Summit, NJ— Single mom Savannah Foxx, an EMT who has spent the last year helping COVID patients, found herself facing homelessness with her children after she left an abusive marriage several years ago.
“Being homeless with five kids was definitely something I never imagined,” Foxx said. Luckily, Family Promise of the Coastal Empire in Savannah, GA, was there to help. Today, she lives in a home of her own, works three jobs, and has a savings buffer. Savannah used her story to raise awareness about family homelessness by sharing her family’s experiences on Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist.
Women-led households are at increased risk of homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nationally, 5.5 million jobs have been lost by women since March 2020, and more than 2 million women have been forced to leave the workforce due to challenges with childcare and remote learning.
Since 2018, Family Promise’s partnership with Belk, the southern department store chain, has worked to uplift families experiencing homelessness, with a focus on empowering women. More than 60% of families served by Family Promise are women-led households and that percentage is increasing since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
2020 saw an increase in the need for services, but, with Belk’s support, Family Promise’s southeastern Affiliates distributed 7,000 masks, 1,000 hygiene kits, and served more than 1,800 families in shelter.
To help support women-led households like Savannah’s, Belk held a fundraising campaign earlier this year raising $100,000 for Family Promise’s work in its 16-state footprint. In addition to funds raised from customers, Belk has donated $2.3 million to Family Promise as part of its focus to support customers and the communities where they live.
“Belk’s partnership is helping us move the needle at a critical time for women, particularly single mothers, who are faced with cuts in wages, challenges finding childcare, and managing their children’s learning during the pandemic,” said Cara Bradshaw, Family Promise Chief Impact Officer.
“With so many people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to make sure that we continued the long legacy of community support Belk has held for over 130 years,” said Lisa Harper, CEO of Belk. “Our partnership with Family Promise, especially this past year, has allowed us to ensure that households like Savannah’s get the support they need during these trying times so that everyone has a safe place to call home.”
ABOUT FAMILY PROMISE
Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. What began as a local initiative in Summit, NJ, has become a national movement that involves 200,000 volunteers and has served more than 1 million family members since its founding.
Currently, Family Promise is working in over 200 communities in 43 states to ensure that families experiencing homelessness have a safe place to call home and the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.