Welcome to Family Promise of Effingham
Our Mission: To help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence.
We recognize that poverty is a multifaceted problem that requires a multifaceted response. We respond by integrating educational outreach, smart programming, effective policies, and the hands-on work of thousands of volunteers. We provide food, shelter, and support services for homeless families. We provide advice and advocacy for at-risk families to reduce their time of being homeless as we educate them about poverty and the means to combat it.
We accomplish our work through independent Affiliates in 42 states (and counting). We work community-by-community, guided by experts, the people who live there and know it best. At the heart of each Affiliate is an Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN). The IHM provides our families with resources as they work towards independence. These resources include available congregational spaces, donated goods and, most importantly, volunteers.Today, we mobilize more than 160,000 volunteers from coast to coast in our commitment to building communities and strengthening lives.
Our Affiliates are nonsectarian. They welcome all clients. Their volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and represent nearly every faith in the United States.
Since our founding more than twenty years ago, we have served about 500,000 people, including tens of thousands of homeless families who found temporary homes at our Affiliates. Most of our clients are children.
Our proven approach has helped nearly 80 percent of clients secure housing.
Our Vision: A nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future together.
Elements of our Program
Our program involves guest families living in a structured program while residing at the Family Promise House. Each family meets with our on staff Social Worker to formulate goals and a plan to self-sustainability. We partner with 15 churches in Effingham County who provide overnight volunteers to stay with our families as well as dinner each night of the week.
Our volunteers from the congregations are the heart of our program. They provide various services including cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping them with homework and simply interacting with guests. Two volunteers stay overnight every night with the families.
Leah Kessler, Director
Leah has several years of experience working with children and families, specifically families in crisis. She has worked as an Investigator for the Division of Family and Children Services as well as a Foster Care Case Manager. Leah spent several years working for a non profit, Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County, making home visits with at risk families. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and has a passion advocating for all families.
Terri Smith, Volunteer Coordinator
Terri comes from a background of management and customer service. She has volunteered for many organizations including Family Promise, serving on the team that launched us in 2014. Terri also coordinates and leads Effingham County Backpack Buddies, an important organization that ensures children in our community have adequate food.
Board of Directors
Cheryl Smith, Chair
Mia Thompson, Treasurer
Dr. Jackie Brown