Imagine not having an address or a bed of your own, that's the case for many children living and going to school in Bristol, Virginia and Tennessee.
But local churches are opening their doors hoping to help, thanks to the Family Promise program. Sunday night three families from Bristol will have a place to call home.
There's a big problem in Bristol, children and their families are homeless; but the Family Promise program hopes to help. "To be able to attain affordable housing and employment, and get back on their feet. We want to keep families together in the process," said director Sharon Hicks.
News 5 learned as of May 2012 there were 112 homeless school children in Bristol, Virginia. A total of 37 in Bristol, Tennessee, and 54 homeless children attending school in Sullivan County.
Ten local churches are working together to help these families get back on their feet and gain independence. Here's how Hicks says the program works, "The guests will automatically spend the night in the area churches one week at a time and they do a rotation. During the day they come here to the Day Center and that's when they'll be working on goals and objectives and receiving case management."
Hicks says currently there just aren't enough options in Bristol for families without a home.
Some might say a program like this is a start to making Bristol a stronger community. "All of it where these people can live without the roof falling in on them and have food, clothing. We're real proud of this," said Bristol Virginia Mayor Jim Steele.
Redeemer Lutheran Church is one of the host churches and the Family Promise program unites a community of all faiths. "So it won't be so much speaking a specific language of faith as it will be presenting Christ through love, through outreach, through helping," said Pastor Gary Chenoweth.
Which can be a blessing to both volunteers and families in need. "As it turns out, in the giving and the sharing, we receive God's grace as well," added Chenoweth.
There's no time limit on how long a family can stay in the program.
News 5 learned Family Promise is in need of volunteers and could use some donations especially supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent.
You can help by calling (276)494-0388 or dropping off donations at 672 Island Road Bristol, Virginia 24201.