Family Promise of Beaufort County - St. Francis by the Sea Support Congregation
Affiliate Contact: Ann Parker or Marsha Murphy
Contact Phone Number: Ann (843-681-8812) & Marsha (843-837-5645)
Scheduled Meetings: As required to train volunteers and share faith experiences and for the coordinators (Ann and Marsha) to plan for our next host week. Volunteers are scheduled to work approximately once per quarter as outlined below.
Ministry Mission Statement:
Family Promise of Beaufort County's mission is to provide temporary shelter; family stability and permanent housing solutions for homeless families with children by mobilizing resources from interfaith and secular communities. While our program is non-denominational, our families sleep in a network of congregations throughout Beaufort County, where they are provided with safe overnight accommodations and volunteers provide meals, essential needs, and companionship. Parents and their children are provided shelter for a week at a time in a local congregation's Family Center or Fellowship Hall from approximately 6 p.m. at night until pickup in the Family Promise Minibus at 6:30 a.m. There are approximately 14 congregations (hosts) who rotate hosting once a quarter approximately four times a year. Host congregations are assisted by support congregations, of which St. Francis by the Sea is a support to several host congregations.
We, as parishioners of St. Francis, have a responsibility to provide both physical and spiritual support to those in need. "For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you have me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me." (Matthew 25:35-36)
Current Ministry Activities:
Since 2008, St. Francis by the Sea has provided volunteers to prepare a warm evening meal, provide evening hosting, or stay overnight at the host congregation to assure the families have a safe and restful night. We are currently supporting host churches - Christ Lutheran and Grace Community. In 2020, we would like to support All Saints Episcopal on an as needed basis.
Current Volunteer Opportunities:
About once a quarter for approximately 4 night each quarter, St. Francis provides volunteers doing the following: Please consider that evening and overnight hosting is a wonderful opportunity for St. Francis children and their parents to work together to offer their love and support to homeless families. All parents admitted into the program are background and drug tested and must agree to a strict Code of Conduct.
- Two volunteers are needed each evening to make or purchase a simple family-style meal and bring the meal to the host congregation to share with up to 14 adults and children staying in the shelter. Dinner is generally served at 6:30 p.m. and hosts may provide some quiet activities to engage the children in a game, video, craft activity, favorite book, etc. following dinner. Children are generally in bed early. Volunteers are never to be alone with a child, as that is the responsibility of the parent.
- Two volunteers are needed each evening to stay overnight to assure the families have a safe and restful night sleep. Overnight hosts are scheduled from 8:15 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following morning and provided separate sleeping quarters. A male and female volunteer is preferred.
- We also provide food provisions for a quick pick-up breakfast or bagged lunch. As a general rule, children are provided breakfast and lunch at school or Daycare.
Providing a simple family-style evening meal or provisions for breakfast or lunch.
Safe Environment Requirements: All Religious Education volunteers must complete the Safe Haven - It's Up To You Training . Please click on the link to Safe Environment to get more information on how to sign up for the Safe Haven - It's Up To You training and the Diocese of Charleston screening forms.