In 2017, we helped 38 children and a total of 18 families. 89% of the families we served found employment and 67% of families found housing. We hold our families to a strict set of guidelines (no alcohol, meeting deadlines, finding employment, etc.) and dismiss families that violate these rules. Our program is voluntary, so families can choose to leave at any time. Every family that adhered to the guidelines and finished the program found housing in 2017.
At Family Promise, we believe that the greatest proof of our success is not in dollars raised or number of families served, but in the lasting impact of our program on the lives of our participants.
Family Spotlight: LaCrecia McCree
In June 2018, just three months after entering the 90 Day Program, LaCrecia transitioned into the Next Step Affordable Housing Program that provides affordable housing for our qualifying families. LaCrecia continues to be actively involved with our family advocate, participates in weekly home visits, and attends the L.I.F.E. Program Classes when her work schedule allows. This single mom has one son Levi, who is 4 years old, that lives with her. LaCrecia currently works at Honeybaked Ham Company in Gainesville as an Assistant Manager and Levi attends Joyland. We interviewed LaCrecia about her time in the program, her ongoing success and her greatest struggles.
FP: What are the long-term benefits you see from your participation in Family Promise?
LM: I've developed numerous skills which have broadened my personal and professional quality of life. My professional background falls under the customer service umbrella. My first job was with Nielson Media Research (the marketing research company that follows trends on what Americans watch, buy and listen to). My career branched out from making cold calls, to customer relations, virtual corporate training, implementation, project management, research and not to mention I was a full-time telecommuter for 6 1/2yrs with Sprint. After being laid off and struggling to find a position with a comparable salary, I realized through one of my L.I.F.E classes at FP that networking is imperative. I learned the benefits and the art of building my professional network. Simultaneously was giving a serious look at human services as a stable field, and began researching positions which required my skill set. I took a leap of faith and utilized the skills I'd developed to market myself to two amazing ladies from Northeast Georgia Hospital during an event sponsored by Women's Source for one of my L.I.F.E skills classes. I was contacted less than a week later by a recruiter at NGMC, who said I came highly recommended by one of her co-workers. I'd given my word that I would stay on at Honey Baked and manage the front throughout the holiday, which was no problem for the recruiter. She asked that I contact her once I've filled that obligation and she would love to assist in finding a non-clinical position that's right for me.
FP: What are the long-term benefits you see from Family Promise?
LM: My greatest success has to be the given the honor to work for FP.
FP: What's your greatest success since graduating from the 90 day Program into the Next Step Program?
LM: Getting my professional foot in the door at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Having medical benefits and a vacation package is right at the top of my "must have" list.
FP: Greatest struggle since graduating from the 90 Day Program?
LM: Less than two weeks after my youngest daughter turned 18, she was brutally assaulted by her sons father and left unconscious. My grandson was taken by his father and several hours passed before he was dropped off at a safe location where I was able to retrieve him. My daughter Jada was unrecognizable when she was released from the hospital, so she and my grandson spent a few days with Levi and I as she healed. Jada will likely undergo reconstructive surgery due to the severity of the injuries incurred on her left eye. This was a hard pill to swallow, but the Lord will continue to see us through this. We are strong and prayerful while allowing the authorities to do their job. Jada is healing physically and mentally.
FP: How has Levi transitioned throughout this process?
LM: Levi is doing well. My years of advocating for him has paid off. We now have access to resources to assist him with his ADHD diagnosis. Although Levi is only four years old, he was well aware that we were homeless. He loves having a place to call home.
One of the ways I want to serve the Lord is by providing shelter for homeless veterans and single parents. One of my long term goals has been to start a non-profit organization that focused on those two groups. Well, now I've been there and LITERALLY have the T-shirt to prove it. I've witnessed first hand the good, bad, and the ugly of homelessness. As I worked through the program I volunteered my time to serve other families by cooking meals for our L.I.F.E courses and helping Wakeitha Cunningham, the L.I.F.E program coordinator, in any way that I was permitted to. I'm not sure how it happened amongst all involved; however, I know the Lord once again made a way. I've been offered a part-time position with Family Promise as the L.I.F.E Program Coordinator. This melts my heart, as this is the way that the Lord has made for me to begin the journey specifically addressing the desires of my heart. Many people believe this superficially to mean that the Lord will provide for you the things you ask for. The true meaning is when you surrender your life to Christ, He places in your heart the desires that He requires you to fulfill. This opportunity is a blessing!