Jeff Armstrong, an experienced non-profit administrator, has been named executive director of Family Promise of the Midlands, a coalition of Midlands congregations that house and serve families experiencing homelessness.
Since 2016, Armstrong has served United Way of the Midlands in various capacities: as youth program manager, as a leader with the Resilient Richland initiative, and as the affordable housing coordinator. Prior to moving to Columbia, Armstrong was director of a housing stability program in the Baltimore area.
In 2018, the Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless gave Armstrong the Servant’s Heart Award “For being a champion for those in need and a change agent for people experiencing homelessness in South Carolina.”
With 13 years of experience with programs addressing homelessness, Armstrong has a clear understanding of the myriad issues at the root of homelessness.
“Family Promise of the Midlands understands the importance of building community through the love and support of caring congregations and volunteers. It is an honor to lead an organization truly dedicated to creating nurturing environments where families who are experiencing homelessness can meet their full potential and increase their stability,” said Armstrong.
In the Family Promise program, families remain together while congregations offer them food, lodging, and hospitality. Volunteers create temporary bedrooms in spaces that often go unused during the week, while the professional staff helps those families get back on their feet.
Now starting its seventh year in operation, Family Promise of the Midlands is one of more than 200 Family Promise affiliates across the nation. Nationally, Family Promise helps more than 50,000 people in need each year.
Armstrong will take the reins from the Rev. Karen Newsome. During her three-year tenure, Family Promise of the Midlands saw tremendous growth, adding a full-time social worker, expanding opportunities for guest families through grants and community partnerships, and transitioning to a spacious permanent home gifted by generous benefactors.
“We are extremely grateful to Rev. Newsome for her leadership these past three years and pleased that Mr. Armstrong is coming on board as our new executive director,” said Bonnie Montgomery, Family Promise board chair. “He brings valuable experience, a passion for people experiencing homelessness, and a dedication to the board’s vision for our organization.”
Here in the Midlands, the following sixteen congregations open their doors to welcome families experiencing homelessness: Ashland United Methodist, Bethel United Methodist, Eastminster Presbyterian, Ebenezer Lutheran, Forest Lake Presbyterian, Northminster Presbyterian, Redeemer Lutheran, Seven Oaks Presbyterian, Shandon Presbyterian, St. Andrew’s Lutheran, St. John’s Episcopal, St. Martin’s In-the-Fields Episcopal, Saint Mary’s Episcopal, Trenholm Road United Methodist, Trinity Presbyterian and Trinity United Methodist (Blythewood).
The sixteen host congregations are supported by fifteen additional support congregations: Blythewood Presbyterian, Christ the King Lutheran, Church of the Cross Episcopal, Francis Burns United Methodist, Gill Creek Baptist, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Greenlawn Baptist, Living Springs Lutheran, McGregor Presbyterian, Mt. Hebron United Methodist, Pine Grove AME, Shandon United Methodist, St. Andrews Baptist, Virginia Wingard United Methodist and Westminster Presbyterian.
The Family Promise day center and offices are located at 1333 Omarest Drive, Columbia, SC 29210.
Read success stories and learn more about the work of Family Promise of the Midlands online at www.familypromisemidlands.org.