Updated: Apr 26
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working diligently to create a new shelter model. Traditionally, our clients have sheltered with church partners at night and at our Day Center during the day. Due to COVID-19, many of our church partners could not continue as hosts.
In response, we have been working with our former board president, Craig Smith, who agreed to purchase two homes that he will rent to Family Promise through a multi-year lease. We set several parameters for the right property: 1) It had to fit into our budget, 2) It had to be in a safe neighborhood, 3) It had to be on a bus route, and 4) It had to be no more than 15 minutes from our Day Center.
After many months of searching, we located two houses that share the same lot (one two-bedroom and one four-bedroom) that meet all our requirements, and Craig closed on the houses this past Tuesday, April 20th. Renovations will take a few months, but our estimated move-in is July 2021.
Having houses that we manage will allow us to shelter at least two families at all times. This new model will be the beginning of a major permanent operational change at Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga. This is a more sustainable model for us, and one that other Family Promise affiliates in our region are considering. When the houses are complete, you will all be invited for a tour and open house.
We are eternally grateful to First Church of the Nazarene, The Well SDA, and Collegedale SDA for hosting over the past year. Your generosity and sacrifice will always be remembered. We are also grateful to all our church partners that have provided hot meals and words of encouragement to our sheltering families.
Moving forward, we hope that our church partners will continue to serve sheltering families by providing weekly meal drop-offs to the houses. If you are willing to continue in this capacity, please contact Ruth Votava at email@example.com and let her know which week your church can prepare meals.
This week (through Friday, April 30), we will be doing demolition work on the two houses. If you would like to volunteer, please email Jackie Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org with your availability. If you can volunteer, bring gloves, pry bars, safety glasses, hammers, sledge hammers or any other tools that might help.
If you can’t work on the demolition but would like to help us get these homes ready for families, please consider reviewing our wish list and making a donation.
Thank you for your desire and your willingness to serve. Your partnership means the world to us.