Family Promise of Greater Orlando has formed a new partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Nursing. In an effort to enhance the life skills program, Family Promise has collaborated with UCF nursing students. Twice a month, the nursing students will conduct classes with the homeless families in the program on different life skills topics such as: nutrition, personal health, hygiene and creating a safe and healthy home environment for children.

“We believe this collaboration with the UCF College of Nursing will take our program to the next level,” stated Mary Alice Fish, Family Promise’s executive director. “Any extra skills we can provide for our families while they are in our program will help them when they become financially independent again.”  In addition to this program, the child enrichment program was also added about a year ago. “Adding programs such as these have made Family Promise a much more all-inclusive program,” commented Fish.

The families in the program move from church to church each week. As a result, the nursing students have agreed to conduct classes in various locations throughout the Orlando area.  The program began in May.

Family Promise of Greater Orlando

The mission of Family Promise of Greater Orlando is to mobilize volunteers in the faith community to help homeless families achieve and sustain independence and self-sufficiency by providing them with homeless service programs that include; safe haven shelter, food, transportation, case management, life skills, employment assistance and to advocate for adequate housing.

Families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.  According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, over 1.5 million children experience homelessness each year.   In Central Florida, 6,300 children were identified as homeless in the 2008-9 academic year in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties (Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Student Assistance, 2008-2009 Final Survey Homeless Counts).  The current economic crisis promises to increase the number of families forced into homelessness.