Family Promise of WNY to Present 5K Run & Walk Fundraiser

By Tracy Diina

Buffalo has many wonderful organizations dedicated to helping those in need. Some of these nonprofit organizations fly below the radar. Take Family Promise of Western New York. It was created in 1996 as a means to keep homeless families together while simultaneously engaging religious congregations and utilizing underused church buildings but still very few people know about it. Family Promise stresses the importance of keeping families together during times of homelessness and is one of only two local resources that provide this service.

In 2015, Family Promise has great plans, including a race event – a 5K run & walk – coming up on January 24th. Family Promise of WNY is an affiliate of Family Promise which has over 180 other locations throughout the US.

FPWNY logo

Nearly 6,000 people in Erie County were homeless at some point in 2013 and almost 30 percent of them were children, according to a recent report from the Homeless Alliance of Western New York. Of 5,754 people who were homeless for a period of time last year, more than 2,000 were part of a family, and most of those families – 73 percent – were headed by a single mother. Of 1,024 homeless children, almost 400 were age 5 or younger. Overall, the Homeless Alliance counted 221 more people among the homeless last year than in 2012, with 246 of them considered chronically homeless.

St. John’s Lutheran Church has a history of serving the needy and impoverished. They approached Family Promise of Western New York to offer their assistance—and ultimately decided to donate the proceeds from the race to help homeless families in our region.

Family Promise is a cost-efficient, effective, and replicable community response to homelessness. We model our services on national paradigm that brings together existing local community resources, especially faith congregations, to assist us with our mission to serve homeless families. We offer an opportunity for volunteers of all faiths to reduce homelessness and transform lives. Locally, 10 host congregations and 27 support congregations provide lodging, meals and a safe secure environment for our families. Over 500 volunteers assist, which helps keep operational expenses very low. This strategy enables Family Promise to help homeless families achieve lasting independence at a third of the cost of traditional shelters.

Since 2010, Family Promise of WNY aided 75 families by providing temporary housing and access to case management and employment assistance. Most people do not realize that the majority of these families are average Americans who have fallen on hard times. We call it the new face of homelessness, and we are seeing it more and more.

For more information on the race, contact Eric Hauan at 662-4747 extension 314 or click here; for more information about Family Promise, click here.

Saturday, January 24th – 9:00 AM Registration – 10:00 AM 5 K Run & Walk – 11:00 AM Awards – 11:30 AM Food & Fun

St. John’s Lutheran Church – 4536 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park

FPWNY Frozen race

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