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Families Moving Forward

Families Moving Forward: Ending homelessness one family at a time

Beacon's Families Moving Forward program offers families who are experiencing homelessness - hospitality, emergency shelter and a path to home with support for stability. A big part of this program is offering family stabilization and impacting the well being of children.

St. John's partners with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and the Families Moving Forward program to end homelessness in Minnesota. You will be providing encouragement and new opportunities for members of our community as well as helping to stabilize families and impact the well being of children.

History of Families Moving Forward

 The model originated with Family Promise and though Beacon is no longer officially affiliated within Family Promise we maintain a good working relationship.

 Families Moving Forward was opened in 1991 by a group of likeminded clergy at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis. The basement of the church was the original site of the Program Center. In 2000, Families Moving Forward acquired the FMF Hennepin Program Center building in Minneapolis. Our newest site had been located at Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, and is currently moving to Shepherd of the Hill in Chaska.

     Today, as a program of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, the Families Moving Forward program continues to engage hundreds of congregation volunteers in providing hospitality and shelter to parents and children experiencing homelessness.

Homelessness is a persistent, pervasive, and growing problem, right here in Minnesota!

· The 2012 Wilder Survey estimates that there are 14,000 people homeless on any given night, including more than 3,600 children.

· Since the 2009 survey there has been a 22% increase in homeless two-parent families and a 44% increase in the number of children staying in metro area shelters.

· Children in homeless situations suffer. Compared to their peers who have never been homeless, children who have been homeless are:

ᴑ  Physically less well

ᴑ  Emotionally less well

ᴑ  Academically less prepared

ᴑ  Developmentally less advanced

● One predictor for experiencing homelessness as an adult is childhood homelessness.

Some frequently asked questions about Beacon and Families Moving Forward:

How does the program operate? Volunteers from more than 60 congregations throughout the Twin Cities metro area  (we are not alone in this endeavor) create shelter space within their church for one week at a time.

Where is it located? Families Moving Forward has two centers, with one serving the southwest suburbs (Carver and Scott counties). Families Moving Forward - Southwest Program Center is currently relocating to Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church, Chaska.

How many families do you serve? Our capacity is 12 families at a time, with four (4) at the FMF-Southwest program center. Families are often referred to us by counties, another service agency or even word of mouth.

Does Beacon help families find homes? Yes, we know that shelter is a temporary solution. Families need homes where they can create stability and success so parents work with our staff advocates with the goal of securing stable housing within 60 days of arriving. Beacon will support about 75 families this year to find a home.

What is a day in our program like?  To find the answer to this & other questions, attend the Q&A, at St. John’s Sunday, March 6.

We Believe in Home.

    Home is the light in the window that signals welcome and safety. Home is where you rejuvenate after a day’s work. It’s where your children do their homework or invite friends to play. It’s where you gather for  the evening meal. It’s where you can be yourself. Beacon draws everyone closer to home.

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