Local organization helping families fight homelessness

Local News

A new organization working to help families struggling to keep a roof over their heads just got a financial boost.

Tomah Health donated $2,000 to Family Promise of Monroe County.

The organization opened in January and is a part of the national Family Promise organization, which has more than 200 affiliates across 43 states.

In just the first few weeks, the Monroe County location has already helped one family.

“They literally came with the clothes on their backs and we were really starting from square one,” said Krishna Battista, Family Promise of Monroe County president. “People were quick to jump-in and help out and donate to get them where they needed to be.”

The family has since completed the program and found both housing and jobs in only three weeks.

“The average time for a family to be in a Family Promise program is 63 days, which is amazing, because that still means that people are typically going from homelessness to self-sustainable housing in about two months,” Battista said.

Family Promise helps meet the basic needs of homeless families with 13 host sites throughout the area.

Each site agrees to host families for one week, four times a year– most of them churches.

The organization also helps families with case management at its main facility in Sparta.

They say participants have to be willing to put in the effort to get out of their current situation.

“Until someone is ready to help themselves, it is very difficult to come alongside and help them,” said Battista.

Family Promise says this method results in long-term success.

The donation from Tomah Health is helping pay for a new 15-passenger van.

The new van will help transport the families from one of the 13 host sites to the main facility every weekday.

The van is also used to transport families to job interviews, school, and more.

Family Promise says its model of care costs one-third less to operate than traditional shelters.

“Family Promise brings community resources, that already exist, together to achieve this mission,” Battista said. “It really greatly reduces the cost.”

Family Promise is still in need of $5,300 to pay off the rest of the new van.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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