SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Area Public Foundation has awarded a $30,000 grant to Family Promise in support of its homelessness prevention and sustainable housing initiatives in Union County.

When it comes to helping low-income and homeless families achieve sustainable independence, a security deposit can be the difference between a family remaining in shelter and empowering them to independence in their own home; assistance with rental payments can keep a family in their home and avoid a fall into homelessness; and a group of engaged volunteers collecting and moving donated furniture can help a family realize their dream of a new home.

Last year, Family Promise partnered with HUMI (Help Us Move In), a Washington State-based nonprofit working with communities to fund and create programs helping families facing housing crises. The mission of the partnership is to ensure that children are no longer homeless.

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Family Promise piloted the sustainable prevention and rehousing program in Union County, contingent upon Family Promise raising matching funds from local funders.The SAPF grant not only satisfied the initial HUMI match requirement, but has also allowed Family Promise to expand the prevention and rehousing initiative’s capacity, engage more volunteers, and maximize impact. It has grown into a successful national program, changing the future for families across the country.

Since receiving the grant monies for the effort in Union County, Family Promise has built new relationships with landlords and increased local landlord participation by nearly 200%. Twenty landlords are now engaged in providing new homes for families in the shelter program. Family Promise has also helped 25 households (82 individuals), providing them with a total of $22,732 in security deposits and/or rental assistance, so they could either move into housing or avoid eviction.

Family Promise’s network of 1,000+ volunteers in Union County help with home repair and budgeting workshops, painting and cleaning properties, and move-in days, so that families do not drain their resources moving into new housing.

Thw SAPF’s investment enables Family Promise’s diversion and stabilization work to supplant much costlier interventions, saving the community significant money and resources. This innovative initiative has helped Family Promise guests become better tenants, making them attractive rental candidates to landlords and property owners who know the program. And, the connections made with landlords and volunteers have enabled more families to access and secure affordable housing.