Seacoast Family Promise (SFP), incorporated in 2003, has been there to support families experiencing homelessness and living in poverty to find stable housing and regain and maintain their self-sufficiency. The 501(c) (3) nonprofit relies on a unique model, pioneered nationally by Family Promise and successful in 41 states.
SFP at a glance:
- More than 900 volunteers and 22 congregations participate, donating more than 14,000 volunteer hours per year.
- Hosting congregations are located in Brentwood, Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Rye, and Stratham.
- Can house a maximum of 14 individuals, making up a total of 5 homeless families at a time.
- Served 180 homeless families (556 children and adults) in eleven years.
- 330 of SFP guests have been children under the age of 18 with 171 of those being under the age of 5.
The SFP network of volunteers from various faith communities demonstrating their strength of compassion and generosity, putting faith into action. Through donations of time and funds, Seacoast Family Promise provides a safe place for families to turn for immediate food, shelter, and social services. Participating congregations reach out to families in crisis offering guidance and encouragement while preserving the dignity of families as they take important steps to regain independence. More than eighty percent of network guests secure permanent housing.
Any family cam meet with hardships causing loss of income, health, and home. When these crises present themselves, a community shares hospitality and transitional assistance with families facing temporary homelessness. Seacoast Family Promise (SFP) provides a structured path toward self-sufficiency, consistent income, and stable housing. SFP relies on hundreds of community volunteers from different faiths. Our mission is to meet the food and shelter needs of guest families while preserving their dignity and privacy. Families with children under 18 years old are admitted to the SFP program following an interview process. A family counselor designs a custom goal-oriented plan with the family that defines steps to regain self-sufficiency and secure housing. Until that plan is fully executed, usually 8-12 weeks, guest families receive compassion and encouragement from our volunteers.
Local faith-based institutions open their facilities to serve meals, provide private sleeping arrangements, and distribute personal necessities to up to 14 guests at a time. Professional staff operate the Day Center by day where families receive information and advocacy to services including public housing, employment, training, and education. The Center also provides a kitchen, children’s play area, computers, and telephones.
A typical day in the network begins early at the host congregation where families pack lunch, have breakfast and board the agency van or drive themselves to the Day Center, school, work, or training programs. In the evening, guest families return to the host congregation for the evening meal, followed by playing, sharing, and doing homework. Each family then retires to private quarters for the night.
The community rallies to empower and encourage families to become independent and to maintain that independence after leaving the network.