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Working with United Way to Give Families a Home
Katrina Bostick sees the difference United Way makes in people’s lives every day. She is the executive director of Family Promise of the Coastal Empire, a United Way-supported nonprofit organization that assists families experiencing housing insecurity.
“We work with families with children of all kinds: single mothers or fathers, two-parent households, aunts or uncles or grandparents with children – any family composition. Our goal is to take them from housing insecurity to housing permanency,” Katrina explains.
The average stay for a family is 32 days, and during that time, Family Promise helps break down barriers such as unemployment or under-employment, transportation or childcare needs, health concerns, social or emotional issues, and other ways families can find themselves in a dire situation. The group works to provide stability and transition the families back to independent living.
Family Promise is able to have the freedom and flexibility to put resources to their best use because of the support received from the United Way Community Fund, a resource for services and programs that strengthens our entire community by providing a safety net and a pathway for upward mobility.
In the case of Family Promise, the use of Community Fund support has led to a remarkable 93% success rate. Families in crisis need a combination of resources. When Family Promise gives shelter and starts breaking down those barriers, they also call on fellow trusted United Way partners with expertise in helping with medical services, mental and emotional well-being, childcare assistance, and more.
Katrina was reminded of her experience of helping a single father, a veteran, who, after couch surfing, was forced to live with his children in his car for several months. He was able to get help and move into a hotel, but that was also temporary. Then he reached out to United Way, who put him in touch with Family Promise. That was when Katrina became involved.
“We were able to bring that family into our program. The dad was able to secure employment; we helped him with transportation and childcare. Then, when they were stabilized, we were able to secure them independent housing. Today, dad and the children are doing well.” Katrina said.
She also acknowledges that the organization doesn’t deserve all the credit for its excellent success rate. Family Promise would not have had such success without community partners in the region rallying around the cause and doing their part to help struggling families.
Katrina continued, “As a United Way funded agency, it warms my heart to be able to refer our families to other agencies that give them the love and support that they need during a crisis as we do. So for me, it’s always about empowering and impacting the families that we come in contact with so that they can have a better future.”
Giving to the Community Fund allows for this level of accomplishment because those dollars spread across the region can do so much more for so many more organizations and the people they help. There is no doubt more families would be suffering if not for the extra impact United Way Community Funds provide. Collaboration is one of the best ways we move Forward United.