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 Warren Harmon, a board member at Family Promise of Rochester, MN.
To all Family Promise Affiliate Board Members,
We are in a time of unprecedented crisis across our country. As a longtime Family Promise volunteer and board member with our Rochester, Minnesota Affiliate, I’ve been involved in recent discussions and decisions facing our staffs, our guests, and the sustainability of our programs. We are being tested, and I’m confident we will come out stronger and better prepared than ever before.
My message is to all the active Affiliate Boards of Directors, and I’m asking you all to get involved as you’ve never been involved before. Today, Affiliate staffs and board members need to reevaluate their roles. I’m referring to the roles we assumed when we became actively engaged as directors supporting our wonderful and hard-working Family Promise Affiliates. Many of us contribute strategy and direction, while many of us prefer a more “hands-on” role with our Affiliates. Both approaches are critical and serve our Affiliates very well.
Today brings a new focus: we now, need to all roll up our collective leadership sleeves and dive into the communities where we live and work. We need to seek all the needed resources from the network of professionals we all have. Yes, we are all well connected with community resources that can support Family Promise during this time of need, and hopefully in the years to come. What a great feeling it is to introduce the mission of Family Promise to a colleague!
As one example that developed today in Rochester, Minnesota, our Board has agreed to sign up for an ongoing rotation of stopping by the Day Center to assist staff and check in on the welfare of the families that are staying there now (due to many temporary church closures). We are also pledging to reach into our community and tap the goodwill we know is there.
Thank you in advance for the needed extra effort you can provide as leaders, and thank you for reaching into your communities where you live and work to support the needs of children and their families. This effort is truly at the heart of Family Promise.
Rochester, Minnesota Board Member