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 Network is a program offering temporary shelter and support to working families with children who are experiencing homelessness.
Up to 14 adults and children are hosted overnight at a local congregation on a weekly rotating basis. Volunteers from the host congregation, along with others from neighboring congregations, provide meals, private sleeping areas, encouragement and fellowship.
Once a family is safely sheltered, immense pressure is lifted. With the on-going support and guidance of Family Promise staff, families begin to set goals and commit to overcoming obstacles to self-sufficiency. Services are tailored to each family, offering opportunities for personal, financial, and career growth. Financial assistance is provided to eligible families for educational advancement, job training, books and supplies, childcare and transportation as it relates to employment. Case management is the key element of this program. Along with meeting with their case manager regularly, all families are required to participate in a mandatory savings plan, financial literacy classes, empowerment workshops, parenting support, skills assessments, workplace readiness skills training, and a youth literacy initiative.
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. A Family Case Manager helps each family achieve their goals related to employment, education, and financial literacy. Families participate in a mandatory savings plan and may reside in an apartment for up to two years.
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.
It is much more cost-effective to keep a family in their current apartment than to rehouse them after they are evicted. Funding is available for rent, rental arrears, utility bills and services designed to allow families to remain in stable housing. Families receiving this assistance become part of our program and are required to meet with case managers weekly and participate in the mandatory savings plan, all workshops, and all other activities.