Become a FAN

Our Family Angel Network (FAN) initiative provides corporations, faith communities, and other philanthropic-minded individuals and groups with an opportunity to help families working to propel themselves out of poverty. As a FAN, you “sponsor” a family/apartment in our Transitional Housing Program (THP). Regular updates on the progress of the family are sent to the sponsors and they have the opportunity to interact directly with them and facilitate them in their journey to self-sufficiency. You witness your impact firsthand. More importantly, as a sponsor, you have the opportunity to save a successful and highly regarded program in our community that is at risk of closure due to government funding cuts.

Our first FAN, The Hampshire Companies host a birthday party for one of the boys in the apartment they are sponsoring.

THE NEED FOR FANs

THP is our most consistently successful program for helping homeless families rebuild their lives and return to their community. For example, of the 13 families that graduated from the program in 2017, 100% had stable, full-time jobs – the highest number of move-outs in a year. The irony is that despite the program’s incredible record of success, it is facing an existential threat that may close it down.

Our Federal funding for this program has been dropping every year – 36% since 2010. Of course, our program costs have only gone up. We make up the difference with increased fundraising, prudent financial planning, and deficit spending. Without it, our waiting lists will quickly get a lot longer.

It’s not only about money. We are proud of our program. It is successful and highly regarded. However, government funding dictates changes to the program that hinders our ability to produce successful outcomes. We are facing a genuine, existential crisis.

FAN RESPONSIBILITIES

  • A minimum one-year financial commitment with the option to be renewed annually. This will help in a significant way to defray the $43,765 it costs per family to complete our program (this number is based on an 11-month stay).
  • Your support and investment will be applied towards:
    • Subsidizing rent allowing the families to never pay more than 30% of their gross income.
    • The cost of the utilities in the apartment: heat, A/C, electricity, gas, water.
    • Subsidizing Childcare so that the children receive quality, reliable care and parents can maintain employment.
    • Van transportation for the family to and from public transportation hubs, work sites, and daycare centers.
    • Intensive, personalized services by highly skilled, experienced professionals including a Case Manager, Employment & Housing Specialist, Child Advocate, Program Manager, and 24/7 Residential Support Staff.
    • A safe and supportive home including a 24 hour supervised setting with 10 furnished two-bedroom apartments located in a semi-wooded, suburban neighborhood.
    • A structured Life Skills Curriculum including courses in financial education, parenting, health and nutrition, healthy relationships, tenants’ rights, homeownership, legal matters, career advancement, credit counseling, and more. Childcare is also provided so parents can participate.
  • Provide a volunteer network with a single point of contact that we can call upon for regular or unexpected, urgent, or specialized needs for the family: tutoring (for adults or children), babysitting (during school holidays, night classes, extra shifts, etc.), moving assistance when families locate permanent homes, 1:1 guidance for new experiences like: first time car buying, college preparation for youth, new careers, etc.

FAN BENEFITS

  • Quarterly updates via email regarding your sponsored family: how they are doing, challenges they’re facing, goals they’ve accomplished. Updates will include photos whenever possible. Please note, in cases where the family’s safety could be jeopardized this may not be possible.
  • Opportunities to attend family events at THP to visit with your sponsored family (BBQ’s, holiday parties, birthday parties, etc.).
  • Opportunities to volunteer in ways that will directly help your sponsored family (tutoring, babysitting, mentoring, moving, etc.).
  • Team-building opportunities when your sponsored family moves to permanent housing:
    • Be part of the moving team.
    • Help to equip the home with donated furniture (beds, couches, kitchen sets, table, lamps, dressers, etc.) and assemble as needed.
    • Be part of the “Welcome Home” celebration. Collect basic food pantry items, kitchen supplies, and items for the children and present the family with a basket.

 

As a FAN, you get the unique and rewarding opportunity to help parents break the cycle of poverty, see their children grow, and be part of real change. You will witness your impact firsthand.

 

For more information, please contact Stephanie Cicale at StephanieCicale@hsinj.org or (973) 993-0900 x 120