A simple act of compassion set in motion a national movement
to end family homelessness.
Karen Olson with Millie
1986: THE FIRST NETWORK NATIONWIDE
Karen Olson was rushing to a business meeting when she passed a homeless woman on the street. On impulse, Karen bought her a sandwich. Karen became aware that homelessness brought profound feelings of diminished self-worth and disconnection from society. Karen and her two sons began delivering lunches to homeless people on the streets of New York. Word spread through various congregations who then developed similar programs and in 1988 the National Interfaith Hospitality Network was formed. Affiliates began developing programs for transitional housing, childcare, and homelessness prevention.
1995: FAMILY PROMISE MAKES A HOME IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
On November 27, 1995, a community meeting was held to discuss ways to address family homelessness. In 1996 Hillsboro United Methodist Church committed to becoming the first host site.
In March of 1999, we opened our doors as Western Washington County Interfaith Hospitality Network, and in 2012 we became Family Promise of Washington County helping families in Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Banks, and Cornelius.
Family Promise Washington County
2003: THE FIRST NETWORK NATIONWIDE
We changed our name, from the National Interfaith Hospitality to Family Promise, to reflect our broad range of programs and our vision of ending family homelessness. The name refers to the promise, in the sense of commitment, which communities make to families in need. But it also refers to the promise, the potential, inherent in every family.
Family Promise of Beaverton launches
2018: FAMILY PROMISE OPENS IN BEAVERTON
In 2016, Beaverton had 1,500 children suffering homelessness. We committed to providing case management, shelter, showers, laundry, and transportation for children and their families experiencing homelessness. To accomplish this, we needed a Day Center, a van, and at least 13 partner organizations who would rotate providing night shelter. In April of 2018, we officially opened our doors.
Did you know?
In 2017, Mayor Denny Doyle with the City of Beaverton pledged $50,000 a year for three years for operational support to help provide safe transitional living arrangements for families. The City of Beaverton is a generous financial and in-kind supporter, and all-around cheerleader for Family Promise of Beaverton.
2021: TWO AFFILIATES JOIN FORCE AS FAMILY PROMISE OF GREATER WASHINGTON COUNTY
On May 1, 2021, Family Promise of Beaverton and Family Promise of Washington County merged. This merger brings together two strong and well-respected organizations which together will provide an even greater level of service to more children and their families suffering homelessness.
Our goal is to make a promise to families if they fall on hard times, they are not alone. To promise that families will have a safe place to go with their children, not to get a handout, rather a hand up. To promise that children will never have to sleep in cars, couch surf, or sleep on the streets.
We invite you to join us on this mission through donation, volunteering, or offering to become a host site.