ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS HOMELESS NEEDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

FAMILY PROMISE ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS HOMELESS NEEDS IN PALM BEACH COUNTY.  100% increase of inquires from homeless families from 2011 to 2012.

 

(January 25, 2013, Delray Beach, FL) – Family Promise of SouthPalm BeachCounty, which helps local homeless families, shared 2012 results and 2013 goals during its January 15th annual business meeting, hosted by B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton.  Supporters, volunteers and program graduates gathered to learn of the many services provided to children and families who are without a home.

 

Believing that every child deserves a home, Family Promise provides a clean and safe place for families to sleep. During the meeting, President Michael H. Diamant formally introduced new officer Rick Steinberg, Treasurer, and new Board members Julia Luyster, Esq., Rabbi Andrew L. Rosenkranz, Robin Rubin, Tom Porter and Tricia Thompkins. Diamant also noted new congregation partner, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, which brings the number of host and supporting congregations to nineteen.

 

In a review of the year, Diamant said inquiry phone calls to Family Promise, from mothers and fathers who are suddenly without a place to live,  rose 100% over the preceding year—a sign of great need, but also growing awareness of the organization’s effectiveness. Since 2008, Family Promise provided over 10,000 “bed nights,” 30,000 meals, and 83,000 volunteer hours from 1,100 dedicated volunteers. A paid staff of three, aided by “expert” volunteers, mentors and participating congregations,  helped families improve parenting and budgeting skills while finding training, jobs, housing, childcare and transportation. With program graduates now numbering 180 adults and children, Family Promise has achieved an enviable success rate of nearly 85%, slightly higher than the national Family Promise organization’s 80% average.

 

Other key accomplishments from 2012 included:

 

  • One of five charities chosen for the Countess de Hoernle’s 100th Gala of the Order of St. John, Knights Hospitaller Commandery of Florida.
  • Increased media coverage with stories in the Palm Beach Post.  
  • Executive Director D. Kokie Dinnan was  featured as a “Hometown Hero” in Boca Raton Magazine

 

Launch of new fund-raising initiatives including Sounds of Promise, a concert with musical talent from participating congregations; Antiques Appraisal Fair, Party With Promise and Dine With Promise, evenings planned by local party planners and restaurant venues with a portion of proceeds given to Family Promise.

  • National implementation of Houses for Change, developed by local Family Promise volunteer Mark Wasserman, in which actual fiberboard donation boxes in the shape of houses are decorated by children and distributed to raise funds and awareness of homelessness. In slightly more than 3 years,  Houses for Change has raised more than $375,000 for several homeless organizations
  • Formation of three new committees, including a Teen Committee led by new Board member Tricia Thompkins.  Committed to raising awareness of homelessness in the community, nine teens are working to reach out to numerous local schools and youth organizations.  Teen Co-Chair Marc Diamant  presented a check for $650 to Family Promise from the students of NorthBrowardPreparatory School.
  • Migration of records to cloud-based computing to prevent losses and downtime in the event of seasonal storms or other emergencies.

 

2012 also saw a marked increase in community support, Diamant said. “With the added leadership this year of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel, honorary chair of Dine With Promise, institutions such as Boca RatonRegionalHospital and JohnKnoxVillage, and key supporters including Waste Management and Delray Motors, we achieved the kind of community engagement urgently needed to address the complex problem of homelessness.”

 

Looking ahead to 2013, Diamant showcased new and upcoming initiatives, including:

 

  • Mingling Melodies and Motors, a 50s and 60s car show and concert featuring the Fabulons on Saturday, February 2nd, 1-4:30 p.m., The Chapel of St. Andrew (campus of St. Andrew’s School), Boca Raton
  • The second annual Sounds of Promise concert Sunday, February 17th, 3:30 p.m., at FirstUnitedMethodistChurch, 625 NE Mizner Blvd., in Boca Raton
  • Steps of Promise Walkathon, April 7th, 3:00 – 7:00 PM at SouthCountyPark west of Boca Raton.

 

Reverend Andrew Sherman, vice president of Family Promise, said, “The secret of our organization’s success is twofold: first, the energy of interfaith dynamics—the spirit of God, if you will—and second, our ability to rapidly leverage the skills and interests of our growing network on behalf of our families.”

 

Concluding the meeting was a video produced by David and Lynn Freytag of Pathway Media. In the video, Tatiana, a child graduate of the program, says, “At Family Promise we had a safe, clean place to stay, food and friendship. Now we live in our own home and mom and dad are working.”

 

Believing that every child deserves a home, we empower families in making their transition from homelessness to sustainable independence.

—Mission Statement, Family Promise of SouthPalm BeachCounty

 

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Family Promise is a 501[c] 3 interfaith organization helping children and their families who are homeless to achieve lasting independence.  Family Promise believes every child deserves a home. We provide temporary shelter and services to children and their families who are homeless so they can achieve lasting independence.  A chapter of a national network begun over 25 years ago, this local organization is comprised of 19 congregations, 1,087 volunteers, and three staff who offer shelter, food, and support services to clients. Since 2008, Family Promise has provided 30,000 meals, 10,000 beds and 83,000 volunteer hours to support local homeless families.

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Media Contact:  For more information contact Valerie Smith, Communications Coordinator, at Vandadelray@aol.com, 561-573-2360.  Photos available upon request.

 

Family Promise of South Palm Beach, 1725 S. Federal Highway, Suite B-9, 83-2106, Delray Beach, FL.  33483.

  561-265-3370, www:FamilyPromiseSPBC.org .

 

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