With the wintry onset of cold and blustery weather, Alaskans like to snuggle comfortably into the warm protection of well insulated homes enjoying food stored up for the long season. There are some who don’t have such comfort or protection. In fact their numbers are increasing as witnessed around our communities throughout Alaska. What can be done to help these people who for various reasons have lost their homes in a place where winter weather can be most severe, often not getting enough food to eat?
Family Promise Mat-Su is one community outreach that shelters families by working directly with local churches to allow them to participate personally. Homeless families are sheltered either at local church buildings or at the FP transitional housing right at their site in downtown Wasilla. Church participants can choose where they could best host our families for their church’s week-long hosting. At the end of the week the families move to the next host site.
Once arrangements with a church are made, guests receive hospitality and three meals daily from church members and volunteers. From there, Family Promise case managers work with guest parents to ensure they can regain their self-sufficiency into society.
Up to 15 people can be served at a time at the FP headquarters/churches with the average length of stay being 30 days. Family Promise also has the BHAP homeless prevention program (rental assistance) which they would be glad to explain! Their website is: http://www.familypromisematsu.org/
As you experience the harsh conditions of winter and enjoy good food, remember to pray for homeless families and community outreaches like Family Promise Mat-Su, perhaps even volunteer to help or make a donation toward their cause!