Family Promise of Lake Houston aims to break homelessness cycle by developing life skills

Family Promise of Lake Houston
Construction on The Promise House will begin in mid-November. It will grow Family Promise of Lake Houston’s reach and provide the necessary space for more community support classes. (Rendering courtesy Family Promise of Lake Houston)

Construction on The Promise House will begin in mid-November. It will grow Family Promise of Lake Houston’s reach and provide the necessary space for more community support classes. (Rendering courtesy Family Promise of Lake Houston)

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Executive Director Jessica Penney (left) and Program Coordinator Tiffany Venekemp combat homelessness. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Lake Houston chapter of Family Promise was formed in 2007, and it officially opened its doors to the community in August 2009. (Courtesy Family Promise of Lake Houston)
When a family receives services from Family Promise of Lake Houston, they will get to meet thousands of volunteers over the course of the program, Executive Director Jessica Penney said. Community members bring in home-cooked meals, help teach classes and donate personal care items.

Volunteers make up nearly the entire staff at the nonprofit. As one of just two paid staffers, Penney and FPLH’s 2,800 volunteers assist homeless children and families with housing, education, employment and skills development to help break the cycle of homelessness in the Lake Houston area.

“You get to ... help people tap into what it is that they truly want for themselves and their families [and] turn that into something that’s sustainable,” Penney said.

An estimated 900-1,400 families with children are homeless in Harris County alone, and nearly 1,000 children currently enrolled in the district are classified as homeless, according to 2019 data from Humble ISD.

The Lake Houston chapter of Family Promise was formed in 2007, and it officially opened its doors to the community in August 2009. The nonprofit has an 86% success rate for families graduating the program in terms of housing stability and employment.


The Humble day center offers programming designed to help families develop a foundation for their social and emotional health and learn to take care of themselves, Penney said. This includes a fast-track GED program, parenting and kids programs, anger management and general life skills programming, she said.

Additionally, the nonprofit will break ground in mid-November on the Promise House, a 5,400-square-foot educational center. It will include a large educational room, an exercise room, a teaching kitchen and an outdoor garden.

With the center, FPLH hopes to expand its reach and provide the necessary space for more community support classes, Penney said. The nonprofit’s ultimate goal is helping area low-income families create a lasting, stable life for themselves.

“The best is yet to come,” she said.

Family Promise of Lake Houston

111 S. Ave. G, Humble

281-441-3754

www.fplh.org

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

A look at the Promise House


Construction on The Promise House will begin in mid-November. It will grow Family Promise of Lake Houston’s reach and provide the necessary space for more community support classes. The house will include:


  • A large educational room with computers, one of the areas where the after-school tutoring program will take place

  • An exercise room

  • A room designated as storage space for families

  • A teaching kitchen, where local chefs will come and do demonstration cooking classes

  • An outdoor garden

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.


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