Case Manager Caroline Theis (above right) and Community Resource Manager Sue Zomberg (above left) had a Texas-sized learning experience at Family Promise’s 16th annual conference in San Antonio last week. As an official affiliate of Family Promise, a national network of emergency shelters that partner with religious congregations and other organizations to holistically respond to the needs of families experiencing homelessness, Inter-Faith Housing Alliance can take advantage of their expertise and guidance to better serve families.
Speakers and workshop facilitators at the conference—which was themed “Mission Possible!”—provided insights and new tools in case management, resource development, outreach, technology, volunteer training, and board development. Sue and Caroline networked with and learned from peers from across the country. Caroline, at the conference for the first time, remarked, “I felt like part of a big, supportive community where I learned a lot of new strategies to help our families.” She plans to use a new curriculum presented at the conference, “The Keys to Good Tenancy,” at this month’s community meeting of families in Inter-Faith’s housing programs.
A representative from Sesame Workshop introduced Lily, a 7-year old Muppet who has experienced homelessness. Lily gets through her tough situation with the help of Muppet friends like Elmo and a community of caring people. “It’s this common theme of working together to solve homelessness that was most exciting for me,” Sue said.
Claas Ehlers, chief executive officer of Family Promise, outlined the organization’s aspiration—to change the future for 1 million children by 2030. He vowed to increase awareness and to change policy around family homelessness: “We won’t stop until every child has a home.”
Sue and Caroline were so grateful to be able to participate in this educational opportunity and are looking forward to using what they learned to improve our services to families, congregations, volunteers, and other community partners.