Press-Republican

Thursday

February 14, 2013

Family Promise closes for good

PLATTSBURGH — Family Promise of Clinton County has shut down for good, a victim of lack of funding.

A local affiliate of the national nonsectarian, nonprofit organization Family Promise, the program provided support for those in need by sheltering homeless families in faith congregations throughout the area and helping find affordable housing, jobs and other services.

Mike Simpson of Chateaugay, who had been treasurer of the Plattsburgh-based affiliate, said the group ceased operations during the autumn and looked at various methods of restructuring.

“We didn’t leave any stone unturned,” he said.

However, none of the ideas seemed workable.

“Funds had been falling for a few years, and we had been operating with a fairly tight margin. It was not sustainable, and we didn’t want to enter into any contracts if we couldn’t fulfill them.”

LOST FUNDING

Simpson noted that the major difference came from a decline in federal and state grants.

“That funding was drying up.”

Family Promise was a United Way agency and held its own fundraisers, but the money brought in couldn’t make up for the lost grants.

Simpson said the Clinton County Department of Social Services serves families in need who would have been assisted by the Family Promise programs. At the same time, he was sad to see the affiliate close down and grateful for the support from local congregations during the past 10 years.

Frank Baehre of Plattsburgh, who served as the program’s coordinator at First Presbyterian Church, also expressed sadness that Family Promise had to close down.

“We always felt it served a needed purpose by sheltering families in a more caring environment than being quartered at a local hotel or motel could possibly provide.”

SHELTERED IN CHURCHES

In the program, families would be sheltered at congregation buildings, staying there in the evening and overnight, accompanied by volunteers.

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