Family Promise is a national, non-profit initiative founded in 1986. With affiliates in more than 180 U.S. cities, Family Promise brings the faith community together to help families regain their housing, their independence, and their dignity. It offers opportunities for volunteers of all faiths to reduce homelessness and transform lives. Check out the national Family Promise at familypromise.org.
In September 2012, about 80 members of the faith community in the Midlands gathered at Eastminster Presbyterian Church to discuss the problem of homeless families. From that meeting emerged a commitment to create a Family Promise affiliate.
In 2013, Family Promise of the Midlands was registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State as a 501(c)3 organization. Initially, 15 congregations agreed to host homeless families, Heyward Street United Methodist Church provided space for a Day Center, and we raised more than $100,000 to complete renovations on the first Day Center at Heyward Street UMC and to provide operating funds for the first year.
In October 2014, Kathleen McLean-Titus became our first executive director of Family Promise of the Midlands. In December 2014 we began hosting families.
In February 2017, our second executive director, The Rev. Karen Newsome, came on board. Soon after, we were able to hire a case manager, Olivia Williams-Turner, and a part-time office manager, Sue Phelps.
Early in 2020, Newsome stepped down and Jeffrey Armstrong became our new director.
For a few months at the end of 2018 and very early in 2019, our Day Center was temporarily located in space at Ebenezer Lutheran Church (1301 Richland Street).
Late in January of 2018, we stopped leasing space and moved our Day Center into space of our own at 1333 Omarest Dr in Columbia. This beautiful facility of more than 6,000 square feet was donated to Family Promise of the Midlands by Barb and Nisha Kubodera, generous supporters with a long history of activism on behalf of people experiencing homelessness.
The Family Promise of the Midlands board includes representatives of several of the host and support congregations.
Family Promise of the Midlands reflects the faith community’s commitment to live up to the challenge of Isaiah 58:7-8:
“Share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house . . . Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.”