Churches step up to help homeless families when others withdraw

Churches step up to help homeless families when others withdraw

By Melanie Tucker/ The Daily Times

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 16, 2018) -- Two Blount County churches with a long history of partnering with Family Promise to help homeless families have ended those relationships.

Mount Lebanon Baptist Church and Broadway Baptist Church notified Family Promise of Blount County they will no longer serve as host churches. For the past nine years, these two have given homeless families a place to stay at their houses of worship. They have cooked meals and taken on other responsibilities with the other churches who take turns in the program.

But both recently inquired if Family Promise has a same-sex couple in the program. They were told there are two moms with three young children enrolled. A short time later, both sent messages saying they are ending their affiliation with the nonprofit.

When this happened, Kathi Parkins, Executive Director of Family Promise, sent out an email to the other participating churches, asking if some of them might be able to step up and cover the weeks now left vacant by the exits of Mount Lebanon and Broadway.

It didn't take long. Catherine Nance, senior pastor at Maryville First United Methodist Church and Freida Herron, Family Promise coordinator at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, volunteered their congregations to take on the extra weeks.

"This is what we do," Nance said. "Children don't need to be homeless."


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