Meet Jan Hutchings who is an Administrative Assistant with Family Promise of Greater New Braunfels. She also volunteers as an overnight person when her church hosts families.
Jan started with FPGNB as a volunteer in the summer of 2013 as they prepared for the opening - helping with painting and getting the old day center ready for guests. After the first guests were accepted into the program, she started volunteering as a receptionist, opening/closing the day center and answering phone calls, as well as volunteering with her church when they hosted. At the time, the only paid employee was Stacey Minor, the first Executive Director. Jan was hired in September of 2013 as the part-time Administrative Assistant and has been with FPGNB in this capacity since then.
Right before starting with Family Promise, Jan retired from teaching. It was not unusual for her to have children in her class who were experiencing homelessness (on average one child a year). These children might be living doubled up with extended family, rotating through different relatives’ and friends’ homes, coming in from the Crisis Center, sleeping on couches, or in a car. She saw the tremendous effect homelessness wreaks on children. Their attendance was frequently spotty and in class they had difficulty paying attention and completing assignments, tired from lack of sleep or distracted by problems that their families were coping with. Education simply could not have the same level of priority that children sleeping in a safe, secure, and stable environment enjoyed. Communities in Schools was a great resource for families, but it wasn’t enough. This close-up view of the difficulties of children experiencing homelessness made Jan know that she wanted to be a part of Family Promise when her church began discussing supporting this new nonprofit.
“I loved, and still love, that Family Promise is making a difference in children’s lives and is affecting generational change in the cycles of poverty and homelessness.”
Jan is very excited to see FPGNB expanding its efforts into programs geared toward the prevention of homelessness. The current Executive Director, Sarah, along with Family Services Coordinator, Jill, has continued the program’s shelter and graduate support components, and has implemented initiatives that assist families who are still housed but who are experiencing severe financial hardship and are at serious risk of becoming homeless. Experiencing homelessness is a traumatic event in a family’s journey. While Jan loves that they are able to help families overcome homelessness through the shelter program, she knows that preventing it from happening in the first place will allow FPGNB to have an even greater impact on the lives of families in our communities.
Thank you, Jan Hutchings, for your hard work, dedication, and many contributions (seen and unseen).