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Local churches, non-profit team up to help families who are homeless

Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-09 23:47:25-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A local non-profit is pairing up with some Salt Lake City churches to give several homeless families warm beds and life-coaching this winter.

Family Promise Salt Lake welcomed four families into their newest shelter at a Methodist church in Kearns.

As of Sunday, several local Utah families with no place to go were given more than just a roof to sleep under. Families in the Family Promise program get warm beds with clean linens, prepared meals and a place to shower.

“Family Promise is a lot quieter and safer, and we try to keep as much of a home like atmosphere as possible, we don't want to have a large institutionalized space for the families,” said Tony Milner, who is the Executive Director for Family Promise Salt Lake.

The organization is a non-profit that pairs with local churches, who often turn their Sunday school classrooms into private living spaces for families in need.

“So they don’t feel like they are in a shelter environment, they are just receiving temporary hospitality that's loving and hospitable,” Milner said.

Trinity United Methodist Church in Kearns became the 12th hosting church to pair with the Salt Lake non-profit on Sunday. They’ll host four local families for the next week, families like Susan, her two daughters and granddaughter.

“I tell them all of the time: I want better for them than I have, but you can't continue, I couldn't continue to stay in that situation and get them to understand there is a better life for them,” Susan said.

The Rev. Rob Bruendl of Trinity United Methodist Church spoke about the partnership.

“We need to reach out to the communities and not just be so into ourselves that we're not getting things done the way we know needs to be done in the world,” he said.

During the day, the adults will leave the church and go to the Family Promise Center, where they'll be given tools to help them get back on their feet.

“We’ve partnered with really good intensive case management programs,” Milner said. “We have a housing program as well. We can usually get families in and out of our program within 45 days, back into housing, plus we do two years of after-care to stay in touch and make sure they don't fall back into homelessness.”

Susan said she is grateful for the support.

“They recognize you as people here, and everyone asks your name,” she said. “And it matters who you are and how you are and that they would like to see us succeed is very important.”

For more information about Family Promise Salt Lake, click here.