Like many great ideas, Family Promise of Hudson County began in a church basement. In the spring and summer of 2014, a group of clergy, lay leaders, and community members from across Jersey City started meeting in the basement of Ocean Avenue Baptist Church at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Virginia Avenue in Ward F to discuss the challenges of homelessness and housing insecurity in our community.
We knew that the shelter system in Hudson County provided no option for houseless families that allowed them to stay together. We also knew that many counties around New Jersey had started Family Promise affiliates and had found the model to be effective for families in need, economical for donors, and invigorating for host congregations who participate.
After many years of planning, research, and fundraising, FPHC formally opened our doors in early 2018, with a dozen faith communities serving as host and support congregations.
In the years since, we have helped over 50 families transition from our shelter into stable, affordable housing of their own. We continue to be guided by the same belief that led our founders to start meeting almost a decade ago: the belief that all of us have a collective responsibility to take care of the neediest members of our community.
Covid-19 brought new challenges to everyone around the globe. Imagine dealing with a contagious, life-threatening virus while being without a home. Family Promise of Hudson County had to swiftly change gears when houses of worship closed their doors. We implemented a plan to use short-term home rentals to keep our families safe.
The Family Promise of Hudson County Board of Trustees has permanently voted to use the static location instead of the rotational model, for various reasons; the pandemic has caused uncertainty with our community-based congregational partners re-opening and more importantly, because we have found that the static location models offer a sense of temporary housing security to the family, more importantly, the children.
Static locations are fixed sites for the families to stay, these static locations consist of multiple single-family 3-bedroom homes that are completely furnished, and have washers and dryers, televisions as well as high-speed internet access. The static site model also engages our community partners as well as our community-based volunteers by keeping them involved and allowing them to provide hospitality from afar.
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