The topic of homelessness isn’t an easy topic to discuss. It can bring headaches and a lot of negativity. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As tough as the problem is for everyone involved– meaning both the homeless and the citizens of the city they occupy– it’s important to remember that there are solutions and that there is hope.
After chatting with Tomas Boiton of Family Promise, an organization that helps homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response, I found out about some of the help available for unfortunate people that have met some serious hardships and need help.
The point that not all homeless people are parasites has been brought multiple times in my recent interviews on the homeless. Tomas and Family Promise share that same mindset, as he notes the negativity surrounding homeless people, but sees that that is painting all homeless with a broad and wrongly-judgmental stroke.
“One of the misconceptions of the homeless is that they are very destitute, pan-handling on the street,” Tomas said. “Palm Beach County has a lot of families that are living in their cars and you would never even know it. Over 2,000 students going to Palm Beach County schools are living in their cars in any moment, or a mother or father are working but can’t save enough money to feed their family.”
Family Promise provides assistance for families with children that are or on the verge of becoming homeless for some unfortunate circumstance. They help those families get back on their feet and sustain themselves with shelter, food, transportation, helping them strengthen their resumes , find jobs and more.
And Tomas is not all talk. Family Promise has helped 15 families his year, besting the 12 they had last year and every family so far has stayed self-sufficient after their stay. Moreover, you may have heard about Tomas’ humbling experience in the news recently, as he spent three days living on the streets of Clematis with only his two dogs to raise awareness. The experience opened his eyes to how many people have been homeless for a period of time and how difficult it is to get a job when you don’t have an address or access to showers or a phone, etc.
“It made me realize how quickly it can be a downward spiral,” Tomas continued. “You see how an awful situation of a person having to leave their house can go downhill real fast.”
Family Promise is looking for more congregations to take part. Go to familypromise.org today and make a difference in the life a child and their family.