Family Promise Churches
(the ones who make everything work so much better)
Family Promise of Bristol has program to help homeless families
Credit: ROGER BROWN | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
Family Promise of Bristol opened its Island Road office Sunday afternoon, officially starting the non-profit’s work to address the growing issue of homeless families across the Twin City.
“We’re here because we care about the homeless families in our community – and we are here to do something to address it,” Gordon Turnbull, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tenn., and Family Promise board member, said during Sunday’s ceremony to open Family Promise’s office and Day Center.
Added Turnbull: “We realize that homelessness is the top issue we need to attend to in this community.”
The Family Promise facility, located next to Redeemer Lutheran Church on Island Road, will serve a central role in an initiative that will see 10 area Bristol churches take turns serving as “host congregations” for homeless Bristol families.
The Bristol chapter of Family Promise has been heavily supported by area churches and the United Way of Bristol. It is being led by Sharon Hicks, the non-profit’s executive director, and backed by numerous community volunteers.
During a series of prayers to bless Family Promise’s new headquarters, Gary Chenoweth, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, praised the community’s work in uniting to create the Day Center: a small, church-owned property that – since late June – had been gradually transformed into an office by 25 volunteers.
“Every time we enter this building, every time we drive by it, we will know God is within this place,” Chenoweth said.
Director -- Sharon Hicks
Recently named the first director of Family Promise of Bristol, Sharon Hicks says the non-profit organization – which officially opens its Island Road office in early August – has a simple promise it will strive to keep each day.
“Our goal will be to keep families together and our focus will be to help the children all that we can,” Hicks said during a recent interview at the Grind House on State Street. “Our program is designed to be a life line for families that are having some hard times. We’re looking to provide a safe, stable place where families can start the process of getting things back together, while staying together.”
In her leadership role with Family Promise, Hicks will be on the front lines in the fight against homelessness in theTwinCity- a battle that has begun to affect growing numbers of local families and children.
In June, Hicks – who has been involved in social work for nearly 20 years -- was named to lead the Family Promise’s Bristol chapter.
“We’re going to be serving both sides of Bristol, so the support we’ll be getting from our churches and volunteers will be critical,” Hicks said. “It’s been wonderful and encouraging to see how much our community has worked together, already, to help the families that will be involved. ”
Family Promise of Bristol
Family Promise of Bristol , our communities new ministry helping homeless families with children to achieve independent living, has several volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers at the Day Center: Spend time at the Day Center any day of the week any time of the day between 7:30 and 5:30. Volunteers may have several roles during this time and may also bring their own projects or work as they spend time hosting at the center.
Van Drivers: Volunteer to help with the van driving. We need substitute and periodic drivers to transport between hosting congregation locations and the Day Center in the morning and evening. There may be other opportunities as well.
Volunteers are vital to the Family Promise of Bristol program, especially at this time as the program gets started.
PO Box 302
Bristol, TN 37621