Giving Back

Summit's Family Promise Launches Home Ownership Pilot Program for Homeless Families in Three, Out-of-State Markets

6286db7b1500d1eb9255_92fbee3b6a0d42555823_PIH2.jpg
The finished product -- Home Sweet Home.
93f8af6fc68e2c7990b6_647e9d46d43d5de40dfe_PIH1.JPG
New homeowners.
38feced9b0e09456f12a_a92c809e9b563c5de74d_PIH_vol.jpg
Applying elbow grease.
6286db7b1500d1eb9255_92fbee3b6a0d42555823_PIH2.jpg

SUMMIT, NJ - Family Promise, the Summit-based national non-profit with a mission to help homeless families achieve sustainable independence, has launched announces the 'Partners in Housing' program, designed as an innovative solution to assist families experiencing homelessness the opportunity to transition quickly to owning homes of their own.

Through funding from the Tides Foundation, Family Promise is making three initial grants of $10,000 to Affiliates in Colorado Springs (CO), Gainesville (FL), and Anoka County (MN) to create pilot programs in which families graduating from their shelter programs are placed in refurbished manufactured housing units in local trailer parks.  In a matter of months, the title to the unit will be transferred to the family and they will become homeowners.

According to Family Promise, the "program is aimed directly at the root cause of family homelessness -- the lack of affordable housing. Estimates are that just one in four households in need of subsidized housing is actually getting it.  This is the core issue behind family homelessness—more than employment, stability, health or anything else."

Sign Up for E-News

Family Promise President Claas Ehlers describes the initiative’s goals:  “Our goal at Family Promise is the empowerment of families to leave homelessness behind and achieve the level of security every family deserves. As a national leader in the fight against homelessness, we are committed to exploring solutions that help families look to the future.  'Partners in Housing' will help many of the families we serve attain the American dream of owning an affordable home of their own.”

The program begins with the Family Promise Affiliate identifying low-cost manufactured housing options, often damaged or distressed, in local trailer parks.  Working with Family Promise national partner Farmers Insurance, which is the nation’s largest insurer of manufactured homes, the home is professionally assessed to ensure that it can be successfully rehabilitated. It is then purchased at a fraction of the cost of other permanent housing options, refurbished by Family Promise volunteers and local business partners, and presented to qualified families who have graduated from the program. 

The families receive extensive case management and ongoing support to assure they will be able to sustain their independence. After a transitional period of 6-12 months, in which the family pays lot rent and utilities, the title to the home is turned over to the family. All parties benefit: the family has obtained a valuable asset and gone from homeless to home owners, the Affiliate has successfully placed a family in permanent housing, and the park owners have a renovated property with a motivated homeowner.

The initiative is modeled after the highly-successful Partners in Housing Program created in Grand Rapids, MI. Over the past eight years, Family Promise of Grand Rapids has moved 91 families into manufactured homes, with a success rate of 97%.  “This program not only ends homelessness for our families but it actually helps them move out of poverty. This changes the future for the children and affords them a real chance at a healthy future, which in turn changes the future for our entire community,” Grand Rapids Executive Director Cheryl Schuch said.

Based on outcomes of the three initial programs, the goal is to expand 'Partners in Housing' next to 10-15 pilot sites representing a cross-section of the regions and demographics served by Family Promise Affiliates. Eventually, Affiliates across the country will be operating 'Partners in Housing' programs, with thousands of families moving from homelessness to home ownership, or variations on the program that could provide other affordable options, such as creating affordable, transitional housing units out of manufactured homes.

Founded in Summit in 1988 to address homelessness in Union County, Family Promise has grown into a national organization with 206 Affiliates in 43 states. Since then, Family Promise has served more than 750,000 people, the majority of them children.

Family Promise Affiliates serve nearly 70,000 people each year by providing shelter, food, and a host of other comprehensive support services.  On average, 74% of the families served by Family Promise secure housing within nine weeks of entering the program.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c8cb6b45d2b342be3cbb_nancy_ori

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...