Family Promise of Lubbock overcomes COVID-19 challenges to prevent evictions, homelessness

Family Promise keeping families in their homes during COVID-19

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Aware that COVID-19 has brought many families to the brink of homelessness, Family Promise of Lubbock has fought through the challenges of the pandemic to keep families and children in their homes.

“We’re just grateful for the opportunity to be able to help people, even during this pandemic,” Executive Director Doug Morris said. “If you’re going to isolate yourself, if you have to separate yourself, you have to have a home and we want to make sure they have a home to go to.”

Morris said over the course of the pandemic, Family Promise, a nonprofit organization assisting homeless families with children, has helped keep 61 families from being evicted from their homes or apartments. Those families were made up of 72 adults and 127 kids. Two of three families who utilized emergency shelter have moved into their own home. There was even a baby born to a family during this time.

“Our concern with COVID, from the very beginning, was making sure that we could still assist families and do it in a way that was safe for them and safe for our staff and safe for the volunteers that come and bring meals,” Morris said. “We had no idea was going to last this long. I don’t think anybody did. So, we’re maintaining those same protocols and keeping everybody as safe as possible. Right now, we have nine children in the program. We’ve got to keep them safe, got to keep the parents safe so they can work.”

Family Promise of Lubbock also leads the Sondra’s Song program, which assists children who’ve aged out of foster care. Five were able to utilize the program during the pandemic.

Morris tells KCBD that it’s been challenging to obtain COVID-19 assistance funding designated for this purpose from governmental entities. However, individual donations, grants and other funding has helped the nonprofit maintain its operations.

“Our support has come largely from churches that have incorporated us into their budget,” Morris said. “They understand the service that we provide to homeless families. We’ve received funds from churches, from Family Promise National and the Community Foundation of West Texas, those were our funds that have enabled us to help the number of families that we can.”

Family Promise of Lubbock would normally hold its largest fundraiser, a gala, during the fall, but the gathering will not happen this year. Instead, they’re moving the fundraiser and educational opportunity online to its website. They encourage the public to visit their website and social media over the course of the week of October 19 to share your support.

“It’s what gets us up in the morning, knowing that today we’re going to make a difference in somebody’s life,” Morris said.

Family Promise’s “UnGala” will allow the public to hear from its families, volunteers and staff. There will also be numerous auction items to bid on like shoes from Jarrett Culver, Yeti items, a Texas Tech fan package, Diamontrigue 14k Earrings and more.

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