Amanda Speir Executive Director of Family Promise.

Amanda Speier, Executive Director of Family Promise of Northern Kentucky.

FLORENCE – Family Promise of Northern Kentucky celebrated the first anniversary of its reopening with a perfect record for keeping its promises.

The homeless sheltering program served 12 families in its first year, which ended July 18. All 12 “graduated,” according to Executive Director Amanda Speier.

“We had a 100 percent success rate,” she told members of the Florence Rotary Club at a luncheon meeting last week. The non-profit organization needs another host church in Boone County to reach more families, she said.

Family Promise of Northern Kentucky closed in 2014 after 20 years of operation because of financial support woes. Since reopening last year, the non-profit organization has enlisted 39 church partners and garnered support from numerous businesses and institutions, including Northern Kentucky University and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Family Promise is the only sheltering program in Northern Kentucky that takes in whole families, Speier said. The organization can serve a maximum of four families totaling no more than 14 individuals at any given time.

The organization’s goal is to help low-income and homeless families “in need through no fault of their own” secure sustainable employment and housing, Speier noted. “There’s nowhere for these people to go.”

For example, one of the families assisted by Family Promise was a grandmother taking care of three children. They were living in woods behind a large retail business before Family Promise accepted them.

Ten host churches provide housing and two meals a day (dinner and breakfast) one week at a time on a rotating basis.

Family members go to the Family Promise Day Center in Newport during the day. They may meet with a case manager, consult with social services providers, conduct job searches or go to job interviews or doctor’s appointments. Family members have participated in Lincoln Grant Scholar Program and attended Gateway Community College, according to Speier.

Individual and institutional volunteers assist with transportation and other services. Family Promises encourages volunteers to bring their own children to the center to “model healthy relationships.” Speier said. They celebrate birthdays, report cards and other milestones with the families there.

“We try to keep normalcy as much as possible,” Speier said.

And that’s a promise.

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