OUR STORY 2017-12-27T11:15:12+00:00
Our Story
A simple act of compassion set in motion a national movement to end family homelessness.
Karen Olson was rushing to a business meeting when she passed a homeless woman on the street. On impulse, Karen bought her a sandwich.The woman, Millie, accepted the sandwich but asked for Something more — a
chance to be heard. Karen stayed with Millie and listened. What she heard made her understand that homelessness brought profound feelings of diminished self-worth and disconnection from society. Soon after, Karen and her two sons began delivering lunches to homeless people on the streets of New York,

When Karen learned that homelessness was affecting families right in her own community in New Jersey, she knew she had to do something. But this was much more than giving sandwiches. She brought together people in need and people who wanted to help. Existing community resources could provide shelter, meals, and housing. Volunteers could use their skills, knowledge, and compassion to help their homeless neighbors find employment, reconnect with society, and restore their dignity.

She approached the religious community. Congregations offered hospitality space within their buildings. The YMCA provided showers and a family day center. A car dealer discounted a van. The first interfaith hospitality network opened on October 27, 1986.


Family Promise of Greater Brandon incorporated in 2010 as an Affiliate of Family Promise. We opened the doors of our Day Center on May 4th, 2014 to serve homeless children and their families in the Greater Brandon area. It was our goal to empower homeless families to obtain affordable housing and a state of lasting independence. To date we have helped over 35 families attain their goal of sustainable housing.

Early in 2017 the Board of Directors made a decision to change our name to Family Promise of Hillsborough County as it more accurately encompassed the area we serve. We have been able to assist homeless families from all of Hillsborough County as well as partner with the County on services they offer to our guests. The change in our name took place officially in October of 2017.

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