Whether we like it or not, all of us are united as we adjust to the new normal this COVID-19 pandemic has required. Our routines, social circles, vocations, and sense of safety have been rattled. The world is in crisis and fear among us is a collective burden. The majority of you reading this have a safe home to shelter you and your loved ones. Imagine, for a moment, that you had to live through this unprecedented time without a space to call home. Tack that stress on to what you are currently carrying and try to fathom how you and your family might cope. The thought is truly devastating.
Low-income families are some of the hardest-hit by this public health crisis. Homelessness is undoubtedly on the rise through complications including the loss of wages, childcare, reliable nutrition, public transportation, and more. Many families are already experiencing homelessness and others are at imminent risk. Children, without their otherwise typical structure of school in place, are experiencing high levels of anxiety. Their need was already great, but now, more than ever, it could mean life or death.
Family Promise Rochester is working diligently to provide shelter, case management services, and supports to families experiencing homelessness.
Earlier this year, we made the monumental decision to relocate our entire operations to a home that is large enough for us to office and provide shelter. Our Interfaith Hospitality Network, that normally provides meals and overnight supervision to our families, is no longer a viable structure due to the potential risk this system presents to our partner congregations. This move to the new space will soon allow us to shelter on-site in a safe and comfortable home in a quiet neighborhood.
We care about our volunteers and we are working to keep as many people safe as possible, but we can't do this alone. We are asking you to help us ensure the most vulnerable families get through this crisis safely. Although our previous Day Center did not sustain a monthly cost to our organization, the arrangement was not safe, did not offer families room to distance themselves from one another, and it did not offer us any capacity to provide overnight shelter to families. With our relocation, we have incurred a nearly 1500% per month increase in expenses. In addition, it'll take several thousands of dollars to fully furnish the new space.
What we will do with your donations:
- Finish furnishing the new space (bunk beds, shelving units, lockable storage lockers, etc.).
- Continue to maintain general operations and fund Family Promise Rochester added overhead costs as a result of relocation.
- Purchase food, medicine, cleaning supplies, and personal needs for families as they arise.
- Work with out IT Specialist to ensure we have enough internet-accessible computers setup and available for families to use.
- Install security system to aid in the comfort of guest families as well as protect our asset.
- If we are unable to recruit enough volunteers, we will need to hire temporary/interim staff to provide oversight and supervision.
We firmly believe that the faithful support of our caring, compassionate donors will see us through these challenging times and that the most vulnerable families in our community will see the sunshine that awaits us all on the other side of this.
With many thanks and well wishes for your health and safety,
Brie Bednar, Executive Director
Family Promise Rochester