St. Mark’s partners with Family Promise of Northern New Castle County again from January 27 to February 3, our second week of “hosting” families at the Hospitality Center.
Our first week of service — Christmas Week 2018 — was a great introduction to this ministry, which serves families who are in transition and in need of housing. Scores of volunteers participated — preparing and serving meals, planning activities, providing overnight security and bringing special gifts and other essentials for this holiday week.
We made many new friends and one of them — Hector (seen in the photograph above) — was featured in Family Promise’s recent report on the things accomplished during 2018. His story, which was also covered by several local news outlets, was shared this way in Family Promise’s report:
“Hector had a full-time job and was supporting his four kids. But when his job was cut to just 25 hours, he couldn’t make ends meet. He had to give up his apartment, and his family bounced between houses of friends and family members — eventually ending up in a motel. The day before our new Hospitality Center opened in November, Hector had just enough money to pay for one more night in the motel. For a family like his — one headed by a single father — it was difficult to find resources, and he faced the grim choice of living in his car or splitting up from his kids. Supporters like you gave Hector a third option: our new Hospitality Center. He was able to keep his family together while receiving shelter, food, and hospitality. He shared his story on WDEL and Community Issues with Omar Rashada, and just this week, he moved back into permanent housing!”
What a glorious testimony to God’s provision — and what amazing timing for Hector and his family.
The Family Promise Hospitality Center, which opened in November 2018, shares space at The Jesus House and Retreat Center on Milltown Road. It has capacity for up to six families with children — about 20 people in all — giving them a way to stay together while they pursue new housing.
Each congregation that partners with Family Promise provides seven days of “hosting” services, which include meals, washing linens, activities for the kids (as desired by residents) and other things as needed. Our commitment is for four weeks each year.
There are many ways to participate. Connect with our coordinators, Barb Gilbert and Pam Waters, if you’d like to join us!
And if you’d like to help with supplies, here is a list of needed items which can be dropped off at the Family Promise Day Center at 2104 St. James Church Rd., Wilmington DE 19808 or stored in a (yet-to-be-established) Family Promise Ministry storage area at St. Mark’s: twin comforters, twin sheet sets, new bed pillows, towel sets (bath, hand, wash), dish sets, flatware sets, plastic drinking cups, sets of glass drinking glasses.
Thank you for caring for families such as Hector’s! Working with Family Promise and the many other congregations and groups who support this work, we can do so much more. Hope to see you at the Hospitality Center!
Photo: Courtesy of Family Promise of Northern New Castle County