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Local News

October 4, 2012

Family Promise to suspend operations

Tomorrow will mark last day of program for homeless

PLATTSBURGH — Family Promise of the North Country is suspending operations.

“This Friday will be the last day we will have families in the program,” said Director Maureen Bradish after the Board of Directors meeting Wednesday when the decision was made.

The Plattsburgh-based organization, which serves homeless families, lost its most vital streams of funding due to changes in grant specifications and because some monies just aren’t available anymore.

“If we had the funds, we’d stay open,” said Kevin McCown, a board member for about six months. “It’s a shame it has to be this way because there are a lot of families out there that need our help.”

Bradish said Tuesday that local fundraisers help tremendously, but with an annual budget of some $112,000, grant funding is critical.

Family Promise took referrals from Clinton County Department of Social Services, putting up families overnight at churches and a synagogue, with teams of volunteers pitching in to help. 

She is meeting with the coordinators from each congregation today.

“I have so much confidence in the volunteers,” Bradish said. “They are great.”

TWO FAMILIES

During the daytime, clients utilized services at the group’s Day Center in Plattsburgh, searching for housing and jobs and other needs.

They otherwise would have been given a room at a local low-budget motel at a cost to taxpayers of at least $250 weekly, without the many services Family Promise provided.

Bradish has two families in the program now and hopes both will have moved into permanent housing by Friday.

McCown, his girlfriend, Mary Burnell, and their four children are one of them.

About a month ago, they lost their apartment because it did not meet Housing and Urban Development specifications for the number of bedrooms according to the structure of their family.

They require three, and HUD said they couldn’t stay in a place with only two bedrooms.

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