Network of churches shelter homeless on Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Network of churches shelter homeless on Oahu

Watching the Cross family play together you'd never guess they've fallen on hard times. But right now Alisha Cross, her twin 2-year-olds and her 1-year-old son are homeless.

The family of four was accepted into Family Promise a little over two weeks ago.

"We got lucky there was bed space available," said Cross.

Many people don't even know Family Promise exists -- it's a nonprofit made up of a network of churches that shelter families who would otherwise be living on the street.

Over the past decade, they've helped more than 1,500 people find permanent housing. More than 65 churches are affiliated with the group. Each church hosts families a week at a time up to four times a year.

After a three-month job search, Cross is headed back into the workforce tomorrow.  

Lauren Carter, a case worker at Family Promise in Kailua, said families who come into the program "have a desire to take care of what they need to take care of."

She added, the program is "much different than anything else that's out there."

Family Promise caters to families -- program participants must have at least one child 18 or under. And, they usually like to see that at least one person in the family is working full-time.

Family Promise participants have access to a day center in Kalihi. There are work stations there where participants can apply for jobs and look for housing. They can also do laundry and take showers.

In the evening, everyone is shuttled to that week's church, where they're fed dinner and given a place to sleep.

Cross says without Family Promise she'd probably be in a tent on the beach somewhere.

But now she has hope.

"This is the sanctuary of safe havens. They've helped me every step of the way," she said. "They provided transportation. Clothes for my kids, food for them to eat."

To learn more about the program or make a donation, call one of their two locations: 548-7478 in Honolulu and 261-7478 in Kailua.

Family Promise is in need of diapers (sizes 4, 5 and 6), play pens, pillows, flashlights, men's and women's razors, combs and brushes, washcloths, and clothing, especially adult professional attire.

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