Shelter and Support Programs
Family Promise of Bergen County helps homeless working families address the complex issues that accompany poverty and homelessness. We provide a holistic, integrated approach that begins with meeting the immediate need for safe shelter and food but reaches further to address the root causes of poverty and to help working families become self-sufficient.
The Family Promise Bridge Network is a program offering temporary shelter and support to working families with children who are experiencing homelessness. Shelter is currently offered through temporary hotel placements as we work on a longer-term solution. The congregational network was forced to close in 2020 due to the pandemic. We are profoundly grateful for the love and support of the congregations that provided shelter, meals, and the kindness of countless volunteers over many years.
Once a family is safely sheltered, immense pressure is lifted. With the ongoing support and guidance of Family Promise staff, families can set goals and commit to overcoming obstacles to self-sufficiency. Services are tailored to each individual family, offering opportunities for personal, financial, and career growth. Financial assistance is provided to eligible families for educational advancement, job training, childcare, and transportation as it relates to employment. Case Management is a key element of this program. All families also participate in a mandatory savings plan, empowerment workshops, and financial education classes which include individualized coaching.
Families that are accepted into our New Leaf Program are given the opportunity to live in an apartment while they continue to work on their Individual Service Plan. Most have graduated from the Bridge Network A Family Case Manager helps each family achieve their goals related to employment, education, and financial security.
Families leaving the Family Promise Network or New Leaf program are extremely vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances that may negatively impact their newly regained independence. The Post Shelter Program is designed to help families through this trying period by continuing to provide contact with family case managers for guidance and emotional support, access to Family Promise skilled volunteers, and limited, targeted financial assistance for a period of one year. This program is voluntary with services provided on an as-needed basis.
In 2020, as the pandemic closed our sheltering network, Family Promise made a commitment to a new Rental Assistance Program. This program of homeless prevention is geared to helping working families who would otherwise be at risk of losing their housing. These are parents who are working hard but who increasingly face higher prices, rising rents, threat of eviction, and food insecurity as they try to support their families. Each situation is completely unique and is addressed as such by Family Promise Case Managers. They listen and determine how best to offer assistance. Some families receive back rent, some guidance and advice, and some are given grocery store cards, but no one leaves Family Promise empty handed.