Family Promise of Jacksonville
Family Promise of Jacksonville is a non-profit, interfaith hospitality network providing temporary shelter, meals, hospitality, and case management for families experiencing homelessness. We do this through the participation of local congregations, dedicated staff, and hundreds of volunteers.
The Inspiration Behind Family Promise
The inspiration for Family Promise began with a woman who regularly encountered homeless people in New York City. Karen Olson, now president emeritus of the national organization, came to know many of the city’s homeless people after she and her two sons began to bring food to them. Olson soon learned even in her home community of Union County, NJ, there were hundreds of homeless people, including families. Many families did not turn to shelters for fear of being separated. She looked to the religious community for help, convinced that together they could do what they couldn’t do alone.
Within ten months, 11 area congregations came forward to provide hospitality space within their buildings. All the pieces fell into place and on October 27, 1986, the first Interfaith Hospitality Network opened its doors.
Since then, Family Promise has established more than 200 affiliates in 42 states, using the services of more than 170,000 volunteers and 6,500 congregations. Family Promise provides shelter, meals, housing, and job placement support to more than 50,000 homeless family members annually, 58 percent of them children.
Making a Difference in Our Community.
Family Promise of Jacksonville opened its doors to families in need on June 12, 2006 and our first family consisted of two single mothers with six children between them. Since that time we have served many more families in crisis and will continue to do so for years to come. In 2015, we served our 100th homeless family.