UELC is part of the Family Promise network of host congregations.
- 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).
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 https://www.familypromisegvl.org/
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 https://www.familypromisegvl.org/