Ministry for the Poor and Homeless
Family Promise is a nationwide network of religious congregations that together provide shelter, meals and support to families without homes. For one week about every three months, our church provides accommodations and meals for three to five families (up to 14 people) at a time. Our guests will arrive at our Loft facility in the evenings and remain overnight. The Woodlands UMC will provide an evening meal, breakfast and a bag lunch. In the morning, the guests return to a day center (outside of the church) from which the children go to school and the adults care for young children or seek out employment/housing. At the conclusion of our designated week, our guests move on to another congregation. Through our participation, we help our guests maintain their dignity while they attempt to restore their lives and emerge from homelessness.
We will be hosting families at the Loft, May 19 – 25
We need your help. A number of volunteers are required to make the program work effectively.
- Donations Coordinator: Collects and organizes donations of clothing, furniture and household items; arranges distribution to guests once they are settled in permanent housing
- Laundry Coordinator: Organizes volunteers to do laundry during and after the host week
- Dinner Preparers: (2 – 3 volunteers) Dinner is a hot meal prepared at volunteers’ homes or in the congregation’s kitchen. It is served around 6:00 p.m.
- Dinner and Event Hosts: (2 volunteers, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.) May be part of the dinner preparation team or may arrive to eat with guests. Dinner hosts socialize with guests, welcome newcomers and assist parents with children’s needs. Dinner is informal. After dinner, hosts may conduct children’s activities, help with homework or assist a guest with a particular need.
- Drivers: Volunteers are needed to drive the families to and from the job training center in Conroe. Drive a small Interfaith van one or more mornings, or one or more afternoons during the week. Morning times are 6:15 – 7:30 a.m. and evening times are 4:15 – 5:45 p.m. No special license is required and insurance is provided.
- Overnight Hosts: (2 volunteers, preferably a man and a woman, 8:30 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.) Two hosts spend the night at the church. Overnight hosts spend time with guests, help older children with homework and are available in case of emergency. They wake guests at 6:00 a.m. Some overnight hosts also prepare breakfast.
- Breakfast Preparers: (1 or 2 volunteers, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.) For weekdays, breakfast is simple (e.g., toast, cereal, muffins, juice, coffee) and is set out by the overnight hosts. On weekends, breakfast is more relaxed and breakfast hosts prepare something more substantial (e.g., bacon, eggs, pancakes).
- Activities: Volunteers plan and organize special activities and events such as arts and crafts projects, video parties, and outings for children and families.
- Laundry: Each host week, one or two volunteers wash the guests’ and overnight hosts’ towels and sheets.
- Set-up and Takedown: Volunteer teams set up the accommodations on Sunday afternoon, and they help take down and move the beds the following Sunday.
- Day Center: Volunteers are invaluable additions to the Network day center. In addition to providing coverage when the Network director is out, they help the guests and the Network director with many daily activities.
- Supplies Donations: Baby food, disposable diapers/wipes, facial tissues, paper towels, food staples, infant soap, sandwich bags, lunch bags and toiletries.