As part of our ongoing conversation on homelessness, we asked members of the Family Promise network and individuals working to serve families experiencing homelessness to share their personal thoughts and reflections on Family Promise and the issue of family homelessness. These writers are true thought leaders, using their skills and expertise to develop and implement creative solutions that are changing the lives of parents and children in their communities. This post is from Sam Church, Executive Director of Family Promise of Hawai’i.
This article was originally published by Hawaii Business Magazine. View the full original article here.
Virtual Interview: Sam Church, Executive Director, Family Promise of Hawai‘i
How has your organization been able to continue its core mission(s)?
Our mission is to help homeless and low-income families in Hawai‘i achieve sustainable independence by mobilizing existing community resources and support. We address family homelessness holistically, providing prevention services before families reach crisis, shelter and case management when they become homeless, and stabilization programs once they have secured housing to ensure they remain independent.
In early March we had to make the tough decision to suspend our traditional shelter program to comply with CDC guidelines. From that moment until now, we have creatively developed new approaches to shelter and have increased our capacity to support families in our community who are experiencing a housing crisis. We are currently sheltering families in hotels, campsites and other underutilized facilities.
How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your donations, fundraising and other cash flow?
Luckily, we have seen an increase in the community coming together to support vulnerable families. We have even seen community members donate their stimulus checks to us. Unfortunately, the need for our services is increasing. In fact, we are experiencing a 400% spike in requests for help. So, we continue to need the support of our collective community in the days, weeks and months ahead.