Sophisticated Woman is dedicated to bettering the lives of all Northshore residents. As part of our commitment, we annually host our Hats Off luncheon to celebrate the good work—and good works—of those in the community. Each year we dedicate all proceeds from the event to a local nonprofit. The 2015 beneficiary of the event is Family Promise of St. Tammany (FPST).
FPST addresses the issue of homelessness in our parish, specifically homeless families with children. Sometimes known as “invisible homeless,” many of these families have often never experienced homelessness before.
The homeless problem in St. Tammany is growing. According to the Northlake Homeless Coalition, in 2013 there were approximately 17 families every night who were in need of shelter. More than 1,250 students in the St Tammany Parish public school system have been identified as homeless. Over 80 percent of these families are without a home of their own and are living “doubled up” with family and friends.
The Family Promise program is an integrated approach to help families get back on their feet, establish self-sufficiency and live successfully in a permanent residence. The effort is led by an interfaith blend of denominations that offer their facilities and congregations in support of these families. Through congregational hosting, volunteers take part in “site-based mission work” where they host homeless families during their time in need.
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, Family Promise has grown to 182 affiliates throughout the country, serving about 500,000 people. More than 80 percent of families in the program have secured long-term housing.
Mark your calendars for April 2 and join us in support of this wonderful community outreach program.