A proclamation was signed during city council as a promise to help homeless families.

FAMILY PROMISE - Family Promise A full room of attendees in the Beaverton City Council Chambers applauded the efforts of Family Promise of Beaverton on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

The City of Beaverton signed a proclamation declaring Oct. 22 to 29 as Family Promise Week in Beaverton.

Family Promise of Beaverton, is an Affiliate of Family Promise. It is a part of a nationwide effort to help children and families who are homeless regain their sustainable independence.

The issue of family homelessness is critical with the cold weather moving in.

Last January in Beaverton, there were nine children sleeping in cars with their families during the height of the snowstorms.

Family Promise of Beaverton's mission is to help homeless and low-income children and their families regain housing and independence through a community-based response.

Beaverton City Councilor Mark Fagin expressed that he would really like to see the program complete, so families can get the assistance they need.

Family Promise of Beaverton began developing in June 2016 and hopes to open its doors this winter. The program's success depends on partnerships with local congregations and organizations, along with community volunteers.

Groups already committed to partnering with the program include Murray Hills Christian, Sisters of Saint Mary of Oregon, Saint Juan Diego, Bethel Congregational UCC, LDS West Stake, Orenco Presbyterian, Sunset Presbyterian, Lake Oswego UCC, Saint Cecilia, Westside Methodist, and Saint Andrew Lutheran. Once open, Family Promise of Beaverton will be able to help families despite keeping a very low budget — while at the same time building community between its volunteers and the families served in the program.

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said, "This is grassroots at its finest in Beaverton."

Family Promise Week will be celebrated nationwide and in the 206 communities where there is a Family Promise Affiliate. Since 1988, Family Promise has helped more than 750,000 people — men, women and children — with housing and case management. Started as a local effort to address the crisis of family homelessness, Family Promise works on the principle that the elements to help children and their families — who make up nearly 40 percent of all people who are homeless — are already in the community. The program brings together houses of worship and community spaces to provide temporary homes, facilities to provide space during the day for case management.

Also during the week, the main branch of the Beaverton Library will have a display table of books, for all ages, on the topic of homelessness and information about Family Promise of Beaverton to help foster an understanding of homelessness issues.

By Mandy Feder-Sawyer
Reporter, Beaverton Valley Times
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