We continue to have the privilege to support homeless families in our area with our participation in working with Family Promise.  The July our mission collection will go to Family Promise.

The week of July 15-22 we will be working together with the Methodist Church to help cover the needs of our guests.  We will be looking for volunteers for various needs that week: drivers; meal prep; spending evening hours with the guests at the Methodist church between supper and bedtime; overnight volunteers.  To volunteer, contact Barb Little.  Signing up to volunteer is easy! You can volunteer through SignUpGenius.  Call me or send an email and I will send you the link, or I will add your name for the task and time you can help. 

To remind you about Family Promise I am attaching an article David Little wrote a while back.

Luke was earning minimum wage, and affordable housing was not available when the  36-year-old self-employed painter and sheet-rocker and his 16-year-old daughter became homeless last fall. The two were unable to continue to live with his son, 21, because their presence violated the terms of his lease. Luke also faced another challenge: obtaining a photo ID and birth certificate and a Social Security number that would enable his daughter to apply for health insurance for a severe vision problem.


Fortunately for Luke, he learned about Family Promise of Kandiyohi County. The mission of Family Promise of Kandiyohi County is to “have people of faith working together to provide homeless families with help and hope for this day and for tomorrow.” Family Promise of Kandiyohi County, which began in 2015, brought together the congregations of 27 churches throughout the county to provide temporary shelter for homeless families with or without children and single females while they work to progress in their own efforts toward self-sufficiency. Eleven churches take turns on a weekly basis in hosting families (up to 14 individuals total). Host churches provide overnight lodging, meals, and hospitality from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Volunteers cook, serve meals, play with children, help with homework and treat guests with respect and compassion.


Guests use the day center, located at First Presbyterian Church in Willmar, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to shower and care for pre-school children. The day center serves as a home base from which to conduct their housing search. Many guests are employed and they go to work while school-age children attend school. Fifteen other churches provide support. In addition, a van takes guests to and from the day center, and can carry beds and luggage to the next host congregation.


Heidi Kohls, Family Promise of Kandiyohi County director, said the program has served 30 families to-date and 21 of those families have secured safe, affordable housing while in the program. Referrals to Family Promise can be made by individuals themselves or through local agencies. Anyone may apply. Guests do not have to be from Kandiyohi County, said Kohls. Guests are screened and must pass a criminal background check before they are admitted. Volunteers are not trained to handle crisis situations or medical emergencies, said Kohls. Guests must follow the program guidelines, continuously work on their individual self-sufficiency goals, participate in progress meetings, participate in budgeting class, and complete daily household chores. 


Luke learned of Family Promise from a local social service agency. He cleared all the background screening and it was determined he was appropriate for the program. Thanks to assistance from Family Promise of Kandiyohi County, Luke was able to obtain the needed documentation and move on with his life. He continues to be self-employed in painting and sheet rocking and received work as a result of contacts with some of the 300 Family Promise volunteers. Kohls said Luke is one of Family Promise’s success stories. Kohls said about half of the clients who come to Family Promise are employed when they enter the program, but for various reasons become homeless. Kohls said Luke meets once a week with a social service agency case management services worker to make sure Luke stays on top of things and does not become homeless again. Kohls said the daughter, now 17, is on the Willmar High School Honor Roll and is taking post-secondary classes.


Thank you for your continued support.  Your prayers, time, and donations have been doing Gods work right here in our own church.



Blessing Box

We, at the First Presbyterian Church, have placed a Blessing Box at the front of our church at 316 Sixth Street SW in downtown Willmar and we are seeking donations from you and others to help our brothers and sisters in need.

The following is a list of suggested supplies: 
Food items (non-perishable) -- canned goods, soup mix, cake mix, rice, cereal, noodles, peanut butter, snacks, ramen/instant meals, Hamburger Helper, mac & cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread/buns, baking items, condiments, coffee, juice boxes, seasoning items, crackers.
Personal hygiene -- toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, soap, lotion, toilet paper, feminine products, tissue, Q-tips.
Baby/child items -- diapers, wipes, baby food, baby cereal, pacifier, powder, lotion, bottles, powder formula.
Misc. items -- pens/pencils, paper, seasonal items, gloves,books, small toys, gift items.
Prohibited items -- home-baked goods, expired opened goods, alcohol, tobacco, sharp objects.



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