In an effort to more efficiently and effectively serve homeless children and their families, Family Promise of Monroe County has relocated to 905 Main St., Stroudsburg, as of June 1, 2020.
In its 12th year of providing emergency shelter to homeless children and their families, Family Promise’s new facility will continue to provide shelter, meals and support services to at-risk and homeless families. Additionally, Family Promise will continue to provide rental and utility assistance to those in need in Monroe County.
“Family Promise operates its emergency shelter under the Housing First model, providing ‘low-barrier’ entry to keep families together under one roof,” said Enid Logan, executive director of Family Promise of Monroe County. “It’s not about sobriety; it’s not about employment; it’s about children knowing they can be safe in our community and they have a place to sleep at night,” Logan said.
Relocating the agency to town gives families in shelter better access to jobs and services, allowing those without cars access to employment opportunities or, if needed, transportation via bus service. In addition, the move places families closer to critical social services as well as childcare, with the YMCA just a block away. Having Family Promise in town gives families the opportunity to feel a part of the community, to network and get involved.
Last year, Family Promise provided emergency shelter to 22 families, and housing assistance to 250 families and 591 individuals in Monroe County. “We’ve seen a 25% increase in demand for services over last year,’’ Logan said. With the increase in demand for services, Family Promise now employs three full-time case managers in Monroe County, up from two a year ago.
Family Promise partners with local congregations to offer overnight meals and shelter. Families use the day center to cook, do laundry and relax when not working. Families entering shelter who are not working, use the day center’s computers to apply for work. Case managers work with families to access needed social services and to gain full-time employment. It is Family Promise’s expectation that families not working upon entering shelter, will be working within 30 days of entry.
“The onset of the pandemic has caused us to revise operations,’’ she added. Family Promise’s operating model has included partnering with congregations to provide overnight shelter to families. Since mid-March churches have been forced to close their doors due to the governor’s shelter in place order. Family Promise has turned to local hotels and camp grounds to house its homeless families.
Last July, Family Promise began offering services in Pike County where a full-time case manager works, in partnership with the Pike County Human Services.
Referrals for services come from a variety of sources including via its web site, the Coordinated Entry’s 211 system, school districts, churches and housing partners in the community.
In addition to providing emergency shelter, Family Promise offers housing assistance programs including help with rental arrears and those with a shut off notice from a utility provider. With the current pandemic there is a moratorium in place on evictions and utility loss. Once lifted, Family Promise is here to assist households who are behind in paying their rent or utility services due to loss a job or a reduction in the number of hours working as a result of COVID-19.
The new site enables Family Promise to double the capacity to serve families with children in need, according to Adam Blistein, president of Family Promise’s Board of Trustees.
“For families experiencing homelessness, stability is fleeting. The new Family Promise of Monroe County day center ensures families with children have a place to rest their head and a space to build a stable future for themselves,’’ said Blistein.
For more information visit www.familypromisepa.org or call (570) 420-8589.