Family Promise of Roane County (FPRC) is an organization that collaborates with faith-based organizations, civic groups, and concerned neighbors to provide shelter, nourishment, and assistance to families with children experiencing homelessness. It is an affiliate of the national Family Promise organization, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless families achieve lasting independence. The organization focuses on helping family units and keeping families together.

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How does it work? Local social service agencies refer families to FPRC. A homeless family is housed in one facility, a host site church, for the duration of their stay in the program. Support churches provide meals on a rotational basis and contribute to program funding. A Day Center in Rockwood serves as the hub of case management, offering resources such as phones, internet access, and a mailing address. Additionally, it provides laundry and shower facilities, as well as a comfortable homelike environment with sofas, chairs, and a play area for preschool children. Older children attend school during their stay. Since January 2023, 17 families have successfully graduated from the program, achieving stability, securing housing, and becoming self-sufficient.

Family Promise also collaborates with landlords and agencies to help families avoid losing housing. They provide assistance with utility bills, rent, housing deposits, water and other utility deposits, and more.

From January through June 2023, FPRC’s intervention was successful for 107 families, which included a total of 361 individuals, with 247 children.

All these programs require case management to meet the needs of families facing financial instability. The program currently has one full-time case manager and two part-time interns. One intern is hired through the University of Tennessee School of Social Work, with funding from the Department of Labor WIOA grant (Work Force Innovation Opportunity Act) supporting the second intern.

Family Promise of Roane County’s current areas of greatest need are food and gas gift cards, as well as funds for auto repairs and crisis situations (e.g., high utilities, medical needs).