In the Spring of 2013, Kara Russell was enjoying lunch in the Boston area with Susan Zwart, a college friend she hadn’t seen in years. They exchanged updates about their growing families and their challenging jobs, and then Susan shared that she had recently begun volunteering with Family Promise, an organization that uses places of worship to host homeless children and their families.
Kara listened intently, impressed by Susan’s obvious passion for the program, and deeply moved by the idea that volunteers from various faiths could come together to serve the most vulnerable among us. She wanted to help, too.
When Kara returned to Connecticut, she did a quick online search to locate an affiliate in her area. She was surprised to learn that while there were nearly 200 Family Promise affiliates across the country, there were none in her home state.
A couple of months passed, and Kara still couldn’t shake the idea of Family Promise. She kept thinking of the tremendous work Susan and her fellow Family Promise volunteers were doing in North Shore Boston, and of the hundreds of homeless children that needed assistance in Connecticut. Finally, she picked up the phone, called the National Family Promise toll free number, and asked what it would take to get an affiliate started.
Kara learned the first step was to host a community wide meeting at her own place of worship. After consulting with her pastor, the first Family Promise of Central Connecticut meeting was held at St. Mary Parish in Newington. The support from the community was overwhelmingly positive, and Family Promise of Central Connecticut laid down roots that evening.
Within three years, Family Promise of Central Connecticut grew to include a core group of passionate volunteers representing 17 places of worship. We officially opened our doors on March 5th, 2017 and our ribbon cutting ceremony for the Day Center took place on June 4, 2017. We are all looking forward to the work of fulfilling our mission to end child and family homelessness…one family at a time.