Falling temperatures can mean life or death for unhoused populations, especially children. The harsh reality is that there are many families who struggle to keep their children from experiencing homelessness right here in our city.
“Last winter, we had 38 families on our outreach list, which means there were 38 families unsheltered, which translates into about 178 people, 107 children, with 42 of those kids being under six years old,” said Tenisa Frye, CEO of Family Promise of West Michigan (FPWM).
“Shelter is honestly the most important thing that they need during the winter season – a safe place to be able to lay their heads so that they’re not exposing themselves to things like hypothermia and not being able to make it through the winter,” said Frye.
Family Promise of West Michigan seeks to make a difference in the lives of families at risk of losing their homes by providing access to emergency shelter and other services they may need, while being considerate of their situation.
“Families can first expect us to treat them with dignity and respect by showing sensitivity to the crises they’re experiencing,” Frye said. “That could be job loss, family break up, domestic violence, illness, whatever the case, they can expect us to prioritize keeping their family together. Case managers and our staff will walk alongside them while they go on this journey,” Frye said.
But Family Promise of West Michigan’s help doesn’t end there. “Even after they find housing, whether that’s an emergency shelter or an actual home, our staff walks alongside them along the journey so that they have everything they need,” said Frye. “Whether it’s financial literacy or career prep to elevate their current job into a job that allows them to reach affordable housing.”
Cooking meals, giving clothing and supplies or making a monetary donation are just a handful of ways you can support Family Promise of West Michigan.