The Family Promise of Grant County board of trustees announced the hiring of a full-time program director to lead the effort in serving families experiencing homelessness in Grant County.
Hannah R. Campbell Gustafson of Darlington began her position as the program director Jan. 4. Campbell Gustafson will oversee the provision of case management to families experiencing homelessness and coordinate the program components for the effective delivery of services to guests.
Following this appointment, the board has decided it will be ready to welcome families into the program as soon as Feb. 28.
Family Promise of Grant County, Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to helping children and families experiencing homelessness in Grant County achieve lasting independence. Through Family Promise, congregations, social service organizations and volunteers in the county are working together to meet this mission. This past school year, 59 youth were identified as homeless in the Platteville, Boscobel and Lancaster School Districts. The number countywide is likely much higher.
Campbell Gustafson is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, where she attained dual graduate degrees, master of divinity and master of social work. The MDiv degree prepared Campbell Gustafson for ministry, making her particularly qualified to work in cooperation with local congregations. Her social work degree gave her extensive experience in comprehensive case management and leading group therapy. Campbell Gustafson was a National Merit Scholar at Carleton College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies.
However, Campbell Gustafson’s experience with social services began long before graduate school. As a child, she and her father were regular volunteers with Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), the predecessor organization to Family Promise. As a young adult, she continued to pursue a life of service. Before graduate school, she spent a year as a case manager at Bread for the City, a Washington DC based nonprofit, working with individuals who were low income and often experiencing homelessness. She then spent a year in Seattle with Plymouth House of Healing, as live-in staff at a transitional home. The residents she worked with came from inpatient mental health treatment, and had formerly been homeless.
“For many years I have felt called to work with individuals who are experiencing homelessness, and I feel very passionate about this work,” said Campbell Gustafson. “I’ve recently been reflecting on my time as a child [volunteering with IHN]. We helped serve dinners, and usually spent one overnight at the church. I am grateful for those early experiences that helped build the foundation for my passion and I’m excited to do that work again, in a different capacity, for such a crucial organization.”
To date, Family Promise of Grant County, Inc. has raised more than $80,000 in donations from individuals, churches and organizations across Grant County to provide support services for homeless children and families in Grant County. In addition, Family Promise has received grants from the Platteville Community Fund, the Lancaster Community Fund, the United Way of Platteville and the Alliant Energy Foundation.
With the hiring of a director, Family Promise of Grant County will begin training volunteers throughout January and will be ready to open Feb. 28. An open house will be held Sunday, Feb. 21 from 2 to 5 p.m., beginning with a short overview of the program, a time for questions and tours of the newly established Day Center at St. Clement Catholic Parish in Lancaster. Campbell Gustafson and members of the board of trustees will be on hand to answer any additional questions.
Once Family Promise of Grant County is up and running, host congregations throughout Grant County will provide overnight lodging, breakfast, brown bag lunch, dinner, and hospitality for families during a given week. Support congregations and organizations will provide hosts with assistance, as needed.
The Family Promise Day Center will be a base where where families will gather during the day to search for housing and jobs, shower, do laundry, tend smaller children, and receive essential support services.
To view a short video about the Day Center, go to https://youtu.be/TN-wxx8TkaA. Family Promise of Grant County’s website can be found at http://familypromiseofgrantcounty.com/. Those who are interested in more information about Family Promise of Grant County, Inc. may contact may contact Rev. Zayna Thompson, (630) 596-6105, email@example.com, or Rev. Michael Short, 348-3022, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who would like to provide financial support to help families in Grant County rise from poverty and homelessness may send a check to Family Promise of Grant County, Inc., P.O. Box 639, Platteville, WI 53818, or go to http://www.gofundme.com/FamilyPromiseGrant.