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From the Executive Director: A Network of Support

One of the common misconceptions about Family Promise is that it is a local organization. In reality, it is a vast network of support spanning 43 states. Family Promise of Blount County is one of more than 200 affiliates working to help families experiencing homelessness in the United States. Together, these affiliates create a powerful network of support that shares ideas and resources. Just last week I was on a conference call with other Family Promise executive directors from our region. We swapped cares and concerns. We celebrated successes and sympathized over frustrations. Each affiliate, while unique in geographic location and demographics, is working towards the same goal. We all want to help our families achieve sustainable independence.

Our national office provides Family Promise of Blount County with a variety of programs and resources. I’ve had the opportunity to attend the last two Family Promise National Conferences. It is incredibly empowering to meet people from a variety of backgrounds who share the same passion. I found it energizing to hear new ideas and learn what is working (and sometimes what’s not working) at affiliates across the country. Our staff and board members took pages and pages of notes on things they want to try here in Blount County.

If you want more information about the national Family Promise organization, visit I encourage you to read about how we were founded back in 1986 by Karen Olsen. It all started with a sandwich and one woman’s mission. I am grateful for the support from our national network of affiliates. We truly could not do this without them. Each day I am reminded that if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. And that is exactly what the more than 200 affiliates of Family Promise are doing!

-Caroline Lamar