AVO Fence & Supply Supports Family Promise Metrowest in Ending Homelessness
A Decade of Charitable Assistance
Continuing a long tradition of supporting the local community, AVO Fence & Supply recently made a new donation to Family Promise Metrowest (FPM), based in Natick, MA, an organization that works to prevent and end family homelessness.
“My family and I learned about Family Promise more than 10 years ago through volunteer activities at our church,” says Mike Palmer, owner of AVO Fence & Supply. “Since then, our company has supported FPM through donations and assisting with construction projects.”
Launched in 2008, Family Promise Metrowest employed a unique shelter model to provide overnight accommodations to families in need. Nineteen local church congregations converted classrooms into bedrooms a few weeks each year, and families rotated between congregations on a weekly basis. Volunteers from an additional 31 congregations provided meals and overnight staffing.
However, the COVID pandemic rendered that model unworkable as the congregations in the shelter network were forced to close their facilities. The FPM management team strategized a new approach, and a plan to renovate their Day Center in Natick was conceived.
Originally, FPM’s Day Center held staff offices and conference rooms, as well as a kitchen and common areas for families to use during the day. In December 2021, renovations began to convert three of the conference rooms into bedrooms with private bathrooms with the intent of housing up to three families.
New Patio and Play Area Fencing
The Day Center also has an outdoor patio area and side yard, but since those areas abut the parking lot and driveway respectively, they were not safe for children. That’s where AVO Fence & Supply’s donation came in. The company enclosed the patio area with a new vinyl fence and gate, allowing FPM to set up tables and chairs. AVO Fence & Supply also installed a gated vinyl fence to enclose the side driveway as a safe play area that includes a sandbox, basketball hoop, and kid-sized picnic table for children to use while their parents attend educational workshops.
Following the completion of renovations and inspections, the FPM Day Center opened as a permanent shelter site on June 28. Three families are currently living in the new space.
Family Promise—A Holistic Approach
Family Promise Metrowest is one of 200 Family Promise affiliates in the U.S. According to Carole Brodrick, development director at FPM, the organization takes a holistic approach to working with the families they support, first ensuring families have access to safe housing.
FPM’s family coaches work with families to help them set long-term goals and create a plan that empowers them to take control of their situation. One of the prerequisites for parents in FPM’s program is they must be willing and able to work. To that end, parents receive coaching on securing stable employment and how to maximize their income based on their skills.
FPM offers several programs to address the varying needs of families facing homelessness. The organization’s SAIL program provides transitional living support for families integrating back into the community. FPM’s LIFE program focuses on homelessness prevention by working with families who may be falling behind in rent to address issues before they become critical. Of the 39 families currently receiving assistance from FPM, most are in transitional living or in homelessness prevention.
“This organization gives staff members and donors a vehicle to directly help families in the community,” says Carole. “FPM provides families dealing with homelessness the self-esteem and empowerment they need to succeed.”
“We are delighted to support Family Promise in their efforts to transform the lives of families facing homelessness,” adds Mike. “This is one example of our commitment to supporting our community and making a lasting impact.”
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