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Shelter & Housing

Our rotational shelter program and warm hospitality are the foundation of the Family Promise model.

Girl on a Rainy Day


All housing Guests begin in the Emergency Shelter, or 1st Stage Housing.

First Stage Housing: NO program fees

Interfaith Hospitality Network (Shelter)- Our shelter model is for homeless families with children and first-time mothers. This program provides a place for churches, non-denominational groups, and local resources to come together to help homeless families.  Each participating group in our Rotational Volunteer Network takes turns hosting our families overnight or coming to our static site and serving for a full week. This occurs on a two or three-month rotating basis. During the week they provide dinners, dinner servers, and overnight volunteers. Volunteers cover nighttime operations from 4:30 when dinner is set up until 7 am on weekdays and 8 am on weekends. We serve 3-4 families (up to 14 individuals) at a time. 

Transitional housing:

2nd and 3rd stage housing

Refers to supportive, yet temporary housing intended to help bridge gaps from homelessness to permanent housing by offering structure, reduced supervision, support, life skills, education, and training. As guests move up into these stages of housing, we begin to increase the program fees they pay to foster independence and to continue as a sustainable model.

Second Stage HousingSmall program fees.

Location: Promise House

Offers a step up for families who have met all requirements to graduate from our Shelter Model. These Families are out of immediate crisis and are focused on mid-range goals such as increasing livable wage, furthering their education, or paying off debts. They have begun to meet their employment and income goals but need additional time and rental history to successfully find long-term housing in Skagit County’s tight housing market. This house offers group-style living with a focus on open communication, community support, and future-focused goals. It also offers an expanding list of sustainable living classes such as advanced New Beginnings financial literacy courses, gardening, chicken care, canning, etc.


Third Stage HousingProgram fees cover the majority of the cost of housing.

Location: Downtown 48

Offers a final step up for families who have met all the requirements of 2nd Stage Housing. These families are working on long-term goals of completing formalized training or education programs, are working on long-term housing goals like saving for a down payment of a house, or have identified another long-term goal that requires more time for stability. Guests in this program have completed all financial courses, are self-motivated, and have taken large steps towards breaking cycles of poverty for not just them but their children. In this stage of the program, Family Promise utilizes partnerships to secure low-income housing for families that could not otherwise pay current market rate costs for housing. Scholarships are offered to all guests at this stage who are willing to give back to the organization in some way.


The resources are already there. In the community, there are congregations and organizations that can provide space in their buildings to serve as temporary homes. Day Centers, where families can take showers, receive case management, and look for housing and jobs, can be located at a house of worship or agency. There are multiple options for transportation to get families from the host shelters to the Day Center and back. With volunteers giving their time, making meals, and sharing hospitality, family homelessness is addressed without the creation of expensive shelters. Across the country, people have realized that this innovative approach truly makes a difference for families experiencing homelessness—and more than 200,000 volunteers.

These volunteers are the core of the program. They share food, spend the night, play with children and lend their passion and expertise to help families get back on their feet. They prove that motivated people can solve family homelessness. And, in the process, they truly create “home” – and a community – for families who have no place left to turn.


In every community, these core elements exist. By bringing the community together on the issue of family homelessness, Family Promise addresses a major social problem in a holistic, effective way. Once the community becomes engaged, people understand the root causes of family homelessness and take steps to address them. Family Promise Affiliates have created more than 1,700 community initiatives—housing programs, homelessness prevention, childcare and much more—that target the issues of poverty and homelessness on a local level.


Not only does our 88% success rate mean many more families stably housed, it is also a tremendous cost saving to the community as diversion from far more expensive interventions. Our approach of keeping families together, identifying their strengths, and partnering with the community for solutions means that families are at much lower risk of returning to homelessness.


Family Promise changes lives. We served 126,000 parents and children last year, giving them the ability to realize their true potential. We also change the lives of our 200,000 volunteers, giving them a meaningful outreach right in their own communities.

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