BY JESSICA PENNEY
Right around four years ago, Family Promise embarked on an ambitious project to build The Promise House in Humble, TX. An extremely competitive real estate market led the organization to purchase a bit of land from a partner church, Lamb of God Lutheran Church, and starting the process to build. It has been a long and winding road, as the property had no utility services in place and all of the infrastructures had to be created before the actual build could begin. During this time, Family Promise of Lake Houston launched their “Mighty 250” capital campaign and over the course of the project has raised more than $630,000- all before the land was even CLEARED!! Contributors receive a commemorative brick on the property, a tribute to the strong foundation.
The support of the community has been tremendous and it is clear that there is a deep need for what FPLH provides. As of early June, the permitting is ready for work to resume at the site to prepare for the foundation to be poured!
This means it is time to get back in action with the fundraising as well! FPLH needs the community to reconnect with the intention of this project; to provide a safe and supportive place for struggling families to get back on their feet and achieve true self-sufficiency. By supporting the mission of the project, and therefore the organization as a whole, you have a tremendous opportunity to do God’s work in your own community. At Family Promise of Lake Houston, hard work and perseverance are required, with the goal of true independence for the whole family. FPLH does the work so that the whole community can be stronger and more stable, transforming lives one family at a time.
Family Promise of Lake Houston began in October of 2006 with several congregations seeking to address homelessness in our community. After completing the steps of incorporation, gaining the 501(c)3 distinction, and securing financial support from the community, we opened our doors on August 30, 2009. On that date we welcomed our first three families into our shelter program, totaling 3 mothers and nine children. That evening Noel, Melissa, Jamie, and their children enjoyed a home-cooked meal, some fellowship with loving volunteers, and slept safely in their temporary home at First United Methodist Church of Humble. Initially, thirteen local and varied host congregations pulled together for this collaboration and we continue to engage and recruit additional faith communities.
FPLH has provided transitional housing and support for more than 150 families through our congregational community over the years. Four times per year each congregation provides overnight lodging and hospitality to the program’s current families and children- including infants, children, teens, single parents, and couples with children, for one week at a time. Our program is proud to have housed over 600 children, providing them with shelter, food, friendship, and safety. Our very first year we welcomed the first baby to be born at FPLH!! In 2013, we opened up the outREACH program to keep up with the local need for services. This program serves up to fifteen families with the same programs and supports received by shelter families, with the exception of overnight accommodations. Outreach families come to the day center weekly to work with staff and volunteers to address their individualized plan for self-sufficiency. Over-all, we celebrate an 84% rate of success, as measured by key markers, two years post-graduation!
In 2019 FPLH recognized our tenth anniversary of impacting lives for the better and shattering the stereotypes of homelessness. It is due to the unending support of the community, the dedication of thousands of volunteers, and the partnerships and collaborations developed over the years that we have been able to do this important work for more than a decade. We look forward to continuing to serve the community for years to come!
At completion, the Promise House will be 5200 square feet of resources for the community. The design includes; a state of the art teaching kitchen, a smart education room, prayer garden, play space, living area, exercise/yoga room, infirmary, climate-controlled storage space, dog and cat accommodations for family pets, year-round gardens, internship opportunities, computer bank, library, and secure closets for families use. It is a beautifully, functionally designed space that will allow FPLH to offer a much greater reach in the community, expanding current programs and adding a dynamic new assortment to the schedule! It is conveniently located to be easily accessible for parents and children and designed in a way to make maximum use and flexibility of the space to meet current and future unforeseen needs in our community.