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Family Promise celebrates one year

Posted: June 1, 2012 8:28 p.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 8:28 p.m.

Chris Najarro, Family Promise network director at Family Promise headquarters, in the children’s play area in Canyon Country.

 

One year ago, Family Promise of SCV emerged with a goal of helping homeless families in the Santa Clarita Valley work through challenges and closer to independence.

The nonprofit, headed by Larry and Terry Comp, spawned from the startling statistics of homeless junior and senior high school students. That number rose from 600 students several years ago to more than 1,003 homeless students in 2011, according to the organization.

Family Promise assembled a network of 24 churches to house homeless families four weeks a year on a rotational basis. Now, a year later, the nonprofit is celebrating its first birthday with a fundraising effort to raise $10,000.

The money raised will be used to continue the support for families throughout the year and deploy more resources.

"We want to keep people aware that we are here to help," Terry Comp said. "We need ongoing support financially and volunteers to keep things going. The money donated stays in this community. It helps homeless families and children achieve independence."

With a network of churches and 400 trained volunteers, Family Promise requires a great amount of effort, manpower and funding to keep the daily program going.

In one year, Family Promise has served 15 families, 32 children and has graduated nine families to independence.

"Family Promise is here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year," Family Promise Board of Advisors President Terry Comp said.

 

Gaining independence

Family Promise's initial goal was to help one family reach self-sufficiency to move on to the next stage within 60 days. The program now has an average stay of 45 days, thanks to volunteers and Program Director Chris Najarro.

"We want to get them in and out and on their feet as quickly as possible to make room for other families," President Larry Comp said. "Homelessness is a big problem, and it is only getting worse. This does make a difference."

Graduating participants have found relief in various ways. Some have found jobs and permanent housing; others work together and room with one another. All of them use the help and skills offered in the program to move forward.

"Everyone has a dark time in their lives," Larry Comp said. "If you just help people out for 30 or 60 days, they can get back in the game. That's huge."

To donate visit www.familypromisescv.org or http://fpscv.donorpages.com/Happy1stBirthday/

 

 

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