Tim Gamory has seen firsthand how homelessness can affect children.
“I taught second grade early in my career and saw students who were housing-insecure,” he said. It clearly affected their whole lives. It hindered their ability to learn and focus in class.”
Today, Gamory is the Founder and CEO of Elevate Digital LLC, a consulting firm focused on helping small businesses reach their potential. He’s also a member of the Family Promise Board of Directors. A role he’s well suited for thanks to his ability to view the issue of family homelessness from multiple angles.
“I was born in the Bronx and lived in public housing with my parents and 5 older siblings,” Gamory said. “When I was 5-years-old, we moved to a house that my father built.”
Gamory explained that even though his family was low-income, he wasn’t aware of it because he had a home. It offered security and gave him the freedom to focus on school, which laid the foundation for his future.
That future eventually led him to Charity Navigator, the world’s largest nonprofit evaluator, where he rose through the ranks during a 15-year stint at the organization. Gamory’s connection with Family Promise was a result of a former Charity Navigator colleague, Sandra Miniutti. Miniutti is currently the Chief Program Officer at Family Promise.
“She was so happy to be a part of the organization and was telling me how it was run,” Gamory said. “Coming from a macro level of looking at nonprofits and then hearing Sandy’s experience, I was intrigued.”
Gamory joined the Board of Directors in 2020 and was immediately impressed by Family Promise’s capacity to affect lives on a grassroots level thanks to its Affiliate model of service.
“The greatest impact occurs when it is created locally,” Gamory said. “Having people who really care in the community is important.”
Community is a core value for Gamory and although he has spent much of his life working with information technology to connect people, he believes local, in-person engagement is needed now more than ever.
“Social media and commercial marketing have tapped into our desire for connection,” Gamory said. “You can belong to dozens of online communities and have thousands of ‘friends’ but not know your next door neighbor’s name. Family Promise is playing an important role as a community builder while leveraging technology in service of people—not the other way around.”
Family Promise Affiliates across the country are able to provide genuine support to families because of the relationships they build with local individuals, organizations, and businesses. Once those relationships are built, resources like transportation, professional training, and in-kind donations are shared. And that potluck of support is only possible because Family Promise Affiliates took the time to form authentic relationships with their community members.
“Family Promise is rooted in community,” Gamory said. “And I think strengthening communities is the key to solving family homelessness.”