Family Promise of Montgomery County holds open house for Christmas season

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Member of Family Promise of Montgomery County, including Volunteers Sonia Mendiola, Anne Bolay, Joan Lister with her granddaughter, Executive Director Marilyn Kasmiersky, Janus Miller, staff, Carolyn Gergen volunteer, Kathy Di Matteo Resource Specialist, Dawn Candy previous board member.

Family Promise of Montgomery County, which help homeless families with children under the age of 18, held an open house on Dec. 3 at their building.

Marilyn Kasmiersky, Family Promise Executive Director, said they help those families into stability as they transition into having a job and finding a place to live, as well as a car.

“We assist them to actually be empowered so they can move forward and transition to where they can be back into our society working,” said Kasmiersky.

Family Promise has been in Montgomery County since 2001, and Kasmiersky said it started as Montgomery County Hospitality Network, and then they became a national affiliate of Family Promise.

“We don’t get funding from them, but we have their protocol to follow, and then we can tailor our agency into whatever our community needs. We get to kind of customize of what’s the best fit for Montgomery County in our families,” said Kasmiersky.

Family Promise of Montgomery County currently has four families and seven children in the program.

“One family is a mother and father, and they lost everything in Harvey (Hurricane). He had a car lot and lost things that he couldn’t recover, and things just kept spiraling down,” said Kasmiersky. Now he is working and wanting to be a chaplain, and we’ve got his wife re-certified as a pharmacy tech, so she’s working. We helped get her children in child care so they could look for jobs.”

Kasmiersky said another family came in, with the youngest child at ten weeks old and an eleven-year-old sister. The mother started working the very next day, and Kasmiersky said because of Family Promise, she was able to have child care to go back to work and gas to get to work. They’re currently working on finding the family stable housing.

“They get to save their money while they’re here because their needs are met, not their wants, and we couldn’t have Family Promise without our community churches. The other two families we have is a single mom with two children, elementary age children, and we have another single mom with another elementary age child,” said Kasmiersky.

Kasmiersky added that all of the families are very qualified for jobs, and they do background checks and drug screenings, so the people they choose truly are people who want help.

The current guest center for Family Promise of Montgomery County is a hub for case management, and Kasmiersky said they’re not set up as a static site.

“We’re completely dependent on our faith communities to adopt the families for a week, so they leave our guest center about 5:30 in the evening, they go stay in a Sunday School room for a week, and then the next week they transfer to another Sunday School room,” said Kasmiersky. We currently have eight churches in our community, and we need more churches. We can do better as a community. We need about 16 churches so we don’t have hotel weeks.”

Kasmiersky said it’s a huge hit on their budget if they have to pay for hotels.

Family Promise of Montgomery County is mostly funded by individuals in their faith community.

“We did recently get our first ESG (Emergency Solutions Grants) Grant to help pay for the case manager. We have some local grants; Montgomery County Community Foundation, Shepherd for the Savior, that we apply for every year to get grant funding, and that’s very designated,” said Kasmiersky. It’s for child care, or for gas or vehicle repair. It’s very specific on what that money can be used for.”

There is a fundraiser on Dec. 7 for Family Promise of Montgomery County. There will be a live auction as well as a silent auction.

“We have an Astros wrapped golf cart and some really nice beautiful baskets for gifts,” said Kasmiersky.

There will also be a catfish dinner for ten dollars.

The fundraiser is from noon to three p.m. at the North Montgomery County Community Center, located at 600 Gerald Street in Willis.

For more information on Family Promise of Montgomery County, log onto:

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