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Emergency Shelter

Our rotational shelter program and warm hospitality is the foundation of the Family Promise model.

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Our Emergency Shelter Program is a community-based program where families experiencing homelessness are able to immediately get off the streets and stay in local congregations for up to 2 months while they seek employment and housing. While in the program, our families pay no rent and are provided three meals a day by a team of volunteers.

During the day, participants receive individualized case management from our staff at our Family Resource Center located in Anaheim, California. Families in our program have access to numerous resources including employment counseling, credit counseling, resume writing, welfare and legal advocacy, financial literacy classes, and family and individual therapy.


In the evenings, families stay as guests of local houses of faith, which convert classrooms or other facilities into private spaces for each family. They are supported by an army of volunteers who are trained annually on the causes of homelessness, and on how to work safely and sensitively with program guests.

By using an innovative model where we utilize existing resources - spaces like congregations and volunteers motivated by compassion - we are able to provide emergency shelter services at 1/3 the cost of a traditional shelter.  Although we work closely with the faith community, we do not require adherence to a particular religious belief or require participation in any religious service or activities.


Our congregations and volunteers are the heart of our program.  The congregations serve as temporary homes for our families while in the Emergency Shelter Program. Volunteers give their time making meals, sharing food, spending the night, and playing with the children.  They lend their passion and expertise to give our families hope and to help them get back on their feet. In the process, they truly create “home” – and a community – for families who have no place left to turn.



By bringing our community together on the issue of family homelessness, Family Promise addresses a major social problem in a holistic, effective way. Once the community becomes engaged, people understand the root causes of family homelessness and naturally want to take steps to address them.


Not only does our almost 90% success rate mean many more families are stably housed, it is also a tremendous cost savings to the community as diversion from far more expensive interventions. Our approach of keeping families together, identifying their strengths, and partnering with the community for solutions means that families are at much lower risk of returning to homelessness.


Family Promise changes lives. Our affiliate served 48 families in 2019, giving them the ability to realize their true potential. We also changed the lives of our 1,200 volunteers, giving them a meaningful outreach opportunity right in their own communities.

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