A Typical Host Week
During the week there are approximately 50 slots for volunteers. Some congregations have a different member for each slot; others have volunteers take on multiple roles. Volunteers come from the Host and Support Congregations and are assigned duties by the Coordinator, a member of the host congregation who oversees the week.
- A truck or van arrives in the afternoon with roll-away beds and the families’ personal belongings from the previous Host Congregation to be set up in designated spaces.
- A volunteer arrives at the Day Site to pick up the families and the Family Promise van.
- Guest families arrive at the Host Congregation on Sunday evening between 5:30 and 6 p.m. The rooms for the families and the common area have been set up prior to their arrival.
Each night of hosting
- Families settle in, relax and meet the coordinators and the evening volunteers. At 6:00 p.m. dinner is served family style. Guests and volunteers share the meal together. Families are responsible for their children and help with clean up and chores.
- After dinner, volunteers spend time with families. Hosts and their families play games, help with homework, watch videos, take showers and do laundry. Twice a week, Family Promise staff teach Life Skills classes at the Host Congregation after dinner.
- Food for lunch is available in the kitchen area and parents make sack lunches for their family for the following day.
- Adults turn in around 10 p.m.; children at appropriate earlier bedtimes. Wake up is at 6 a.m. Two Volunteers will spend the night at the congregation.
- Breakfast is served around 6:30 a.m. during the week; typically cereal and other convenient foods. A volunteer van driver transports the families to the Day Site, leaving the Host location at 7 a.m.
During the day (Families are not at the congregation)
- The volunteer van driver takes guests to the Day Site. From there, children go to school and the parents to their jobs. In the afternoon, the volunteer van driver picks up the families from the day site and takes them back to the congregation.
- If the parents do not have a job, they work with the staff to seek employment, housing and other resources to help them regain their independence. The Day Site has computers, phones and fax to assist families in their self-sufficiency plan. A play room and nap room is also available for the children.
- Everyone returns to the Host Congregation between 5:30 and 6 p.m. and the schedule repeats.
- Families can go back to the Day Site or plan another activity on weekends (see friends and relatives, take children to activities, etc.). Host Congregations can also keep the families and do fun activities for the day (go to the zoo, movies, museums, etc.).
The next Sunday
- On Sundays, the families pack their belongings and leave the facilities prior to Sunday services. They are transported to the Day Site for the day until it is time to move to the next congregation. Families that want to attend services will usually do so at their own congregations; some may choose to worship at a Host Congregation.
For more information on how your congregation could get involved, click here or contact Allie Card, Family Promise Executive Director, at 303.675.0713!