Yom Rishon, 11 Tammuz 5778

Family Promise

Next Host Week: Augsut 5 - 12, 2018
Click here to volunteer

Volunteer Responsibilities 

"Having a place to go - is a home. Having someone to love - is a family. Having both - is a blessing."― Donna Hedges

Family Promise is a community response to homelessness, made up of the giving hearts of community members, houses of faith, and local service agencies. Family Promise believes that no child should have to sleep in a car or under a bridge, and that every family deserves a chance to be whole and have a roof over their head again.

Who We Are – Our Mission & Programs  The mission of Family Promise of Las Vegas is to offer homeless families the opportunity to achieve housing stability by providing short term shelter, meals, case management and hospitality. Family Promise is a cooperative effort that addresses the needs of homeless families by utilizing resources within local congregations and the community. Families in the program receive a full complement of resources and training as they work towards their own independence and self-sufficiency.

Emergency Shelter: Host Congregations
Families experiencing a temporary episode of homelessness are able to stay together in the Family Promise network of shelter sites, whereas other, larger shelters require men (and boys over age 12) to separate from the women and girls.  Family Promise's Interfaith Hospitality Network sheltering system utilizes the facilities and resources of faith communities, such as Congregation Ner Tamid.  In the week that we host, 3 - 4 families will come to Ner Tamid for the evening meal, and sleep overnight in our classrooms, then rise at 6:00 a.m. for breakfast, make a sack lunch, and then are transported by a Family Promise van to their jobs and/or a Day Site. 

Rabbi Akselrad was instrumental in bringing the Family Promise program to Las Vegas.  Each year, we host families for one week, at least three times each year.  We can only do this because our congregants are so generous of their financial support and time, volunteering to make dinners, make our guests comfortable, and to stay the night in case of any emergencies. 

Volunteers Are Needed:

Provide an evening meal: you can cook it yourself or make it a project of your Chavurah or another group, such as the parents of your child's Religious School class.  If cooking isn't your thing, you can bring trays of food from restaurants that cater, such as Panda Express or Pizzas.  The families and children are grateful for any meal and the effort it took to provide.

Come hang out in the evening, play board games or offer a movie: After dinner, the families make their lunches for the next day, and hang out in the kitchen socializing.  When possible, we like to offer an activity at least two nights of the host week - it breaks up the monotony for the guest families and ourselves.

Stay the Night:  The overnight volunteers stay in the Youth Lounge on an air bed (volunteers bring their own linens).  Families are usually in their own rooms by 9:00 p.m., so the overnight volunteer merely ensures the kitchen is cleaned, and then can watch TV, read, or play games with the other overnight volunteer(s) [this is a great volunteer experience for children and youth]. Volunteers go to sleep whenever they wish - but must wake the guests at 6:00 a.m. for a quick breakfast and getting ready for the van at 7:00 a.m.

Weekend Breakfasts or Activities:  The families are given a little extra time on the weekends to be ready to leave for the Day Site.  It's a nice change for someone to come and prepare a more elaborate breakfast (weekday breakfasts are cold cereal, fruit cups, and juice.  If a volunteer wants to plan an outing to a park, movie, or something like bowling - we can arrange with Family Promise for a late pick up or early drop off.  It's all up to us and our ideas!