Press-Republican

November 19, 2012

Hope continues for Family Promise

Clinton County grouphelping the homeless hasnew officers, seeks funds

By FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — While Family Promise of Clinton County remains in limbo, hope remains for the nonprofit that aids the homeless. 

Director Maureen Bradish said she and the faith-based organization’s Board of Directors are looking into grants that could provide the funding they need to get them back up and running.

”They’re trying to explore all our options to see if we can keep it afloat,” she said.

The 10-member Family Promise Board of Directors met recently to appoint new officers, said Fran Patnode, who will become president in January, should Family Promise resume operations. 

In early October, the board voted to suspend operations, as major funding sources had dried up. 

Shortly before that happened, Family Promise was able to find permanent housing for Kevin McCown, Mary Burnell and their four children. The other family they were serving at the time was referred to Clinton County Department of Social Services for assistance, Bradish said.

”I do know that our services were appreciated by a lot of people,” she said. “When they (the families) were here, they felt comfortable.”

The nonprofit, formerly called the Greater Plattsburgh Interfaith Hospitality Network, provides temporary housing, food and case management to homeless families. Faith congregations around the area supplied overnight lodging for the families, with volunteers cooking meals, playing with the children and helping with homework, and offering moral support to the parents. Bradish worked with them during the daytime at the office in Plattsburgh, assisting their effort to find the resources they required, whether an apartment, job or various services.

A representative from the Family Promise national office in Summit, N.J., was supposed to travel to Plattsburgh to meet with Bradish and the board, but Hurricane Sandy has left some employees there homeless themselves.

Bradish said she didn’t feel it was appropriate to put an extra burden on them.

Some funds have come in to help Family Promise here with its remaining costs for 2012.

About $2,000 was raised by the organization’s Great Pumpkin Prediction Race at the Crete Center in Plattsburgh, held on Oct. 27, and an anonymous donor gave $1,000 last week. 

Unfortunately, that’s not enough.

The organization’s annual cost is about $112,000.

”We would need to secure at least half of that,” to start up again, Bradish said.

At present, she is the organization’s only remaining paid employee, but she will be laid off in two weeks if enough funding is not secured for the nonprofit to resume business. Family Promise’s program aide was laid off in October, Bradish said.

STILL ACCEPTING DONATIONS

Despite its precarious position, Family Promise is still serving those in need, at least in a small way. Bradish is putting together Thanksgiving food baskets for a number of former clients.

Pat Poissant, owner of Ultrawave salon in Plattsburgh, is donating the Thanksgiving turkeys, and the congregation of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Plattsburgh is helping with the baskets as well.

The public is invited to pitch in as well, Bradish said.

”People are very generous around the holidays.”

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HOW TO HELP

Send financial donations or gift cards to Family Promise, P.O. Box 2873 Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Specify whether checks are for food baskets or the organization itself. Reach Director Maureen Bradish at 562-0710 or via email at maureen.bradish@verizon.net.

Learn more at: http://familypromise ofclintoncounty. webs.com.