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Family Promise's Ehlers Named CEO, Bradshaw Chief Impact Officer as Nonprofit's Footprint, Impact Grows

Family Promise Chief Executive Officer Claas Ehlers.
Family Promise Chief Impact Officer Cara Bradshaw.
PetSmart Charities President Dr. David Haworth, Family Promise Regional Director Jeanna Beck, Family Promise CEO Claas Ehlers.

SUMMIT, NJ - Reflecting the growth and national scope of Summit-based Family Promise, two of the organization's senior executives -- Claas Ehlers and Cara Bradshaw -- have received elevated titles. Ehlers, formerly president, is now the Chief Executive Officer while Bradshaw, previously Director of Development, is now Chief Impact Officer.

Family Promise, founded in the Hilltop City nearly three decades ago, has been a leading national nonprofit providing service to families experiencing homelessness. Aggregating the operating and in-kind budget of their 200+ Affiliates, it has a total budget of more than $120 million.

Over the past two years, Family Promise has worked strategically to broaden its reach, not only as a service provider, but also as the national partner with many companies and other nonprofits concentrating on homelessness, and as a thought leader on the issues of poverty, housing, and homelessness. 

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Family Promise Board Chair Angela Schroeder spoke to the changes when she said, “Claas and Cara’s hard work and dedication have been absolutely transformative, as Family Promise has grown rapidly under their stewardship as a national brand, adding corporate and nonprofit partnerships and creating impactful initiatives that place us at the forefront of the fight against family homelessness nationwide."

Schroeder added, "It is in recognition of these efforts, as well as of Family Promise’s position as a national leader on this critical issue, that we thought the new job titles more fitting and descriptive of their critical role in the organization.”

Since 2016, new partnerships and alliances include:

  • HomeAid
  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
  • Help Us Move In
  • Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program
  • The Bassuk Center
  • Interfaith Youth Core
  • Encore
  • Prosperity Now
  • PetSmart Charities with Pets with a Promise
  • Schoolhouse Connection
  • American Airlines Professional Women in Aviation
  • Kiwanis Foundation
  • Pull-A-Part
  • KaBoom!

Speaking at Family Promise's national conference, Ehlers shared his thoughts on Family Promise’s growing national profile.

“Being a national leader matters. The time has come for Family Promise not just to have an impact in the communities that Affiliates serve, but to be the default approach in any community where there is family homelessness, and where there are existing community resources. In short, everywhere in this country.”  Regarding the new titles, he added, “They signal to our partners, our supporters, and other leaders in the field that Family Promise is at the vanguard of the issue of family homelessness. They clearly indicate that we will spearhead the effort to make family homelessness a national concern and that the solution starts right here in our own communities.”

Bradshaw drew a direct connection between supporters and the differences being made in the lives of families: "Family Promise's supporters create a lasting impact through our mission to mobilize communities and create solutions for family homelessness. Giving to Family Promise is more than a philanthropic commitment -- it is an investment in our communities and in our children. It's fitting that the structure of our fundraising and volunteer engagement efforts should center on the impact one individual, one family, one corporation, one congregation, or one foundation can have on families in America."

Family homelessness is a critical issue nationwide -- 2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year and 35% of all homeless persons in the United States are families with children. Family Promise’s goal is to make Americans aware of this crisis and motivated to solve it. Family homelessness is a complex problem requiring wide-ranging and creative solutions. Through targeted community programs, comprehensive services, innovative partnerships, and robust advocacy, Family Promise strives to be ideally positioned to lead the way.

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