Published April 3, 2014
The Family Promise program of New Rock, where St. Pius X Church, Conyers, is a sponsoring church, was commended by the Georgia House of Representatives in March.
Five House members with districts overlapping Rockdale and Newton counties co-sponsored House Resolution 1799, recognizing Family Promise for more than two years of helping homeless families with children transition into more stable lives.
Since the program began in November 2011, 26 families, comprising over 100 people, have been assisted; 91 percent graduated with jobs and 80 percent graduated into stable housing, the resolution said. Over 500 volunteers from local churches, including St. Pius X, donated more than 20,000 hours of service to the program. Erin White, the network director of Family Promise of New Rock, was commended for her leadership.
Family Promise programs are built upon a commitment from at least 13 local religious congregations to shelter families for a week, four times a year, providing meals, volunteer support and overnight shelter. Social service agencies are tapped for their expertise and a day center for adults seeking jobs and their children under school age is a key piece of the program. Families are screened and accepted with the goal of graduating into jobs and stable living arrangements in three months.
The average stay for a family in the Newton and Rockdale program in 2013 was 59 days. The public school systems in the two counties identified 455 school children as homeless when classes began last fall.
Sponsoring legislators were Reps. Tonya Anderson, Pam Stephenson, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, Pam Dickerson and Tom Kirby.