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Become a Host or Support Site

Family Promise’s shelter program relies on a partnership of interfaith congregations and other volunteer groups to help local families facing homelessness. Our host sites provide meals and hospitality to families in need. For families in the program, each day begins with breakfast, followed by case management meetings with staff. In the evening volunteers provide a delicious homemade dinner. The evening hours are for homework, relaxing, and family fun time, as they would be with any family. Each day ends with the family all together, under one roof. If interested, fill out the interest form Here.


Typically, local houses of worship provide temporary overnight lodging in otherwise unused spaces in their buildings. A host congregation team of volunteers may be involved with the following:


  • Host one to four families (2 to 14 homeless mothers/fathers with minor children; 10 is ave.)

  • Provide Lodging for Families with Minor Children four times a year.


  • Cooking and hosting dinner including cleaning up after the meal.

  • Caring hospitality by spending the evening with families, talking, tutoring kids, playing games, or coordinating children's crafts & activities.

  • Sleeping overnight in the congregation.

  • Donating necessary supplies for the hosting week.

  • Setting up and breaking down guest families’ rooms.

  • Guest typically arrive around 5:30 PM in the evening and depart in the morning around 7:30 AM.


  • Guest stay seven nights (Sunday evening to the next Sunday Morning.)

  • Each host church has a coordinator (or coordinating team) to arrange for meals and volunteers to serve the guests while they are staying at the Host Church.

Bible discussion group

A small church, a Sunday School class, or a Church Service organization can provide much-needed services by working with a Host Church during their hosting week. A Support Church might provide meals or volunteers to serve as Evening or Overnight Hosts one or more times during the week.

Praying Girl
  • Contributing Congregations provide us with much-needed funds for operating the Day Center and providing supportive services to our Guests.

  • Families stay overnight, not 24 hours a day.

  • Each congregation hosts families for just one week, four times a year.

  • Guests consist of four families, typically 14 people.  

  • Family Promise runs criminal background checks and drug screenings on all program participants.


  • A Family Promise driver transports the families to and from the host facility and carries their bedding and luggage to each new host location.

  • screening for Guests for drugs, alcohol, and violence.

  • Folding beds, cribs, pillows, blankets: delivered to you on Sunday of Host Week.

  • Transportation of Guests to the church at 5:30 PM and from the church at 7 AM.

  • Weekly Planning Forms to document all the tasks and people needed that week.


  • Training and orientation for Coordinators, the church, and volunteers.

  • Facilities: Sleeping areas (four for the guest families and two for the overnight hosts), bathrooms, and a common area. Using Sunday School Class Rooms for sleeping areas is the most common setup, but several churches form rooms with movable partitions in their Fellowship Hall or gyms

  • 14 Breakfasts

  • 14 suppers (leftovers are appreciated for lunches the next day). 

  • Many dinner and companion people from 5:30 PM to about 8 PM.


  • Two overnight Hosts (one man and one woman) who sleepover at the church, 8 PM to 7:30 AM.

  • 14 sets of sheets and pillowcases. (Family Promise of Greater Kingsport has one set of 14 available)

  • Showers are nice but not required. (Family Promise of Greater Kingsport will provide showers and laundry at the Day Center.)

  • Your church members, in Christian love, will meet homeless families, serve homeless families, and gain empathy for homeless families as your Guests.


The Host Church Family Promise Coordinator is the most crucial person in the Family Promise Model. The Coordinator at your Church must:

  • have a heart for serving homeless families with minor children, the people Jesus speaks of when He said, “Whatever you did for the least of these my brothers, you did for me.”

  • have the organizational skills of a Field Marshall to get together people and resources for 14 dinners and breakfasts, 14 Overnight Hosts, Dinner and Evening Companions, and knowledge of the church’s other obligations for the building.


Each Host Church sets its own rules, which are explained the first thing Sunday evening as Guests arrive. These include:

  • What parts of the building are open to Guests and what parts are off-limits.

  • The guests are not allowed to smoke anywhere in the building. Show Guests outside smoking areas.

  • Control of telephones.

  • Parents are entirely responsible for their children.

  • No visitors at the church.

  • Guests do not leave the church between 5:30 PM and 7 AM without prior Director/Coordinator approval and 24-hour notice.

  • Times of lights-out for children and lights-out for adults.


Host Churches are often paired with Support Churches. Support Congregations help out by providing meals and volunteers for one or several nights during the hosting week.

We need your help! Can your faith group become a host or support congregation?
Helping Hands
Become a Host or Support Congregation
Which Are You Interested In?

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