By Rebecca Pettit
Thank you to everyone who is supporting the Welcome Basket program! We wanted to take the time to share more details about the program and our plans for the future.
First, you may be wondering, what is a Welcome Basket? A Welcome Basket includes many of the basic essentials that an individual and family will need as they move into permanent housing. These items may have been given away or lost during periods of housing insecurity and houselessness, but they are also expensive to replace. These items include, but are not limited to: garbage cans, dish soap, hot pads, towels, a can opener, gift cards for gas, and the list goes on. The Welcome Basket is not all inclusive, but it does provide many of these items and more to cover the basic kitchen, bathroom, and household needs.
Welcome Baskets were envisioned by our very own Family Promise Coordinator, Nancy Marks. Family Promise volunteers began giving Welcome Baskets to all Family Promise families who moved into permanent housing. The beauty of the Welcome Baskets is that they are also an important part of the celebration and congratulations for our families as they move from the Family Promise program into their own home, in addition to providing basic household needs.
The spirit behind the Welcome Baskets is celebration. It is meant to be a boost for the families as they transition from living in community with all these items provided, into their own home. As Family Promise prepares to operate out of the Family Housing Center, the emergency housing program in conjunction with the YWCA Missoula, Family Promise volunteers wanted to see the Welcome Basket program continue. Additionally, MIC with the Housing Advocate Network also works with families in and outside of Family Promise and the Family Housing Center, transitional age youth, individuals struggling with housing and returning from incarceration, and Advocates wanted to provide Welcome Baskets, with the same spirit of celebration, to those they are working with.
Our vision is that all of the individuals and families Family Promise and the Housing Advocate Network are working with, who get into permanent housing, will be provided a Welcome Basket to celebrate their new home. Thank you to all of the Welcome Basket supporters for helping us make this vision a reality! We will continue to update everyone on the Welcome Basket program as well as future needs, especially as the new Family Housing Center opens in only a few short months!