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Family Promise of Aiken County is participating in a nationwide Giving Day today. Giving Day is a 24-hour online campaign to raise awareness and funds to support families across America experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.


This year, low-income families need our help more than ever. Together, we can prevent children from experiencing the trauma of homelessness.


1 in 3 individuals experiencing homelessness in 2023 did so as a family, a 16% increase from the prior year. In Aiken, there was a 20% increase in the number of homeless students during the last school year.


More families than ever are turning to Family Promise, and you can help.


In our first 2 full years in operation, we made a difference by helping 82 families and 179 children in Aiken County. We can do so much more if we come together as a community to support families in need.


Family Promise of Aiken County successfully stabilizes families, helping to keep them in their homes or identify new housing. We are also working to add a missing component, a long-term shelter for homeless families that cannot be successfully diverted.


For every family we help, our goal is simple: long-term financial independence and housing stability.


We walk beside each family to tackle their housing, financial management, employment, and other needs to make this goal a reality.


Your donation will make a difference in the life of a family at risk of homelessness.


Donate online today using the button below!



You can also mail donations to PO Box 622 Aiken, SC 29802. We are a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our Federal Tax ID is 83-4412353.


 

Family Promise Featured in Aiken Standard


Family Promise spoke at a recent Rotary Club of Aiken meeting, sharing the increasing challenges of housing insecurity facing families in Aiken.


"In 2023, 6 in 10 families were already homeless when we began helping them. In 2022, it was 2 in 10," shared Kendall Buchanan, Board Chair.


Following the meeting, The Aiken Standard printed an article highlighting the many ways Family Promise of Aiken County is working to bring a holistic solution to empower families into lasting independence.



 

We completed our latest Keys to Good Tenancy course in March, with 11 class participants and 3 children. This course, which anchors our educational programming that is focused on preventing homelessness and housing insecurity, was created in partnership with the National Association of Realtors. Participants learn the tools to budget for, find, maintain, and keep an apartment or home.


We are pleased to welcome any individual in Aiken County to participate. In the past, we have had teenage children participate with their parents, representatives of organizations that serve the homeless, and even some repeat attendees!


Since this program's launch in Fall 2021, we have provided over 45 hours of free training to prevent homelessness in our community.


Our next course will be held in June, beginning Monday, June 3rd. Please consider joining us and share this opportunity with others. Find out more here.


Special thanks to the City of Aiken and the Aiken Association of Realtors for their support of this training.


Come shop with us Friday and Saturday to help Aiken County families break the cycle of housing insecurity!
We are counting down to our first large fundraiser that kicks off in less than 24 hours! We have had an outpouring of support from individuals donating items large and small to include in our sale. Our Rummage Sale Committee and a team of volunteers have been working all week to organize and price every item for sale.

Cash, checks, and major credit cards will be accepted for purchases. We will also have food trucks, including SuzieQ's coffee, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Outlaw Dogs hot dogs.
Sale proceeds will allow us to offer holistic services that help break the cycle of housing insecurity for families with children in Aiken County.

We hope to see you there!
 

We are excited to announce that Help Us Move In, Inc. has awarded us a Homeless No More Challenge Grant for the next 2 years (total of $20,000)!

This grant will allow us to provide additional direct financial assistance to families in our Prevention and Shelter Diversion programs. This financial assistance, coupled with our case management and focus on long-term stabilization, will:
  1. Help families avoid eviction to stop homelessness before it happens; and

  2. Help homeless families move into stable housing.


To access the first year's funding under this grant, we must first raise $10,000. If you are interested in learning more or donating, please contact our Board Chair, Kendall Buchanan, at 803-716-8643 or buchanan@familypromiseofaiken.org. You can also mail donations to PO Box 622 Aiken, SC 29802 or donate online at familypromiseofaiken.org/donate.
 
Our next Keys to Good Tenancy course kicks off on Monday, October 2nd. This course, which anchors our educational programming that is focused on preventing homelessness and housing insecurity, was created in partnership with the National Association of Realtors. Participants learn the tools to budget for, find, maintain, and keep an apartment or home.
If you know of someone that would benefit from this free course, please connect them with Laura Johnson (ljohnson@familypromiseofaiken.org or 803-443-5625) to register or get more information.

We rely on our volunteers to offer the free meal and child care for class participants. If you are interested in volunteering to help prepare and serve a meal or play with the children during the course, please contact John Lohman (jlohman17@gmail.com or 919-368-4647).
Special thanks to the City of Aiken and the Aiken Association of Realtors for their support of this training.
 

Want to learn more about how Family Promise helps families facing housing insecurity in Aiken? Watch our Board chair speak at First Presbyterian Church below.




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  • ellenbrowne13

Family Promise Good Tenancy Program

As part of its Prevention Program, national Family Promise partnered with the National Association of Realtors to develop a Keys to Good Tenancy curriculum to provide vulnerable families with the knowledge and skill to be good tenants. The curriculum addresses issues as setting goals, budgeting, understanding a lease, finding and keeping affordable housing, understanding renter’s legal rights, establishing good relationships with neighbors and landlords, and requesting repairs. The Family Promise Program Committee, led by Tommy Patterson, worked on shortening the original eight-week course to a more manageable four weeks. We have now offered this four-week course twice with excellent results. In addition to the classroom instruction, different congregations have served a meal before the class and volunteers have provided childcare.

The course has a lead instructor, and then guest speakers with specialties in key areas assist in providing the knowledge and skills needed. When asked what they liked about the course, students responded:

  • How to budget. I was never taught this

  • How to handle problems that arise with neighbors and landlords

  • What I can do about a bad credit rating

  • How to approach a neighbor about a noise problem

  • The importance of writing a letter to a landlord directly talking about my previous eviction

  • The importance of keeping documents and having a paper trail

  • The section on assertiveness and conflict management was helpful and new to me

  • The importance of taking responsibility and setting a goal.

  • After attending this course, I realize I can make the right choices to improve my life and I am excited about my future.


Sandy Hochel, the lead instructor for the two sessions, believes the National Board of Realtors and national Family Promise did a wonderful job designing the curriculum and selecting material crucial to successful tenancy. Hochel says that people often take it for granted that everyone has certain skills and knowledge such as how to budget, read a lease, or request repairs. But this is not the case, and the course is designed to provide such knowledge and skills. The students receive a guidebook to read, attend four class sessions and do homework. Examples of homework are keeping a weekly budget diary and writing a letter to a landlord explaining why she should rent to you directly addressing any past problems.

Graduates credit the class with helping them to be better tenants. Felisha reported that she has particularly used the material on budgeting and changed the way she communicates with her landlord. Tiffany said that as a result of the class she put together a folder organizing all her financial and important papers. Having everything in one place let her see ways she could save money. Sarai noted that she has already used some of the check sheets on moving and finding an apartment.

The course is designed to empower the students to take responsibility for themselves and to address any personal obstacles that have kept them from having a stable home environment. Graduates of the course receive a certificate of completion which can be presented to landlords when applying for housing.



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