In 2013, after taking a much-needed sabbatical, Nancy Davis Broderick began thinking about returning to the workforce. Not sure how long it would take to find the job she wanted, Broderick decided she needed to use her free time to make a difference in peoples’ lives and she knew these people had to be families. She and her husband began volunteering at a homeless shelter in Ogden. There she saw families with young boys being separated because at age 13, boys had to live in the men’s area, not the family area. In a few months, Broderick found work and had less time to volunteer at the shelter, but the memory of families being pulled apart haunted her.
In November 2014, Broderick was searching again. But this time she was searching for a program that would keep homeless families together. A colleague introduced her to Family Promise-SLC. After touring the day center facility and learning about the operation that included offering intensive case management, life-skill tools and a family inclusive shelter concept, Broderick knew her search was over. She had found a program that kept families together while they searched for jobs and housing. The best part was that the family shelter concept used local churches and volunteers to house families overnight. These volunteers provided not just basic human needs that included shelter, safety and sustenance, they provided something much more rare: acceptance, empathy and dignity.
Broderick contacted Family Promise headquarters in New Jersey, and she and the newly formed Board of Directors began the arduous process of becoming an affiliate. Steps along the way included acquiring a van for transporting families, finding a suitable building for the day center, fundraising, speaking to civic groups about Family Promise, hiring an Executive Director and enlisting churches and their members to provide overnight accommodations for families entering the program.