About Us

Our Mission: To empower families with children experiencing homelessness to achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.

Our Vision: We envision a community in which every family has a home, a livelihood and the foundation on which to build a better future together.

Seacoast Family Promise has been serving families in need from a range of backgrounds since 2003. We help families who are experiencing homelessness to find stable housing and return to self-sufficiency. Seacoast Family Promise is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, and an affiliate of Family Promise, a national organization that operates successfully with 200 affiliates in 41 states.

Any family can meet with hardships that cause loss of income and, consequently, their home. Whether it’s due to a lost job, poor health of a family member, or any number of unforeseen circumstances, Seacoast Family Promise is here to provide initial temporary housing, food and shelter. But we also offer much more: We help those families on a structured journey back to self-sufficiency and the return to a place they can call home.


Volunteers—vital to our mission

Seacoast Family Promise engages over 1,100 community volunteers annually. Volunteers come from faith communities, businesses and corporations, community organizations and even from groups such as Rotary Clubs. These volunteers donate countless hours, money, meals and needed everyday items. They also provide the compassion, guidance and emotional support so vital to family members on their path to finding a home.

More than 87% of Seacoast Family Promise families have secured permanent housing and have remained stable for as long as 14 years

Families participate in a structured program that is custom-designed by skilled staff to ensure that the life skills they receive will allow them to return successfully to a community and a stable home environment. The length of stay in Seacoast Family Promise can be anywhere from eight weeks to six months depending on a family’s individual needs.

Families fully participate in the often-difficult work of returning to the community

When a family comes to Seacoast Family Promise they understand that through hard work and determination they can make the necessary changes and turn their lives around. The children understand that it is their primary job to focus on school, sports and other activities that make up a typical day for most children. Families go to the Day Center, local schools, jobs, or training programs during the day. In the evening, they return to the host facilities and enjoy a nutritious, hot meal prepared and served by volunteers. Children can play games and do their homework and the families get to converse with our volunteers who may read to the children or help with their school work.

Our People

Pati Frew-Waters, Executive Director
Tara Holmes Ball, Development Coordinator
Ashley Miller, Case Manager

Our Board

Irving Canner, President
Judy George, Vice President
Judy Clark, Secretary
Ken George, Treasurer
Diane Charney
Mike Dawley
Tracey Dewhurst
Meghan Foley
Susan Hess
John Potter
Nancy Seesman

Ann Hopkins, Capital Campaign Chair

Our Network

The national Family Promise model is built on the premise that people will help their neighbors when called upon to do so. This grass roots process allows volunteers to be a part of the solution to the growing numbers of families with children experiencing homelessness. Seacoast Family Promise leverages $3.00 of in-kind services for every $1.00 it raises. The reality is that without our many dedicated and committed volunteers and the more than 10 host-sites offered by Seacoast Congregations our work would not be possible.


Bethany Church, Greenland; Community Congregational Church of Greenland; Christ Episcopal Church, Exeter; First United Methodist Church, Portsmouth; Hampton United Methodist Church; North Hampton United Church of Christ; Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Brentwood; Stratham Community Church; Unitarian Universalist Church of Portsmouth; St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Newmarket


Exeter Congregational Church; First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Portsmouth; St. John’s United Methodist Church, Dover; 7th Day Adventist Church, Portsmouth; Temple Israel, Portsmouth; Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; St. Michael’s Catholic Church; Newmarket Community Church, Exeter Rotary


  • Family-oriented shelter and Day Center access.
  • Intensive case management financial planning and saving
  • Financial education including debt reduction, budgeting, savings and making
  • appropriate money choices
  • Access to support services
  • Employment and housing assistance
  • Education evaluation and resources for further education opportunities

A community of support in a caring and nurturing family-friendly environment