Family Promise BC/S Asks for Your Suggestions on "MOVING FORWARD...IN A COVID-19 WORLD @ FP"

Message from Dr. Phebe Simmons, Executive Director

Good afternoon,

I pray that all is well with each of you. So much has happened in our world since we last communicated. I want to give a brief update on our families and where we are in moving forward in a COVID-19 world at Family Promise.  Beyond the suggested Health Department protocols, what do we need to have in place for your congregation's continued partnership? I'm sure questions have been asked by those who serve Family Promise through your congregations since COVID-19 and social distancing are a part of our lives now. I need to hear your concerns and suggestions. I will share them with our board at our next virtual board meeting scheduled for June 18, 2020.

Families Currently, we do not have families in the program. The Chapa Family exited on Monday, April 20. They were in the program when the shelter in place order was mandated. We lost our student volunteers when TAMU cancelled classes for the semester, so staff covered the shifts when the shelter in place order was mandated. The churches opted to give money to the family each week to grocery shop and cook on their own in lieu of bringing dinner to the facility. This worked out well for the Chapa Family as they enjoyed cooking for themselves. Thanks to the family's "essential worker" job, tax refund and stimulus check, they saved over $5,000 during their time with us. Several calls have come through since our last family moved out, but more for rental/utilities assistance vs overnight shelter needs.  We have 16 families in our follow-up program and have focused on them more since our last family exited the program. Of these 16 families, 13 have lost jobs due to COVID-19; however, all are still in permanent housing. We were able to provide rent, utilities or food assistance with the $12,500 grant received from the Brazos Valley Community Relief Fund. Grant Awards CDBG (2020-2021) - $35,000 SECC - application approved to participate in the 2020 State Employee Charitable Campaign  United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet - $750 ( for bus passes, birth certificates, rental application fees) Brazos Valley Community Relief Fund - $12,500 

  • $1,430 in food assistance (101 individuals served)

  • $1,763.88 in utility assistance (8 families/households)

  • $9,308.10 in rental assistance (15 families/households)  

Spring 2020 Newsletter For those who did not received the Spring Newsletter in your mailbox, a copy is attached. We included self-addressed stamped envelopes with the newsletter this time to track donations (a former board member covered the cost of the extra stamps). As of today, we have received 39 envelopes totaling $4,866. We got an anonymous donation of $5,000 after the newsletter mail out as well as a $500 online donation after the new

sletter mail out. Assuming the last two donations were prompted by the newsletter, the total donations received as of today is $10,366.00.  MOVING FORWARD...IN A COVID-19 WORLD @ FP Family Promise affiliates across the nation are having to revamp their intake process and the way they work with families now that COVID-19 has entered our world. We need a plan to ensure families, staff and volunteers are safe once we open the building up to new families again. Twin City Mission has continued client intake during this time, but added temperature checks at the door, extra questioning regarding travel and the wearing of face masks around others...and of course, social distancing (as best they can). The national office has offered several COVID-19 webinars and best practices from other affiliates, but we are unique here with two staff at a static site. We will need to do what works best for us here in Bryan-College Station while staying within COVID-19 guidelines. Any suggestions are welcomed...

Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers. Together, we will get through this! Stay safe, Everyone!

PMS Dr. Phebe Simmons, Executive Director Family Promise Bryan-College Station 1401 W Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, #202 Bryan, TX 77803 979-268-4309 "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children." - Dietriech Bonhoeffer, Theologian

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The Rev. Christian Schmidt is our interim minister, and first became a Unitarian Universalist in this congregation where he was an active member from 2006-2009. He has since served congregations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California. His interests include his family (including four little boys he and his wife are raising), sports, and theology.