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IHN Shelter Program

How does the Family Promise Shelter Program Works?

Our Day Center

The  shelter program addresses the immediate needs of homeless families in our own backyards. About four - five times each year, for one week at a time, each host congregation provides a place to sleep, meals, and compassionate hospitality for up to four homeless families. Volunteers are the core of the Family Promise network.  At each site, volunteers cook meals, socialize with guests, play with children, and stay overnight. Agency van drivers provide the transportation for the guests to and from the host facility and the Day Center in an agency owned 14 passenger van.

Local social service and community agencies refer families to our network. All guests are screened by our professional staff to ensure there is no active substance abuse, risk of violence, or serious mental illness.  Family Promise families work actively with our Housing Stability Case Managers as well as local social service agencies to find employment, childcare, affordable housing — allowing them to develop the skills they need to regain their independence and keep it!

"Our ultimate goal is to help people end their homelessness. The Street Needs Assessment is a new tool that we will use to help us achieve this goal." -Phil Brown

Our Day Center and headquarters at 65A Washington Avenue, Oxford, NJ 07863 is an old Presbyterian Manse and comfortable space for families to be during the day. Many families use this space while they are searching for employment, or when they are not working or attending appointments in the community. Families can rest, do laundry, cook, store food and personal belongings, access the internet, phone, and a physical mailing address, meet with the Housing Stability Case Managers, take care of their children, and be a family!

Successes and Accomplishments

  • Family Promise has provided shelter and opportunities to over 110 families people since opening in July 2008.  About 80% of the families completing the program have successfully attained stable housing. 

  • Our 11 Host Congregations and 10 Support Congregations are active participants.  All congregations have capable volunteer coordinators who actively recruit and organize their trained who provide direct guest services.

  • These volunteers have contributed countless volunteer hours of service! The IHN shelter program would not be in operation without them. From July 2008 until December 31, 2018 these volunteers helped to provide 22,127 bednights and 66,381 meals..

  • Our Family Day Center is full of warm, comfortable furnishings, and is a safe haven for families during the day and on the weekends.

  • Social service agencies actively work together to coordinate service delivery and address homelessness. FPWC has taken a leadership role in the provision of homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programming and is an active partner in our local continuum of care, the Tri-County CoC – Warren/Hunterdon/Sussex Counties.

  • A full-time Housing Stability Case Manager, Program Director, and Executive Director actively assist families in regaining independence and provide valuable case management activities. 

  • FPWC is self-supporting; being financed by the individual, corporate contributions, grants, interfaith support, church, and community fundraising events

  • Please consider your church or organization in participating to be a host or support partner for this much-needed program.

Staff will review the Guest Agreement/Rules which outlines expectations for Family Promise participants.  Families who participate in the program must agree to participate in active case management, remain drug & alcohol free and refrain from smoking in the Churches, be at the Host Congregation by 5:00 pm unless working or otherwise authorized and be out of the host facility by 6:30 am, and treat staff, volunteers, and other guests with respect.

If the family meets all of the requirements, understands and agrees to participate fully in all case management, self-sufficiency, and life skills classes, they may be invited to join the Family Promise program.