- Elizabeth Golla
Letter from our Executive Director
Family Promise of Southern Ocean County is always growing and changing every year to best serve the homeless children and their families across the county. We have been able to provide families not just a warm bed to sleep in and food in their bellies, but also a chance to learn how to rebuild after the storms in their lives. But when COVID-19 struck, it changed everything.
Our hospitality network was forced to pull back; families needed safe housing, food, and childcare more than ever. We changed tactics, moving from our regular rotational shelter program to running full speed ahead through this pandemic. Pulling up our sleeves and putting on our masks, we became frontline workers ourselves. We were in contact with the families we were serving, making sure they still had food, diapers, or medicine. We were doing everything we could to make sure our community wasn’t overlooked and continue the mission of Family Promise.
The most significant element of our pandemic response was expanding our services. We are not just a sheltering program any longer, we have expanded our focus to assist families who are at risk of losing their homes with the Anchors to Stay Prevention Program. Through the prevention program, we have provided financial aid for rent, mortgages, and security deposits to eligible families throughout Ocean County. The shelter and prevention programs served over 80 families this year, and we provided aid to an additional 630 individuals; people who wouldn’t have had anywhere else to turn for help without Family Promise of Southern Ocean County.
Based on the drastic increases we saw this year in Ocean County, we are anticipating seeing five times the number of families to be in need in 2021. We’re preparing for this coming year by putting the infrastructure in place to increase the number of families we can serve through the Anchors to Stay Prevention Program, shelter more homeless families, and increase our outreach across the community. Our goal is to be the beacon of light for families who are at risk of losing their homes and continuing to find new ways to bridge the gaps for those who cannot get assistance anywhere else.
As we prepare for many more families in need of our programs in 2021, we need help from people like you. Family Promise of Southern Ocean County is completely reliant on charitable donations to be able to continue to provide services like the Anchors to Stay Prevention Program to all of Ocean County. We were able to do so much in the face of this difficult year, you can donate to help us continue our mission of helping children and their families stay safely in their homes online at https://www.familypromisesoc.org/donate.
Thank you for bringing so much hope and happiness to the children, families, and essential workers we serve. Together, we can end family homelessness. Because every child deserves a home.
With Warmest Regards,