Charity Spotlight: Promise House
Portfolios with Purpose supports charitable missions by connecting people who want to give with causes who are making a difference. Promise House is an amazing organization selected by our players which moves youth in crisis toward safety and success.
Promise House is leading the charge to end youth homelessness in North Texas. The organization’s free programs include life-saving emergency shelter, transitional housing, pregnant and parenting teen support, counseling, education, and outreach services.
The Promise House mission began in 1984 after the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church conducted a community needs survey. Their research uncovered an enormous lack of community support for homeless and runaway youth. To fill this unmet need, the church purchased a large house and converted it into a 16-bed emergency shelter. Today, Promise House is an independent 501(c)(3) organization that served more than 2,000 clients in 2017 through their residential and outreach services.
Promise House offers three comprehensive residential programs. The young people in each program receive not only basic needs like food, shelter, and medical care, but also access to education, counseling, life-skills training, and much more. The Emergency Youth Shelter Program provides short-term care for children ages 6–18. The Wesley Inn Program is a maternity group home for teen mothers and their children that provides long-term care for up to two years. In addition to the services listed above, these young mothers also receive pre- and post-natal care, parenting classes, and daycare services. Finally, the Transitional Living Program offers long-term supportive housing (up to two years) for young adults ages 16–21, giving each resident the ability to learn independent living skills in a nurturing environment.
In addition to residential programs, Promise House also works hard in the community to treat and prevent youth homelessness. The Street Outreach Program connects youth living on the street with life-saving resources. The Street Outreach Case Manager canvasses Dallas streets three nights per week, building relationships with youth experiencing homelessness, distributing “power packs” with nonperishable food and hygiene items, and, when they are ready, helping the youth enroll in one of our programs. In the Community Counseling Program, Promise House provides free English and Spanish counseling and parenting classes to families in North Texas. By helping families learn healthy strategies for communicating and establishing boundaries, Promise House hopes to prevent youth homelessness before it happens.
This past year has been one of significant growth for the organization. While developing their strategic plan almost three years ago, Promise House identified specific groups within the homeless youth population who could greatly benefit from more specialized services. In response, they launched several new programs, including a specialized transitional living program for LGBT and former foster youth, a drop-in center for victims of child sex trafficking, and a seven-bed emergency shelter for high-needs clients in the care of Child Protective Services. Additionally, the organization is part of a first-of-its-kind collaborative to covert a vacant school building into a 35-bed shelter. The After8ToEducate collaborative brings together public and private resources to serve Dallas ISD high school students experiencing homelessness.