BOZEMAN — 'Home' is just one-word people use to describe the non-profit, Family Promise and it’s all thanks to community members and generous donors.
“I feel like Family Promise is my family, I had to leave everything behind,” said a woman in the success program who is choosing to keep her name anonymous.
On September 3, she left her home in Washington with her three kids, fleeing a domestic violence situation. She left not knowing where she was headed.
“It was hard, but I knew that me and my kid’s safety was most important,” she said. “I packed up a 10 by 10 U-Haul and just drove. Six hours later I ended up here.”
When she first arrived in Bozeman, she knew no one. But now…
“I feel so connected here,” she said. “It’s just warm, welcoming, and I feel safe like I can build a life and be that mom I know I can be for my three kids.”
She is just one out of 132 people receiving help from Family Promise currently.
“We just had a family come to us yesterday and our staff dropped everything,” said the executive director of Family Promise, Christel Chvilicek. “It was a single mom with seven kids. They didn’t have a place to sleep that night and we were able to get them into a room by 4 o’clock that afternoon.”
Chvilicek said Family Promise sees more people walk through their doors during the winter months as opposed to summer. The number of families served at Family Promise has increased by over 600% between 2019 and 2022.
“But it's not enough,” said Chvilicek. “We checked our waitlist, and we have 30 families waiting to get help from our success program.”
In 2019, Family Promise had a budget of about $4,000.
“Fast forward about two years and now we’re at about 2.2 million dollars,” said Chvilicek.
This is all thanks to donations from people who support the things Family Promise does. That 2.2-million-dollar budget is about to grow.
“We had a small group of donors come together and they secured $160,000,” said Chvilicek. They’re offering it as a match by the end of December 31, so basically if you give $5 it equates to $10.”
Chvilicek said these donations will expand their outreach, allowing them to serve even more families in need.
“If we have an opportunity to house more individuals, we’ll take it,” said Chvilicek. “The more money we can raise the more we can start saying yes to more families.”
To donate you can visit Family Promise online.