Murilo Galdino held the massive scissors in his hand with a wary look.
The 8-year-old Forsyth County resident had the honor Tuesday, along with his mom, Leda, and another family, to cut the ribbon in celebration of Family Promise of Forsyth County’s new day center and office facility on Hutchinson Road.
Galdino and the other family both graduated from Family Promise’s 30- to 90-day program that helps homeless families regain sustainable independence. They had lived in Family Promise-host churches a week at a time while volunteers helped with an array of services, from childcare and transportation, to job searching and financial literacy classes.
Family Promise was providing those services mostly out of the host churches and a single office in a space provided by The Place of Forsyth County. But Tina Huck, executive director of the local Family Promise affiliate, knew that the organization needed its own facility.
“Every Family Promise has a space where the families can be,” Huck said. “That’s a big part of what we do. … As we continue to establish ourselves and grow, having a space of our own is important.”
Huck assembled a Day Center Task Force last November, and the group canvassed the county for a suitable facility. They found one in a small, business complex on Hutchinson Road.
“We saw a sign, came and looked, and said, ‘Wow, here it is,’” Huck said.
Volunteers helped transform the space into one that both houses offices for Family Promise staff and provides families with a private place. There is a bathroom and shower, a small kitchen and pantry and several living areas filled with couches and tables. One Girl Scout donated two moving book shelves as part of earning her Silver Award, and on Tuesday it was filled with books and toys for kids of various ages.
Huck said Family Promise hopes to grow over the next three to five years, serving more families with more churches and offering more classes for those in need.
And the need is there, according to Huck. Just last week, she screened about six families but couldn’t accommodate them.
But as Huck waits for more churches to join Family Promise, the organization at least has a place for families in its day center.