Our Story

Our Journey Towards Hope and Stability

Foundation (2006-2007):

In 2006, a group of concerned clergy and business owners were increasingly concerned about the growing number of homeless families sleeping on church steps and on the streets of Delray Beach and other nearby cities. This multifaith coalition spent a year collaborating and researching solutions. They formed Family Promise of South Palm Beach County in 2007, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit now known as Family Promise of Southeast Florida.

Early Years (2007-2020):

Family Promise of South Palm Beach County initially operated out of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, providing temporary shelter, meals and case management to homeless families through the 90-day Road to Independence program. Our initial success was due largely to a dynamic network of volunteers representing a mix of South Palm Beach congregations. Following the traditional Family Promise national model, these congregations provided hospitality to families in crisis, offering overnight stays (temporary shelter), meals and much needed social interaction with families.

In 2014, Jennifer Raymond developed the CARE program (Counseling, Assessments, Referrals, and Evaluation) because she saw the long-term impact of homelessness on the mental health of the families, particularly the children. She sought to make Family Promise of South Palm Beach County trauma-informed and distinguish it among the Family Promise national affiliates. In 2016, Jennifer Raymond also noticed that we needed a way to track each benchmark goal for the families in the program, so she developed the “Phases.” Due to the CARE Program and the Phases, we have increased the success rates of families graduating from our program to financial self-sufficiency.

Adaptation During COVID-19 (2020-Present):

When COVID-19 hit, we broke away from the traditional Family Promise model and adapted our shelter model for the safety of both the families we serve and our volunteers. Since 2020, families enrolled in our 90-day Road to Independence Program have been housed at local hotels, where they are equipped with a private room, full bathroom and kitchenette. Volunteers and congregations continue to provide hot meals, groceries, gift cards and donations of essential goods.

Partnerships and Expansion (2021-2023):

In 2021, we entered into a partnership with both the West Palm Beach and Delray Beach Housing Authorities, expanding our ability to reach families adversely impacted by the pandemic. Homeless and at-risk families referred by the housing authorities were eligible to receive supportive care (including comprehensive case management, mental health counseling and financial literacy training) for up to 24 months. In exchange, we received emergency housing vouchers to distribute to families as available in addition to a small monthly subsidy for our services. The emergency housing voucher program ended in June 2023. However, we continue to partner with the West Palm Beach and Delray Beach Housing Authorities.

To accommodate our growing needs, we left our home at St. Vincent’s and moved to a dedicated location in Delray Beach in July 2022. The Family Promise of SEFL Day Center provides space not only for our administrative offices but for two private counseling/case management rooms, a group counseling room, full bathroom, kitchen, lounge, play space, laundry facilities and outdoor spaces as well. The new location allows us to host regular events such as arts-and-crafts workshops and family barbecues for families enrolled in our program and those who have graduated. Our Day Center is open five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. with administration staff available until 5 p.m.

Regional Expansion and Renaming (2022-2023):

In 2022, the national leadership of Family Promise reached out with a special request to expand our efforts into Broward County. Plans had already been in place to expand within Palm Beach County, but recognizing the need for our services among families in Broward was great, our board of directors and executive director embraced the opportunity to assist more families in crisis.

To better reflect our expanded service area, a new name was adopted in 2023. Today, Family Promise of Southeast Florida is one of more than 200 independent local affiliates of Family Promise, Inc., which was founded by Karen Olsen in 1986.

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Family Promise of Southeast Florida

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Make a Difference in Your Community

At Family Promise of Southeast Florida, volunteers are the heart of our mission. By giving your time and talents, you help provide essential support to families experiencing homelessness. Whether you can assist with meal preparation, mentoring, administrative tasks, or special events, your involvement will have a profound impact. Sign up today and join a dedicated community committed to making a difference.

Thank you for your willingness to help!