Family Promise of Grant County, Inc. has raised nearly $50,000 to provide much-needed support services for homeless children and families in Grant County.
Family Promise of Grant County, Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to helping homeless children and families 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 school year, 26 school-aged children in 19 families in the Platteville School District, 32 youth in the Boscobel School District, and one youth in the Lancaster School District were identified as homeless. This totals 59 youth who have been identified as homeless in just three communities within the county, so the number of homeless children countywide is likely much higher.
“It is important to note that these numbers represent only those documented through the Platteville, Boscobel and Lancaster school districts and the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program,” said Bev Doll, a family living agent at Grant County UW–Extension in Lancaster. “Looking at statistics on homelessness in rural areas, the average number of potential homeless is 14 individuals per 10,000, so with a population of about 50,000 in Grant County, 70 individuals could potentially face homelessness within a calendar year.”
Family Promise of Grant County hopes to raise approximately $95,000 by
Oct. 1, so that it can begin providing comprehensive support services that will enable homeless families to achieve lasting independence.
Once the goal is reached:
• Host congregations throughout Grant County will be able to provide overnight lodging, breakfast, brown bag lunch, dinner, and hospitality for homeless families during a given week. Support congregations and organizations will provide hosts with assistance, as needed.
• Family Promise can open its Day Center at St. Clement Parish Convent in Lancaster — a base where families will be able to 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.
“In order for Family Promise of Grant County to raise enough money to provide these much-needed services, we need the support of everyone in the community,” said Rev. Zayna Thompson of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Platteville and Mount Zion United Church of Christ in Cornelia. “We are so thankful for the support we have received thus far and hope that others will be inspired to help those who are so desperately in need.”
Family Promise volunteers have raised financial support by hosting a variety of special fundraising events, including bake sales, music concerts, Mother’s Day breakfasts, pancake breakfasts, taco dinners, silent auctions, garage sales, vacation raffles, a memory quilt and more.
In addition, Family Promise has received grants from the Platteville Community Fund and the Alliant Energy Foundation as well as many donations from individuals, churches and organizations from across the county and state.
To date, volunteer Family Promise hosts include Faith Lutheran Church in Cuba City; Lancaster United Methodist Church; St. Clement Catholic Parish in Lancaster; St. Thomas Catholic Church in Montfort; and Community Evangelical Free Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ, First English Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church of Peace, Platteville United Methodist Church and St. Mary Catholic Parish in Platteville.
Churches that have volunteered to provide support to the hosts include Mount Zion United Church of Christ in Cornelia; Cuba City Lioness Club; Davies Memorial United Church of Christ in Potosi; and Assembly of God Church, Bread of Life Church, Hidden Valley Church, Rolling Hills Church, and St. Augustine University Parish in Platteville.
Additional congregations and organizations have expressed interest in being Family Promise hosts or supports, so the list is expected to grow.
“Local churches and organizations continue to offer support and encouragement to Family Promise of Grant County,” said Rev. Michael Short of First English Lutheran Church. “They understand there is a need across the county and they have a desire to help families.”
Those who are interested in more information about Family Promise of Grant County, Inc. may contact Thompson, (630) 596-6105, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Short, 348-3022, email@example.com.
Those who are interested in providing financial support that will help homeless 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 www.gofundme.com/FamilyPromiseGrant.
Family Promise will host a variety of upcoming special events to raise money for homeless families in Grant County, including a benefit concert on Oct. 17 with John Gorka, a contemporary American folk musician, which will include a dinner and silent auction.