GREAT FALLS – Family Promise of Great Falls has been selected as a grant recipient in a national partnership between Family Promise and HUMI, a Washington state-based nonprofit working with communities to fund and create programs helping families face housing crises.
“We feel that we are positioning ourselves well to address the needs of our guests and the homelessness,” Family Promise of Great Falls executive director D.J. Lott said.
Family Promise of Great Falls beat out over 200 other affiliates who applied for the grant. They are one of 10 who will receive it.
“It gives us the resources on hand, rather than us trying to find those resources to help potential guests,” Lott said.
The nonprofit will receive a $20,000 Homeless No More Challenge Grant from HUMI over two years to launch a program aimed at sustainable prevention and rehousing for families experiencing homelessness. Family Promise must raise the initial $10,000 before HUMI awards the grant. The organization is expected to do so by engaging the community to match the funds each year.
Lott said Family Promise of Great Falls will dedicate that money towards eviction prevention and rehousing.
“If we can prevent them from entering into the shelter program, we will provide them with resources, so they don’t get evicted. We can save costs,” Lott said.
Family Promise of Great Falls is a nontraditional, non-emergency shelter that provides resources to homeless children and their families. Families can stay at the shelter for 60 days, but the average length of stay is 37 days.
Most recently, the organization celebrated the graduation of a family of seven. This family was able to move from the shelter and into a home.
“I think it’s important to put into perspective that Great Falls has an issue with homelessness. Until we start doing things to address that, it’s going to continue to grow. This allows us as one of the organizations in town working against homelessness to have more resources available so that we can help families as they need the help when they present to us,” Lott said.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News