Family Promise: Keeping promises to Colorado families
January 17, 2020
CO4Kids reached out to Family Promise to feature an individual to highlight the role that they play in helping Colorado families thrive.
Family Promise of Greater Denver (FPGD) is dedicated to forming relationships with families at risk of or experiencing homelessness by providing shelter, meals, and a spectrum of supportive services as they obtain permanent stability.
In 2018, FPGD served 196 families, provided 8,720 shelter nights and successfully assisted 82% of the families that they serve in obtaining or maintaining stable housing.
Meet Emily Miller
What are you responsible for at Family Promise?
I am the Family Advocate for the Shelter Program. My role is to help families from beginning to end. I work with the families to identify barriers, set goals, and meet them. I meet with families every week to track progress and identify weekly tasks. I am available to assist the families in identifying these said barriers, and from there we locate resources to get the families on track to be successful. Family Promise's main focus is on housing, employment, and improving their financial stability.
What role does Family Promise play in preventing child abuse and/or neglect?
All Family Promise staff are legally mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. If we witness or suspect something (inappropriate touch/talk, etc.) we report what we know immediately. If something happens at one of our host sites and is reported to us, we make a report. We stand firm in our obligation to keep every child in our program safe and out of harm’s way.
What made you want to pursue this career path?
I have worked in this field for many years, I have always been drawn to working with at-risk populations. In May of 2017, I came into the Family Promise shelter program with my son and the 5 ½ month baby in my belly. I had never heard of anything like Family Promise and was absolutely confused about the process of switching churches every week. Once I came into shelter my whole thought process changed. I exited the program in July of 2017 and kept in touch with all of the staff. I was also a part of the HOME Program which is a part of the continuum of services that Family Promise offers.
The Family Advocate at the time informed me that there was a job opening for a new Family Advocate. I applied without hesitation and have been employed here for over one year, I love what I do.
I want families to know that I gave 110% to my job and that I genuinely care about their wellbeing and success. My families keep me going every single day, easy or rough.
Can you share a story of a family receiving access to the support that they need and how that impacted you?
A family came in to shelter through Family Promise and the mother, who was pregnant at the time, gave birth while still in shelter and Child Protective Services became involved. The mother came into shelter very co-dependent on her partner and really unsure of herself. After a couple of months, her partner left the state the mother did a complete 360. I had the opportunity to work with her on her personal goals that were geared towards her child rather than her partner. The mother and her children were with Family Promise for about one year and are currently thriving in their new home. This families story has impacted me tremendously.
How would you describe a "typical" workday?
There really is no way to describe a typical workday at Family Promise, and that is the very reason that I love my job. We serve a total of eight families in the shelter program and are always on duty from day to day situations, issues, concerns and any other things that may come up. I have case meetings set up regularly throughout the week, check-ins with families and other miscellaneous tasks (meetings with caseworkers, therapists, advocates, etc.). No such thing as a typical day here at the Day site.
What keeps you motivated on tough days?
Having gone through the program (shelter) myself and being able to personally relate to what our families are facing keeps me motivated on tough days. When families think back to their experience in shelter, I want to be remembered as one of the reasons that they smile. I want families to know that I gave 110% to my job and that I genuinely care about their wellbeing and success. My families keep me going every single day, easy or rough.
The Colorado Department of Human Services CO4Kids campaign encourages all Coloradans to strengthen families and communities. To learn about the signs of child abuse and neglect and for information about how to become a foster or adoptive parent, visit CO4Kids.org. Call 1-844-CO-4-Kids to report concerns about child abuse and neglect. If a child or teen is in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1.