Congregations in the greater Beverly area are jumping at the chance to shelter homeless families in their buildings through Family Promise North Shore Boston, which kicks off May 12. The initiative replicates a Family Promise model that operates in 41 states and has helped tens of thousands of families return to stable housing.
Pictured: Executive Director of Family Promise North Shore Boston Elise Sinagra (center) and Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon (right) participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Family Promise North Shore Boston's new Family Day Center on May 2. Next
The program offers guests a week long stay at one church before they move to another one. A shuttle brings everyone to a hub facility on Rantoul Street, where buses can bring children to school.
Pictured: Doug Marguart, board of directors member Cheri Marguart, volunteer Donna Kendall, and volunteer Jean Holiday applaud during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Family Promise North Shore Boston's new Family Day Center. Next
At the day center, clients can do laundry, shower, work with a case worker, and use the phone and computer.
Here, Executive Director Elise Sinagra (center) speaks with clients Nikki Moore (right) and Nia Brown (left) in the "quiet room" during the open house at Family Promise North Shore Boston's new Family Day Center. Next
“It was not a battle at all to get the congregation to back this,” said Susan Zwart, who’s coordinating volunteers at First Congregational. “These [guests] are going to be regular people: moms and dads who make minimum wage, then an extenuating circumstance happens and they’re out of a home with no place to go.”
Pictured: An exterior view of the Family Promise North Shore Boston's new Family Day Center. Next
On any given day, some 2,000 individuals are homeless in and around North Shore cities, according to 2011 data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. For those who have minor children and no substance abuse issues, Family Promise offers a potential route back to stable housing and financial independence.
Pictured: Volunteer coordinator Susan Zwart packs up a bed set up in the classroom space in the First Essex Congregational Church. Beginning in mid-May, the church will begin housing up to four homeless families for a week at a time. Back to the beginning
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below