BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - 2.5 million children become homeless every year, nationwide.
One Bluffton organization helps lift families out of homelessness and keeps them in their new homes.
There is a place to go for families in Bluffton who have no place to go.
“We work with homeless families with children trying to help them get back on their feet."
Family Promise in Old Bluffton is where new beginnings are born. It’s a shelter program that assists clients in finding jobs and homes.
“Employment in our area is very easy to find. The challenge comes when they’ve saved money and are ready to move out - finding the elusive affordable housing. We help them secure their deposit, we help them get utilities turned on, any furniture or household items they need we help with,” said Lynda Halpern, Executive Director, Family Promise, Beaufort County.
These Community Champions are not just dropping people on a doorstep. Family Promise recommends following an initial 90-day program with year-long follow-up, including regular consultations with a case manager.
“We work with families on financial management, showing them how to budget, some life skills they were not taught growing up. We want to make sure that they remain in their house because studies have shown that after a year if people have remained in their home, they are able to stay put.”
One of 200 Family Promise affiliates nationwide, the Bluffton office has placed more than 400 individuals over the last 11 years.
“The number doesn’t sound huge, but these are families that are back in our community and hopefully not coming back to us for assistance. They’ve moved on and continued to stay in their home.”
Ninety percent of the families that enter the Family Promise Program remain in their home for a year, greatly increasing the odds that they will not be homeless again.