Category Archives: Home-Ready

A New Friendship Team

A New Friendship Team Story

Usually I start my updates off with a story about one of our Family Partners, so I thought this time I would give you a glimpse of one of our Friendship Teams.  As it was said in the May article entitled Hotel, Motels for Massachusetts Homeless Decreases Greatly , we have a new team from Wollaston Church of the Nazarene in Quincy.  Since this is my ‘home’ church, I often talk about the Home with Friends ministry, In fact, for the last four year — in church board meetings, small group gatherings, on the missions council, etc.  And, people frequently respond with interest and prayer.

team spirit, working together, friendship team

Small Groups Make a Big Difference in Homeless Family’s Lives

This year some members of my small group decided it was time to get more involved,. So a team was put together of 10 adults (with numerous kids! We advocate children be part of homeless ministry together). During March through May we met 4 times for training,  and Sara Mitchell and I began asking agencies, shelters and churches for family referrals.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

What Are Family Referrals?

Family referrals are homeless families who struggle and have a connection to an agency, shelter or church.  We look for those families who are struggling with homelessness. But moreso, we look for those who seem to be ready to take advantage of a 2-year period of financial and relational support. This is what the Home With Friends program is all about. This gives them the time and energy to get further education or training and increase their income. It also allows time to clean up their credit reports and stabilize other areas of their lives.

How do we determine who is home-ready?

Referrals came to us for 8 different families. Of those 8 families, 5 of them had an interview with us regarding the Home With Friends opportunity. We are happy to announce a selection is made!

A New Family Will Have a Place to Call Home Soon!

Our new family is a couple with a toddler and a baby on the way.  How exciting that they will have a place to call home! Can you imagine how special the holiday’s will be for them this year?

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

What criteria must a family meet to qualify for the Home With Friends program?

Just to give you an idea what we look for, Dad works full time and mom part time. Mom has come out of the foster care system and spent a couple of years at Ruth’s House in Brockton, which provides people like her with wonderful support and training.  This weekend, the family must be out of their apartment.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

How do Friendship Teams help?

Members of the Friendship team took the initiative and got right to work!  They have contacted a real estate agent from the congregation who is connecting them with other agents. They also have gone with Mom to look at apartments. And, this past Saturday night the Friendship Team hung out with the family, taking time to get to know each other.  The team also put together a fundraiser. The funds will go toward the Family Partner’s decreasing rental subsidy.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

A team member took Mom out to look at apartments, and said –

It was awesome to meet this mom and talk with her in the car.  It was the absolute perfect place to have a discussion.  She talked all about her life, her background and what brought her to the place of homelessness. I am more convinced than ever that this experience is going to be life-changing for the Friendship Team, and that we can have a serious impact on their lives.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

It’s a Two Way Street

Both Family Partners and Friendship Team members often learn from each other.  And, it certainly isn’t easy! Often those involved must expect lifestyle difference, such as value-system clashes, and frustration at times. So why would a person want to be on the Friendship Team? Why do it?  Because this is the Church being the Church! Loving on people and bringing hope to their circumstances.

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

Would you like to be part of a Friendship Team?

Call Lora Wooster at 617-939-3709 and let her  know if you want to be a part of developing this ministry at your church. Oh, and shw appreciates and thanks you for your prayer and financial support!

To learn more about Home with Friends watch our video below:

team spirit, working together, friendship team, home with friends, homeless families

What do you think of when you think of home?

Home cookingI imagine one of the things that comes to mind is “home cooking.”  Our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness also dream of home cooking.  When families leave the shelter for their own place, they need to supply all their furniture and household items.  In order to help these families get settled, the people of Promise Church collected Cuisinart pots and pans provided by Shaw’s Supermarkets.

Shaw’s offered one stamp for every $10 spent; we needed 100 – 120 stamps for the size cookware we wanted to collect, so we asked our friends for help.  People from UCC churches, churches of other denominations, local groups and individuals, all combined their stamps in the weeks before Christmas.  These stamps were redeemed and the result was 40 saucepans, fry pans and chef’s pans to give to families to use when they are in shelter and to take with them as they leave shelter for their own place.  Dorothy Newell, president of Friends of the Homeless said, “A new skillet for a family moving into our homeless shelters!  What could be more welcome!  And many thanks to Shaw’s stamps and all who collected them to make this Promise Church project possible.”

Helping the shelters run by the South Shore Friends of the Homeless has been an ongoing mission of Promise Church.  Friends of the Homeless of the South Shore is dedicated to helping homeless families by providing food, clothing, furniture, shelter, education, and advocacy.  They address a whole range of needs, from physical to emotional, from personal to social, and from psychological to spiritual.

Promise Church is a newly forming church in care of the Pilgrim Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.  We gather for worship and fellowship in homes around the South Shore area.  It is sometimes hard for such a small congregation to see that they are making a difference.  With the help of many friends, this pile of cookware is a visible expression of our care for others.

Friends of the Homeless is grateful to Promise Church for their commitment to helping home-ready families get the items they need to move in. If your church would like to participate in a similar way, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Dorothy Newell at