The Family Promise of Gwinnett Network Program brings shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes. Family Promise of Gwinnett Networks are a cost-efficient, effective, and replicable community response to family homelessness. Because they make use of existing community resources, they can be implemented quickly, without major start-up costs. There are six basic components to a Network Program.
1. Congregations: The hosting of families rotates weekly among a minimum of 13 Host Congregations in the Network. In turn, each host congregation provides lodging, three meals a day, and caring hospitality 3-4 times a year. Support Congregations do not host families but instead assist a Host Congregation when they host families. Member Congregations simply provide financial support for the daily operation of the Network. The Gwinnett County Network has 25 Host and 5 Support Congregations.
2. Day Center: Guests use a local Day Center from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM, where a professional social worker provides case management services. There, guests pursue employment, tend pre-school children, shower, and do laundry. The Day Center provides guests with a mailing address and a base for housing and employment searches. Many guests are employed during the day, while older children attend school. The Gwinnett County Network’s Day Center is located at one of our congregations at 3495B Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville.
3. Volunteers: Volunteers are essential to our success and provide a wide range of services like cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping them with homework, interacting with guests with respect and compassion, and providing overnight security. In 2010, the Gwinnett County Network had over 1344 volunteers who provided over 18,834 hours of service to families in need.
4. Fundraising: The organization is financed through donations, grants, and fundraising events. Most of the monies are raised by the individuals of the organization. The congregations also take a financial role in support of the Network. The Gwinnett County Network raised over $320,000 in 2010 for daily operating expenses.
5. Social Service Agencies: Local social service agencies refer families to the Network and may also help guests find or provide housing, jobs, and other needed services. The Gwinnett Network is a member of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services where over 1,000 agencies partner together to serve their community.
6. Transportation: The Family Promise of Gwinnett Network Van transports guests to and from the Day Center. The Network also uses a truck to carry bedding and personal belongings to the next Host Congregation. The truck is also used to collect any donations made to the Network. The Family Promise of Gwinnett Network has a 15 passenger van and a 14 foot box truck.