, a couple of new helpers would make the process a bit less pressured on everyone. Most hosting duties only require 2-3 hours! New volunteers will always be paired with experienced ones. There's something for extroverts and introverts alike.
These are the simple ways you can help our Family Promise families on one day during that week:
  • Dinner preparer (or purchaser): Meal should arrive at church by 5:30.
  • Dinner host: From 5:00 pm till 7:00 and/or 6:00 till 8:15.
  • Overnight and breakfast host: From 8:15 pm till 7:30 am.
  • Breakdown of rooms helper: Sunday morning (Aug. 30) for an hour between 7:00 and 9:00.
  • Linen launderer: Sunday (Aug. 30).
Also, on September 20th, is the Every child deserves a home Fall fundraising luncheon. Speak to Pat Dasler or me if you would like to attend or know someone from the larger Gainesville community we should invite. It's an important opportunity to reach potential congregational or corporate partners in the goal of ending child homelessness in our community.
If you can assist in any way contact the church 352-373-6945  and leave a message for Amy Schirmer for details on volunteering or find the sign-up sheet in the Kaiser Center.

Family Promise Mission statement: Through the collaborations of local faith communities, Family Promise of Gainesville provides homeless children and their families with compassionate care that includes case management, education, housing, meals and transportation until they can transition to a home of their own.

UELC is one of  13 Churches in the Gainesville Area  for more information visit Family Promise website at

This is how Family Promise work?

Families stay in the program for up to 3 months, receiving training and assistance in areas they need in order to become self-sufficient (eg. job training, financial counseling, assistance in searching for jobs and housing). Some parents come to the program employed or under-employed. Still, they need stability, time and assistance to gather funds, resources and stamina to lay the foundation for a steady and healthy path for their families.

Graduation from the program means the parent(s) have found housing they can afford and keep.   Family Promise of Gainesville has one of the highest graduation success rates in the country at 90 percent!

Family Promise week at UELC:

A few weeks each year, UELC is home for up to 4 area families who are in crisis and homeless. We are one of 12 congregations in Gainesville who carry out this mission for Family Promise. The families involved are in a crisis that has put them out of their homes. Families admitted to the program have experienced a crisis which has put them out of their home, and they are committed to working toward sustaining a stable family life. Family Promise works to break the cycle of homelessness by keeping children and their parents from living in their car or on the street, and ultimately, from spiraling into a chronic homeless condition.
While families in the program spend their days working toward achieving affordable housing, at night, they need a safe and reliable home to return to for dinner and rest. This is where UELC and other host congregations come in.
Family Promise guests sleep in rooms converted into bedrooms during their stay.
Volunteers in our community come to church to provide and serve dinner, socialize with the guests, and ensure safety overnight. Congregants also donate groceries, diapers, gift cards, etc. as needed, and assist in setting up and breaking down the guest rooms.
Being a host congregation is a GIFT for us to meet our congregation’s Mission : to embrace and share the love of God in Jesus Christ, as God empowers us. It strengthens our Gainesville community by helping keep families whole and healthy. And it expands and enriches our church community by engaging with our diverse population.

If you’d like to share in this experience when we host, please contact the Family Promise Coordinator at Amy Schirmer at 352-214-0991 or by calling our church office at 352-373-6945. Time commitments can be as short as 2 hours. Try it once!
You may also donate to UELC’s Family Promise fund, checks payable to University Lutheran Church can be sent to UELC, 1826 W University Ave. Gainesville 32603. Write Family Promise in the subject line.
For more information about Gainesville Family Promise, or to donate directly, visit the Family Promise Website

"Recent hosting and family update By Amy Schirmer:
We had an amazing show of support for our family guests last Jan/Feb with time and donations from our members who fed and accommodated four families with 11 children. We were also blessed with volunteer coverage and meals on two evenings by Holy Faith Catholic Church's youth and young adult groups. In addition to serving as volunteers, the youth group collected about 20 brand new games and puzzles and donated them to us for our hosting.

I am incredibly grateful for our volunteers who are ALL so giving and self-reliant. You make coordinating the week a joyful breeze -- truly! Of special note: Pat Dasler introduced a work colleague to Family Promise and to our church by bringing her along to volunteer one evening. The Lutheran Student Gators reportedly had a blast playing with the children on their regular Tuesday devotions evening. Thanks to Krissi and Pastor Terrance for enabling that! Our facilities also, once again, served as a beautiful safety net for these families in need.

Since then, two families have graduated from th­­­­e program and found housing they can afford. One family relocated to Ocala, enthusiastic with a new job offer.

This Spring  Family Promise Garage sale: Nearly $6,000 was raised at this one-day event to which several of our members contributed goods and time. What was two years ago thought to be a one-time event in order to empty out the storage units full of donated goods collected throughout the year has turned into a very dear annual funding source hosted and organized by Trinity United Methodist Church. Thank you for your donations and patronage!

March 14th the community joined Family Promise's ribbon cutting ceremony for the first mobile home in the Partners in Housing program and shared  a light lunch at 11:30 am at Lamplighter MHP. A second home is being purchased soon. These will serve as transitional housing for our families who qualify.

The fourth annual Bed Race fundraiser took place on Saturday, May 5 at Trinity UMC. Last year, the Lutheran Student Gators raced a bed with Pastor Chad at the helm and financial support from Pat Dasler and our UELC members.

Family Promise is grateful all for your continued support!   Amy Schirmer"