GREAT FALLS — At a fundraiser on Monday at the Mighty Mo Brewing Company, Family Promise of Great Falls set out to raise money and awareness for the issue of childhood homelessness in Montana.
According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Montana has an estimated 1,357 people experiencing homelessness on any given day. Of that total, 136 were part of families, and 82 were unaccompanied young adults, aged 18-24.
Family Promise Communications Coordinator Sean McGuire says that although the issue of childhood homelessness is being talked about now more than ever, the issue is not a new one.
“As long as the problem of affordable housing continues, it’s going to get worse, very frankly,” McGuire said. “It’s not always easy to track the numbers, especially when it comes to family homeless and childhood homelessness, because often times we don’t know until the families themselves speak out and begin to look for services to address their situation.”
The Raise-A-Pint night is a regular event that Mighty Mo hosts, working with non-profits to raise money for their cause. The brewing company also gives those non-profits the freedom to customize their event, hence the “Heartbreaker’s Bash” hosted by Family Promise.
“They always give a little bit of room to do some more with every event, so what we decided to do with Raise-A-Pint was to do the Heartbreaker’s Bash,” explained McGuire. ““We shoot for monthly, and when possible we like to have a variety of options for our supporters. For example, tomorrow (Tuesday) we have a fundraiser with Mod Pizza for those who are not as big of a fan of craft brews, or basically something that’s more family friendly.”
The money that is raised goes to help Family Promise in a number of ways, including putting on their variety of programs designed to help families in the community. The organization has five points of service, shelter, prevention, stabilization, promise and community. All five points work together like a scheduled program to help families in many different ways and stages of life and recovery.
“What we talk about at Family Promise is for every family that enters our program, we want to achieve what’s called sustainable independence,” McGuire said. “I’ve sometimes referred to it as the Golden Triangle, we want to get them into housing, yes absolutely. We also want to help them make transportation feasible and we also want to help them make either employment or benefits feasible, depending on what they qualify for in their individual situation. That question and that answer becomes different from every single family, depending on what’s going on.”
To see a full list of upcoming events that Family Promise will either host or be a part of, visit their Facebook Page.