As families from Family Promise or individuals from the Housing Advocate Network “graduate” into homes of their own, each receive appropriately sized housewarming gifts of necessary supplies needed to reestablish home life.
In 2021, we delivered welcome baskets to 13 families.
In 2022, we delivered welcome baskets to 48 families
10 years ago, on Mother’s Day, Family Promise of Missoula opened their doors to 4 families experiencing homelessness. 10 years later we are now working collaboratively with the YWCA to provide support for up to 31 families at the Family Housing Center at Meadowlark! If you are a Family Promise volunteer or support the program, please join us to celebrate ten years of service for families in our community who are experiencing homelessness: thousands of hours of service, thousands of meals, hundreds of families cared for. Our gathering will feature a lasagna dinner, entertainment, and short presentations.
Enjoy the new painting, “Family Promise, Kept” by local artist Barbara Morrison. This painting was commissioned to honor the volunteers who envisioned, created, and have grown and sustained Family Promise Missoula.
From 5:00 to 6:30 pm, you will have a chance to support an Indigenous art market and buy great food from Missoula’s food trucks while enjoying visits with old and new friends. Bring lawn chairs.
The program, beginning at 6:30, will include drumming, a prayer by Leo John Bird, and a concluding round dance. Speakers include Miskanahk (Suzanne) Karhlio-Dzus of the Calgary Alliance, D’Shane Barnett of the Missoula City-County Health Department, community chaplain Courtney Arntzen, Winona Bateman of Families for a Livable Climate, and other leaders. We will also hear from and get public commitments from Mayor Engen, Commissioner Slotnick, and Senator Ellie Boldman.
Sign language interpreters will be interpreting during the program from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
Purpose: Celebration and Public Commitment
This founding celebrates and commits to continue the work leaders and organizations across Missoula have been doing for over six years for the common good, first through Missoula Interfaith Collaborative (MIC), then for the last three years across the entire civil sector of Missoula, including non-profits, neighborhood associations, unions, and Missoula Interfaith Collaborative.
Our member institutions have had multiple successes. Neighbors in East Missoula created East Missoula United, which has successfully interacted with the county commissioners and planning boards to influence development and the direction of East Missoula. East Missoula United continues to engage neighbors in garbage and trash clean ups as well as substantive contributions to community planning. The commissioners called the initial engagement “the most organized and well researched contribution to a zoning change they had ever seen and were quite pleased to be able to vote in support of the community.” Additionally, CREW, which organizes in conjunction with NMCDC (the Common Good Missoula member), had multiple successful neighborhood engagements in 2021 around White Pine Sash and the West Broadway Master Plan. Through door knocking, genuine public engagement meetings and relational organizing, the planners, developers and neighbors were truly able to work together with common vision.
Both strong individuals and strong institutions are essential for building a strong community. Institutional problems require institutional solutions. Long-term solutions require long-term commitments. Citizens – through their organizations – are joining to commit publicly to working together for the long-term benefit of our fellow Missoulians.
Truth and Reconciliation
One of our main emphases over the last several years has been developing a deep and meaningful partnership with Indigenous community members. We will celebrate the work these organizations and leaders have done and commit to further Truth and Reconciliation. Our Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization Workshops have helped over 200 Missoulians face the history of our valley and acknowledge our roles within that narrative. By facing these hard truths, we will move toward being a true interracial organization built on trust and allyship. We are making a public commitment to continue this work and expand the participation base. Our institutions are ready to work alongside All Nations Health Center and other organizations to incorporate Indigenous ideas and knowledge and concerns into our organizing.
Come celebrate our accomplishments and witness our public commitments to future work for the common good. We hope you can join us for this special evening.
10 years ago on Mother’s Day, Family Promise of Missoula opened their doors to 4 families experiencing homelessness. 10 years later we now are working collaboratively with the YWCA to provide support for up to 31 families at the Family Housing Center at the Meadowlark! If you are a Family Promise volunteer or support the program in any way, please join us to celebrate ten years of service for families in our community who are experiencing homelessness: thousands of hours of service, thousands of meals served, hundreds of families cared for. Our gathering will feature a lasagna dinner, entertainment, and short presentations.
Enjoy the new painting, “Family Promise, Kept” by local artist Barbara Morrison. This painting was commissioned to honor the volunteers who envisioned, created, and have grown and sustained Family Promise Missoula
What was surprising was further in the article, a little affirmation about what we’re trying to do at MIC’s Housing Advocate Network: To get the money, the participants had to agree to a continued relationship with a volunteer friend. The idea is about understanding “relational poverty” as a barrier to accessing resources in what can be incredibly confusing and demoralizing service delivery systems.
“Building a relationship with a volunteer helped recipients begin to believe in a different future … Volunteers also helped recipients talk through how they could use the money to reach specific goals.”
One study participant said his volunteer gave him “hope, confidence, and friendship” – three essentials that equipped him with the strength and confidence to change. Perhaps we all take for granted the importance of our relationships in brining our behavior, values and goals into alignment?
When I talk to folks in Missoula about volunteering for HAN – a real, tangible way citizens can participate in local housing solutions – I sometimes run into some typical lines of resistance: Time is always top dog, but “I don’t know anything about housing” is also common. There’s also resistance that’s rooted in a culture that sees votes, money and social media debates as the true venue for addressing social issues. Isn’t this what we’re paying our city council to fix?
As families from Family Promise or individuals from the Housing Advocate Network “graduate” into homes of their own, each receives appropriately sized housewarming gifts of necessary supplies needed to reestablish home life. In 2021, 20 deliveries were made. Donations of supplies, gas cards, gift cards, or financial donations are needed to restock the shelves. Click the button below to signup and help restock our shelves in February.