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Family Promise announces launch

Posted: November 9, 2010 8:26 p.m.
Updated: November 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.

A new local nonprofit organization focused on helping homeless families in the Santa Clarita Valley plans to make its formal launch on Valentine’s Day.

On Feb. 14, Family Promise of SCV will open to provide local families in need of shelter, warm meals, resume-building, job-hunting resources and tutoring help for children.

But before opening, Family Promise of SCV hopes to get the commitment of three more host congregations. Churches and temples who have committed to hosting homeless families one week per quarter include Valencia United Methodist Church, Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, Real Life Church, Temple Beth Ami, Newhall Church of the Nazarene, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, North Oaks Church of Christ and Bouquet Canyon Church.

Family Promise is part of a national network of aid groups. On Nov. 15, founder and president of the organization, Karen Olson, will make a local stop to celebrate the launch.

“Although you may not see homeless families sleeping in their cars or behind the local supermarket, or even in a church parking lot, they’re there,” she said in a statement. “You see them but you don’t recognize them as homeless.”

Olson started Family Promise in 1986, when she initiated an interfaith network to help New Jersey’s homeless families. To date, Family Promise has established 158 affiliates in 41 states with the help of more than 130,000 volunteers and 5,000 congregations.

“Homelessness can seem overwhelming and a huge problem. But when you work one family at a time and work together as a community to help families get back on their feet, the task becomes manageable,” Olson said.


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