Who We Are
We are dedicated to ending family homelessness by providing emergency shelter, meals, case management, and support services to families experiencing homelessness with the goal to empower families to rebuild their lives, regain their independence, and achieve lasting success.
Our Mission
The mission of Family Promise is to help homeless families achieve and sustain independence by providing help, hope, and a safe haven as they seek suitable employment and housing.
Our Priorities
  • Show sensitivity to the crisis (job loss, illness, divorce, abuse) that led to first-time, and for many, only-time homelessness
  • Keep families together instead of separating fathers and older boys from them – it reduces stress and time spent securing housing and employment
  • Help homeless families move into sustainable, independent housing
  • Connect families with mentors and support to help each family become self-sufficient
  • Eliminate the stress of homelessness on children by ending the cycle of family homelessness
Our History
  • The Beginning: Karen Olson's chance encounter with a homelessness woman, Millie, led to her understanding the profound feelings of homelessness. Karen and her sons started distributing lunches to homeless people on the streets of New York to address their need for connection and self-worth.
  • 1986: Karen noticed homelessness in her New Jersey community and decided to take action. She brought together those in need with people willing to help, and used existing resources to provide shelter, meals, and housing. The religious community offered space, the YMCA provided showers and a family Day Center, and a car dealer gave a discounted van. This resulted in the opening of the first interfaith hospitality network on October 27, 1986.
  • 1988: The National Interfaith Hospitality Network was formed to bring a shelter program nationwide. The program evolved by adding transitional housing, childcare, and homelessness prevention programs. Other congregations developed similar programs, inspired by the success of the network. The network also added programs like Just Neighbors and Family Mentoring.
  • 1992: Family Promise received a Points of Light award from President and Barabara Bush, recognizing it as one of the top volunteer agencies in the US and promoting community service.
  • 2003: The National Interfaith Hospitality Network changed its name to to Family Promise to reflect its goal of ending family homelessness. The new name emphasizes the commitments that communities make to families in need and the potential in every family.
  • 2008: Trinity United Methodist Church in Lima, Ohio responded to community concerns about homeless families with children by researching and bringing Family Promise National to their community. They provided a building for the Day Center, and other churches stepped up and offered support through a rotational program.
  • 2020: Family Promise of Lima-Allen County faced closure during the pandemic due to the inability to quarantine families in their small building. They pivoted to operate a Non-Congregate Hotel program for those at risk of contracting Covid, exchanging hotel rooms for their clients. The shutdown prevented their previous rotational model due to the lack of volunteers from churches.
  • 2022: Family Promise of Lima-Allen County faced challenges with the churches providing volunteers for hosting homeless families during the pandemic. They found a solution by leasing a building from Westside United Methodist Church, which allowed them to go from a rotational program to being able to operate as a Static Site for up to six families. This new model provided stability for families, especially children, who no longer had to move around to different churches every week. Now, the volunteers come to them and provide meals and fellowship.
"The staff welcomed us with open arms made me and my kids feel safe...and they showed me and my 3 kids so much love it was like we were with family."
Our Impact
families served last year
children served last year
meals served last year
Our Staff
Hellen Douglas
Executive Director
Jamie Brannan
Executive Assistant
Leroy Eddy
Case Manager
Nicole Rogers
Family Support Advocate / Volunteer Coordinator
Alissha Cortes
Family Support Advocate
Our Board
Michelle Vorhees
Rick Shields
Vice Chair
Kathy Stuckey
Bev Beery
Board Member
Mike VanMeter
Board Member
Jodi McDaniel
Board Member
John Foster
Board Member
Rockland McDonald
Board Member
Charlotte Hefner
Board Member
Neal Whitney
Board Member
Leandra Johnson
Board Member
We partner with local community organizations and volunteers to create a network of support that ensures that families have the resources they need to succeed. Join us in our mission to help families overcome the challenges of homelessness.
Below are some of our recent newsletters which can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF document. Contact us if you would like to be added to our newsletter email list.
2024 2nd Quarter
2024 1st Quarter
2023 4th Quarter
Have Questions?
Contact us using the link below with additional questions.