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Family Promise of Southern Ocean County has four main programs to aid families in our area, one of which is the Anchors to Stay Prevention Program. Launched this past August, this program provides financial aid on rent, mortgage, or security deposit payments for eligible families across Ocean County.

Our main goal is to ensure the people we serve do not fall into the cycle of housing instability that can devastate families and alter the course of children’s lives. Getting out in front of these issues is the most cost-effective way to address this crisis. This prevention assistance comes at an especially pivotal time when many families are experiencing new challenges with unemployment delays, food insecurity, and fear of losing their homes.

The new Anchors to Stay Program is a preventative aid as a rapid response first step to stabilize housing for those who are on the brink of becoming homeless. Eligible families across all of Ocean County can receive financial aid on rent, mortgage, or security deposit payments. To qualify for the program, families must have children and one or more adults who are willing and able to work full-time or have an alternative source of sustainable income. For us, families are defined by the child, all of our programs include single-parent, two-parent, and non-traditional families. If you are in need or know a person in need who does not fit the requirements, you can still reach out to Family Promise for alternate local resources and information.

Other Family Promise of Southern Ocean County programs include:

Casting Lifelines Referral Program

Every phone call coming into our Day Center is screened and matched with services and resources locally in the community.

Daymark Family Shelter Program

We partner with community organizations and school districts to provide shelter, meals, hospitality, and day-to-day essentials for local families with children who are experiencing


Arc of Visibility Graduate Program

Continuing the relationships they develop in our program is important for families to experience long-term sustainable independence. Our Graduate Program provides families with continued essential support and an opportunity to build upon the life skills learned in our programs.

We offer many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of families we serve. Family Promise is a 501(c)(3) organization accepting tax-deductible gifts and in-kind donations. These gifts go directly to helping our community.

We are also looking to partner with landlords in Ocean County to house families. If you are a landlord with a vacancy, contact Family Promise of Southern Ocean County by phone at (609) 994-3317 or by email at

If you’re looking for other ways to help, you can find us online at and follow us on Facebook for updates.

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  • Writer's pictureFamily Promise



Most teenagers would agree high school can be a tumultuous time. Peers, school, and self-doubts can contribute to the rollercoaster of adolescence.

But 17-year-old Theresa had to contend with even more during those formative years when she and her mother left an abusive family situation and found themselves homeless.

“[Leaving] was the best decision my mom could have made for us. But it left us without a home,” she says, remembering the anxiety and depression that eventually put her in the hospital.

Theresa recalls the stigma of homelessness was difficult to ignore and confesses most of her friends were unaware of her situation.

“I was embarrassed to be homeless and hid it from people,” she admits. “But that made me feel disconnected and isolated.”

She and her mom stayed with family and friends and spent time in a motel before Family Promise of Anoka County, MN, brought a sense of structure and stability to their world and empowered them to rebuild their lives.

“No one deserves to feel alone during a time of need,” she says. “Family Promise was there for us.”

Theresa’s mom soon found steady employment, the family moved into a new home, and Theresa was encouraged to apply to college, something she had previously feared might not be possible.

Last spring, Theresa graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a degree in Human Resource Development. She says Family Promise inspired her field of study and instilled in her a desire to help others. She now works in human resources and is contemplating pursuing a graduate degree, and she dreams of one day forming a nonprofit to help troubled youth and teens.

Theresa also serves on the Family Promise Guest Advisory Council, a body of graduates who use their experiences with poverty and homelessness to help shape organizational policies and initiatives.

“We’re dispelling misconceptions of homelessness and giving a voice to those often ignored by society,” Theresa explains. “We let people know it’s ok to step out of the shadows and ask for help.”

Theresa is living proof that homelessness is a situation, not a label, and hopes to serve as an example for children battling this crisis.

“I want youth struggling with homelessness to know they can still do great things with their lives,” she says. “There are people fighting for them.”

Theresa is one of them.


Originally Published on Family Promise

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  • Writer's pictureFamily Promise

For over ten years, Family Promise of Southern Ocean County’s mission has been to reduce family homelessness in Ocean County. This year, we are proud to have served over 630 people, providing shelter, resources, financial aid, and more to families across Ocean County. COVID-19 forced the Family Promise of Southern Ocean County hospitality network of local churches to shut down for the safety of our staff, volunteers, host sites, and families. We continue to adapt and grow despite the crisis; partnering with local motels to provide temporary shelter, hosting online events, and launching the Anchors to Stay Prevention program to prevent homelessness.

The Anchors to Stay Prevention Program is a vital aspect of our mission in preventing family homelessness. It allows us to work with families who are at risk of losing their homes and keep them safely where they are. Through this program, we have provided financial aid for rent, mortgages, and security deposits to eligible families throughout Ocean County. In the first 60 days, the Anchors to Stay Prevention Program prevented homelessness for over 80 families. More families reach out each day, including medical professionals, teachers, and other essential workers.

One family we have been able to help was a single mom, Jenna (name has been changed), who works in the education field. Earlier this year, due to COVID-19, she was struggling with financial stability and felt she had nowhere to turn. When Jenna learned about Family Promise of Southern Ocean County, she reached out to us for help. Through the Anchors to Stay Prevention Program, we worked with her to create a plan of action to further her career and organize her finances. With our assistance, Jenna was able to get back on her feet and feel confident on her career path.

With New Jersey’s eviction moratorium being lifted on January 1st, we are expecting more families like Jenna’s to be in need of our programs. We need help from donors like you to continue our mission of helping children and their families stay safely in their homes. You can make a donation online at or mail your donation with the enclosed pledge card and self-addressed envelope.

Together, we can end family homelessness.

With Love,

Elizabeth Golla

Executive Director

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