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More church congregations than ever before are opening up their sanctuaries and hearts to help homeless families in Lancaster County.
To date, 20 local churches work with Family Promise, an interfaith network that provides housing and other life-enhancing resources for homeless families in the county.
An update on that list of churches, along with a financial overview and plans for generating money, was discussed during Family Promise of Lancaster County’s annual meeting Tuesday, Jan. 29, at First Baptist Church.
When a family is accepted into Family Promise, they rotate weekly to the various churches within the network until they are able to support themselves.
The latest church to join the network was Flint Ridge Baptist Church, which came on board last year.
Family Promise Executive Director Mike Montgomery thanked church volunteers in attendance Tuesday evening.
“That’s tough work,” Montgomery said of opening their church doors and making their buildings suitable to house families in need.
“You guys are awesome,” he said. “I appreciate you.”
During the meeting, Family Promise Treasurer Rick Durant gave an overview of the organization’s financial standing.
According to a balance sheet presented at the meeting, Family Promise ended 2012 with $100,119 total in its various bank accounts. When buildings, land and other possessions are included, the organization’s assets total $209,728.
However, Family Promise had an income last year of $110,300 and expenses of $134,042 – resulting in a net loss in 2012 of almost $24,000.
Montgomery said donations and grants will be pivotal, as Family Promise has enough money right now to just get through another year.
Volunteers hope some upcoming functions can once again serve as a boost to Family Promise’s bottom line.
There’s a barbecue fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 15, the day after Valentine’s Day. It’s fittingly called Heart for the Homeless Day.
Plates ($8 each) will be sold at Covenant Baptist Church.
Family Promise volunteer Mike Burgess wasn’t modest in his promotion of the event.
“It’s going to be the best barbecue you’ve ever had,” he said. “We’re really excited about this. I think it’s going to be phenomenal.”
Two months from then, Family Promise will hold its fourth annual yard sale. This time, though, it will be a one-day event.
The date is April 20.
“You volunteers make that yard sale go,” Durant said. “You guys do the hard work.”
To donate, volunteer or receive more information about Family Promise’s services, visit www.familypromiselancaster.org or call its day center at (803) 313-3060.
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152