Family Promise already working

Published 1:53 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Kenyal Braswell came in with two suitcases – a 2 year old and a set of 1-year-old twins – all boys.

She was living with other people, and there wasn’t enough food. She never knew where the next baby formula would come from.

Thanks to Family Promise of Davie County, Braswell and her boys now have their own home. The boys are enrolled in daycare, and she is back in school.

And there’s food in the refrigerator.

If you had asked her a few months ago how her life would be right now, she would have never thought it would be so good.

“They changed my family’s life,” she said at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Family Promise day center south of Mocksville. “It’s a family atmosphere and a family program.”

Hers is the story of one of two families that have graduated to living on their own in the few short months Family Promise has existed. And it’s a story of a woman determined to make it on her own.

“I didn’t even have glasses,” she said of her life before Family Promise. “Now, my kids are in daycare. I’m in school.”

She credits Lisa Foster, executive director, and the Rev. Darren Crotts, president who helped found the organization.

“Lisa is the first person I go to for everything,” Braswell said. “You can see God all through her.”

She said Crotts is like her dad. He wasn’t afraid to sit her down and tell her how it is. She’s seen both take money out of their own pockets to help.

“I put my trust in them. We had chores, I hated them, but I did them every day,” she said. The program also helps her to save what money she has to provide for herself and her children.

Family Promise, an effort to end homelessness, especially among families with children,  provides a day center, in the former parsonage for Liberty United Methodist Church, which participants can use seven days a week for case management, laundry, showering and job searching.

It has partnered with area churches, which, for a week for about four times a year, host families for overnight lodging, meals and hospitality. Volunteers cook and serve meals, socialize with the families, stay overnight at the churches with them, and help at the day center.

Families are referred from social service agencies; some are referred to other, more appropriate, agencies.

Family Promise has a van to transport families from the day center to the host churches. The mission is to help them get back on their feet and into housing they can afford.

Family Promise is funded by grants, and donations from individuals, churches and businesses.

The day center includes links to resources for the families, and computers to access them. Sayings like “Family Is Everything” and “Love Makes Our House a Home” are on the walls.

Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin spoke at the ribbon cutting, speaking about his home church, First Baptist of Mocksville, hearing about Family Promise. “It seemed like a great thing to bring all the churches together for one task … getting families into a better situation. Family Promise has an end in sight.”

That end? Getting them into a permanent home.

“It seems like a good time to celebrate,” Foster said. “Thank you for your support. Thank you Darren, and thank you to Davie County, to the citizens, to the churches, to the partner agencies.

“The community of Davie County has embraced this and holds it up, and that’s what we need. Continue to hold us up. Thank you for making this happen with us.”

“You’re highlighting what Davie County is all about,” said Carolyn McMcNanamy, president of the Davie Chamber of Commerce.