Local organization works to get people back on their feet

Steve+Thomas%2C+the+executive+director+of+Family+Promise+posing+next+to+a+map+that+marks+all+of+the+other+Family+Promise+branches.+Photo+by+Loretta+Tuell.
Steve Thomas, the executive director of Family Promise posing next to a map that marks all of the other Family Promise branches. Photo by Loretta Tuell.

Steve Thomas, the executive director of Family Promise posing next to a map that marks all of the other Family Promise branches. Photo by Loretta Tuell.

Steve Thomas, the executive director of Family Promise posing next to a map that marks all of the other Family Promise branches. Photo by Loretta Tuell.

Loretta Tuell, Features Assistant

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Family Promise in Lewiston is a non-profit organization that helps homeless families get back onto their feet. With Family Promise’s graduate rate at 95 percent. Out of all the people that come for help, 95 percent find a place to live, work, and support themselves along with their family. In 2015, 8,000 students were homeless in the state of Idaho from that, 154 students were in the Lewiston School District according to Cynthia Núñez, school community social worker. The organization’s method of support of helping is one the best, according to Steve Thomas, the executive director of Family Promise.
  The average family in need of help is a single mom with one or more children under the age of 10.
  “That’s the family you’re supporting, not the guys on a street corner,” said Steve Thomas.   
  Family Promise was established in the valley 10 years ago with Thomas on the board of directors to help get the organization going. There are about 200 non-profit affiliates throughout the country, all locally funded. In the LCV, Family Promise raises support for the organization through a variety of churches, citizens of the valley and its major fundraiser, a benefit dinner and dessert auction that occurred earlier this year.
  The Family Promise shelter building blends in with the rest its neighborhood on Normal Hill. There are no big flashy signs, and Thomas said they strive to give a sense of “normalcy” to the way they run the business. The day-house has a nicely groomed green front lawn, a playset in the backyard, and a fence around the backyard that was built with the help of The Habitat for Humanity.
  When members of the community come to Family Promise for help, they can stay  at the day-house where they can clean their clothes for free, have a place to rest and refresh themselves with a shower.
  At 5:30 p.m. each day, those in need go to a partnering church with a host family for a home-cooked meal before going to sleep in the church.
  In the mornings the van for Family Promise takes kids to school and parents to work, to help them get back on their feet.
  Students can give to the organization by donating money, or personal care items such as toilet paper, deodorant, and razors.

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