How Does It Work?

1. Host Congregations

About four to six times a year – for one week at a time Host congregations provide overnight lodging, meals (supper, breakfast, and brown-bag lunch), and hospitality. Hosting rotates among the eight to thirteen Host congregations in Family Promise of Roane County, which provide lodging for three
to five families (up to fourteen individuals) from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the next morning.

As of 9/1/2019

Morrison Hill Christian Church
Kingston Church of Christ
Harriman Church of God
Bethel Presbyterian Church
First Christian Church Rockwood
First Christian Church Oak Ridge

Churches in the community that have already signed on to be a Support Congregations or Organizations:
As of 9/1/2019

Williams Chapel
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
First Presbyterian Rockwood
Rockwood Ministerial Association
Riverside Baptist Church, Harriman
Redeemer Lutheran Church

Friends of Family Promise
As of 9/1/2018

Roane County Commissioners
Altrusa of Oak Ridge
Roane Imagination Library
Mount Pisgah Baptist Church

During the week there are approximately 50 slots for volunteers. Some congregations have a different member for each slot; others have volunteers take on multiple roles. Vounteers come from the host and support congregations and are assigned duties by the Volunteer Coordinators—members of the host congregation who oversee the week.

The driver takes the guests to the day center. From there, children will go to school and parents to their jobs. In the afternoon, the reverse is done.
If the parents do not have a job, they work with the director at the Day Center to seek employment, housing, and other resources to help them regain their independence. The day center has bathrooms with showers and other necessities to prepare for the day.
Everyone returns to the host congregation around 5:30 PM and the cycle repeats.


On Saturday, families can sleep in an enjoy a hot breakfast (pancakes or bacon and eggs). If the congregation has an activity and all the families agree they can participate. If not, the families go back to the Day Center and do what families typically do on Weekends- see friends and relatives, take children to activities, etc.

The next Sunday:

On Sunday the families are packed up and out of the facilities prior to Sunday services. They are taken to the Day Center for the day until it is time to move on to the next congregation. Families that want to attend services will usually do so at their own congregations; some my choose to worship at a host congregation.

…and the next congregation begins its week.

2. Volunteers

Volunteers are the heart of Family Promise; without them, it cannot exist. Volunteers provide a variety of services: cooking and serving meals, playing with children or helping them with homework, and staying overnight. Beyond providing lodging and meals, volunteers interact with the guests,
treating them with respect and responding with compassion.

3. Social Services Organizations

Local social service agencies refer families to Family Promise. The agencies may also help guests find housing, jobs, and other services. Since Family Promise is primarily comprised of volunteers, the social service agencies help assess potential guest families for active substance abuse, domestic violence or psychiatric problems.

4. Day Center

Guests use our Day Center, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to shower, do laundry, care for pre-school children, and seek employment. Many guests are employed during the day and go to work. During the school year, children go to school. The day center provides guests with a mailing address and a home base from which to conduct their housing search. The Director’s office will be at the day center.

5. Transportation

A van transports guests to and from the day center and appointments. The van also carries bedding and luggage to the next Host Congregation The 15 passenger van was donated.