Family Promise: Lessons Learned

7 nights, 
memories for life.
‘It’s a heart stopper.’
For a week in early June, a corps of HUCC volunteers helped provide a temporary home at our church for four adults and 10 children.  The effort was part of Family Promise, an interfaith initiative to help families living with homelessness.
Before the week was out, at least 46 HUCC helpers had taken part (the total includes children who volunteered with parents).

Check out the link for the full list of volunteer angels.

How was the experience? Here are some memories volunteers will cherish:
  • After dinner was served, I sat down with one of the moms and her two small children. It was nice to just chat a bit.  Her 3-year-old wanted to play a little game with me. She would name an animal like an elephant or a monkey and ask me what it sounded like and how it moved.  Pretty soon she was making the sounds and movements with me, and we were both laughing together. -Jan Foutz
  • One of the blessings that might be overlooked is the opportunity to spend time with members of our own community. I haven’t spent much time with the lovely Karen Croft. Jim (Wetzel) and I had the pleasure of working with her during our dinner shift and observing how well she interacted with the families, particularly the children. Karen even gave the kids visual instructions on how to eat my Chinese tacos by bravely downing one herself! – Shesh Tipton
  • The one obstacle that was most glaring to me this time was the difficulty that homeless parents have in finding affordable daycare for their children. One single mother whom we hosted has five beautiful children between the ages of six months and eight! She does not have the education or skills to find a job where she can provide housing and health care for them while also making sure they are in a safe, caring environment as she works. If the people of Utah truly care about children and breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness, we must address this critical need.    – Ginny Eggen
  • Rustling in the hall at 5:30 a.m. Mom with two sleepy kids, one a baby in her arms, the other holding her hand.  “We’re on our way to work.” The mom was showered and neatly dressed. The two little ones still in pajamas, eyes barely open.  “Can I help you with breakfast?” She had food in her backpack. They needed to leave to be at work on time. This was their routine every morning.  Each week they move from church to church waiting and working toward housing when it becomes available. There is a toughness and determination to these moms with kids as they try to keep their families together. It’s a heart stopper.   – Judy Spratling
  • My shift as afternoon host was super quiet. No families were around until 4:30 p.m. when a family came to the kitchen area. I assumed they had been out enjoying the beautiful day somewhere. I learned that this family had spent their day in their room. I was reminded of two things: 1. if you don’t have a car, you can’t come and go as you please; relying on public transportation takes a lot of planning and energy – where should we go?, where’s the bus stop?, what’s the schedule? how long will it take to walk to the bus stop?, how much will it cost? do I have the money? what do we have to do to make sure to get back for dinner? 2. Having a private place to rest during the day with your family is extremely valuable. I’m so grateful that our church has chosen to provide a welcoming and safe place to rest. –Kathy Bray
Don’t miss the next chance to be immersed in this loving venture — HUCC will be a host site again at a date to be announced.  To volunteer, contact Kyla Asmar at 801-573-3056 or  



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