In 2017, Assumption parishioners started the process of becoming a “host congregation” for Family Promise of Lower Bucks—a nonprofit organization that helps homeless children and their families. Unfortunately, they went on hiatus before we could fully participate.
Since that time, their Board has worked with the national Family Promise organization to restructure and to stabilize funding. However, they must have an adequate supply of volunteers and host congregations before they can become fully operational again.
That is why a FPLB volunteer training session was held at ABVM on Sunday, May 6th. Thirty people, not only from Assumption, but from various churches in the Bensalem area learned from Angelica Johnson, the Family Promise Regional Director, about the challenges of homelessness, how Family Promise works, and the role of volunteers in the organization.
Volunteers who come in direct contact the Family Promise “guests” must also get child abuse and criminal clearances—available for free at: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home (just leave “code” blank) and https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp.
What does it mean to be a host congregation? As a host congregation, we will provide overnight lodging in the unused school building, as well as meals, for up to 14 individuals—typically 3 to 4 families—for one week several times during the summer months when there are no PREP classes.
These carefully screened “guest families” will sleep on cots provided by Family Promise and each morning a van will transport the guests back to the Family Promise Day Center on Woodbourne Road. From there, they will go to school, summer camp, or work or participate in training.
There will be many ways that parishioners can assist both before and after the program becomes operational—including helping clean the rooms that will be used, providing, and serving dinner, tutoring children, sleeping overnight on site, laundering sheets, donating needed items or money, and transporting the cots to the next location.
Many thanks to those who have already expressed interest and to the Knights of Columbus for donating a portion of the proceeds from their May 19th Pancake Breakfast to this cause. Additional information about Family Promise and ABVM’s participation will be shared via the bulletin and the parish Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AssumptionFeasterville/.
However, to get on our volunteer email list; to donate your time, talents, or treasure; or to ask any questions, contact Rose Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-364-8131 (10am-10 pm).