Family Promise’s three area affiliates – in Savannah, Bryan and Effingham counties – have undergone some significant structural changes. The last details are being finalized, but for all intents and purposes, Family Promise’s three area affiliates have merged, and the new organization is now known as Family Promise of the Coastal Empire.
Before making the decision in 2019 to go ahead with the merger, the three boards discussed the potential benefits for months. They arrived at the conclusion they could better serve homeless and at-risk families throughout the region by joining forces and even making future plans to continue the expansion, eventually moving into Liberty County.
According to Family Promise of the Coastal Empire Executive Director Katrina Bostick, program funding has been targeted for each of the communities being served. For example, each county has its own operating budget, so that adequate funding is available to serve families in each community.
“We understand that our affiliates work hard to ensure families in their communities are cared for, and we respect and appreciate those efforts. It is expected that we, as a new regional affiliate, will be able to offer enhanced services to families in much of the region. This move comes at a time when the Bryan and Effingham county affiliates were both in search of new executive leadership, and this decision evolved through open communication among affiliates and with Family Promise’s National Office,” Bostick said.
The board for Family Promise of the Coastal Empire is comprised of members from the previous three boards – in Savannah, Bryan and Effingham counties – who volunteered to stay on through the merger and help ensure a smooth transition. Members include Bob Scanlon, retired employee of the City of Savannah; Larry Jackson, CFO of Savannah Chatham County Public School System; Jason Crosby, Strategic Healthcare Partners’ VP of Strategic Planning & Population Health; Moses Toole, Pastor of Centerpoint Community Church; Dr. Jackie Brown Pinkney, Homeless Liaison for Effingham County School District; Diana Mydell, HR Director of Comcast; Wendy Sims, Executive Director of Bryan County Family Connection; David London, Retired Army and ROTC Instructor at Groves High School; Sara Fullerton, Senior Church Administrator of The Chapel Effingham; Jeanne Wallace, minister of music at Richmond Hill United Methodist Church; and Kelvin Bryant, Chatham County District Attorney Investigator. In addition, three new staffers have joined the Family Promise team: Lindsay Schilder, MSW; Jeronia Clark, BSW; and Heather Hodges, B.S., who serve as Family Support Specialists. This change has empowered Family Promise with a larger and stronger network of resources, supporters and partners, according to Bostick. Each county still maintains its own day center and network of churches that supply shelter, food, donations, and various other forms of support. Each day center also maintains a staff, which strives to care for and assist all program participants whenever needed as they advance through the programs.
“Family Promise is committed to making this merger beneficial for all involved, and we will not sacrifice the high quality of our services nor our commitment to the communities that have lifted us to success over the past two decades,” Bostick said. “We hope you’ll join us in helping to make this new chapter in Family Promise’s history a time of renewed hope, strong faith, budding friendships and genuine compassion.”