Support the agency that supports homeless families

Published 1:40 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

Sharon (not her real name) and her teenage daughter were in a neighboring shelter before entering the Family Promise of Davie County program.

Since the daughter was 16, she was considered an adult and not allowed to stay with her mom. They sought Family Promise’s services because they wanted to stay together during this crisis.

All too often, families are separated due to a child’s age or gender. But not at Family Promise—they keep family units together.

Sharon grappled with severe health challenges, which had been sidelined during the upheaval of losing their housing. While in the Family Promise program, Sharon received dedicated support from FPDC staff to address her healthcare needs, and her daughter experienced an upturn in school attendance. After seven months in the shelter, Sharon’s family was able to once again move into their own home.

Fewer than half of Americans,  44%,  can afford a $1,000 emergency expense. It is no wonder that families now make up the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. And it is an invisible crisis that affects our own community.

Sadly, 101 students in Davie County Schools have been identified so far this year as experiencing homelessness.

“Family and rural homelessness is an invisible crisis, but just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We’ve seen a 38% increase in requests for services since 2022,” said Lisa Reynolds, executive director of Family Promise of Davie. “Local families are living in unsafe motels, their cars, or doubled up with family or friends.”

On Thursday, April 11, Family Promise o(FPDC) will celebrate its annual Giving Day, a 24-hour campaign to support local families like Sharon’s who are facing homelessness. Family Promise’s national network of nearly 200 affiliates will come together to participate in this annual fundraising event.

This year, FPDC is asking participants to help raise funds to bolster its critical work in Davie County. Offering homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, and family support services, Family Promise programming ascribes to national best practices and creates a strong local impact.

Your support on Giving Day gives families in need hope for the future. Join us on April 11 – because every child deserves a home. Join us in raising awareness and follow on social media using the hashtag #FamilyPromiseGivingDay2024.

“There are children right here in Davie County that don’t have a safe place to call home each night. We believe a child’s future begins at home. When you give to Family Promise, you are truly changing the trajectory of a child’s life.”

Preventing families from spiraling into homelessness is an essential part of the Family Promise mission.

Since opening in 2017, FPDC has served over 1,000 parents and children through its shelter, transitional housing, and emergency financial assistance programs.

“Our mission is to help families experiencing homelessness and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. We help families through the provision of shelter, financial assistance, and case management.”

It’s proven to be a highly successful approach. According to Reynolds:    

• On average, it takes 23 weeks for families to go from experiencing homelessness to obtaining independent/permanent housing.

• 94% of families in our Shelter and Transitional Housing programs are still housed one year after graduating from our program.

• On average, it only costs $500 to prevent homelessness and divert a family from the shelter.

• 96% of families that received one-time emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness are still stable 3 months after receiving assistance.

Low wages and a lack of affordable housing exacerbate the problem. She shared the following statistics:

• There is no state, even those where the minimum wage has been set above the federal minimum wage of $7.25, where a minimum-wage worker working 40 hours per week can afford a modest two-bedroom rental unit at the average fair market price.

In Davie County, a minimum-wage worker would need to work 151 hours per week just to pay the average fair market rate of $1,110, which is up 15% since last year and 52% in the last five years.

Realistically, a single person in Davie County would need to earn at least $21.35/hour ($44,408/year), more if they have children. However, the average salary for workers in childcare is $25,250; food prep & service – $27,140; retail sales – $33,430; and firefighters – $35,910.

Housing is the greatest expense for most families and should not exceed 30% of a family’s budget. 2024 statistics from the N.C. Housing Coalition indicate that 22% of Davie households are cost-burdened by housing, with 46% of renters and 18% percent of homeowners struggling to afford their homes.

“If families are spending more than 30% of their income on housing, which we often see that they are, one seemingly minor setback can cause a major crisis. Missing a couple of days of work to care for a sick child or having car troubles can spiral into something so much larger.”

Family Promise has challenged each local affiliate to raise awareness and funds through the Day of Giving to help these families in need.

“All funding raised during Giving Day will go directly to serving and supporting local families experiencing housing crises. It is our goal to provide services at every level of the housing crisis- preventing homelessness in the first place, diverting a family from the shelter if possible, providing safe shelter, and ongoing support to help maintain stability for those that regain housing.”

Donate online at or make a check out to Family Promise of Davie and mail it to PO Box 1536 Mocksville, NC 27028.

To learn more about Family Promise of Davie and its programs, visit or call (336) 284-4200.