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Family Promise

Brings Hope for Families

Family Promise of Gallatin Valley is a nonprofit organization in Bozeman dedicated to serving families for the past 16 years who are experiencing homelessness. Christel Vilieck is the executive director and reports that, in just the last 2 years, they have experienced a 685% increase in homeless families. These include parents, grandparents who are raising grandchildren, and even siblings who are raising younger siblings. She attributes part of the increase to the Covid pandemic and part of it to the rising cost of housing prices and rent as Montana no longer has a cap on yearly rental increases. With more and more families experiencing homelessness, Family Promise is excited to announce the completion of a new 18,000-square-foot facility with a new Rising Stars Early Learning Center on the bottom floor. At full capacity, the new center will provide childcare and educational opportunities to 96 children ages 0 to 5, from families of all income levels. They envision 50% of families will pay full tuition and 50% will receive scholarships. Family Promise believes that a child’s early learning should not be defined by their housing status or the income of their parents.

The top floor will consist of Bozeman’s only year-round day center for homeless families with services including laundry facilities, showers, the ability to cook and store food, a play area for children, two quiet rooms, and computers to be used for job and housing searches. In addition, they also have three emergency-shelter locations and 10 transitional housing units.

“Family Promise is completely funded by community support and, in 2019, was able to fund all services with a $400,000 budget,” Christel said. In 2022, with the rapid increase of homelessness, the organization is aiming for $3.2 million to be able to meet all the needs.

Jackie Ng, the Director of Rising Stars, says that it was the opportunity to work with needy families that brought her to the position. She has taught preschool for over 15 years and wanted to help bring a much needed service to the Bozeman Community. Currently, Rising Stars is providing services for about 50 families and offers different scholarships based on income and availability. There is currently a wait list for the scholarships, but Jackie states they are always working toward providing more opportunity for care. “I just hope we can elevate families to better their lives by providing quality child care,” Jackie said.

For more information on Family Promise of Gallatin Valley and all the services provided, or to volunteer, visit them at 1603 Tschache Lane or call 406-582-7388.