In honor of Black History Month, Family Promise is spotlighting Black Family Promise staff members, board members, volunteers, and clergy who are making an impact in their respective communities.
Ariffa Bevin found Family Promise by accident.
Five years ago, she was walking to the cafeteria at work when she saw a person sleeping on the ground in the lobby. She reached out to touch the person on the shoulder to see if they were okay, but eventually realized it was a mannequin—an advertising tool for her local Family Promise Affiliate’s upcoming sleepout fundraiser.
“I was touched when I saw the person sleeping on the ground,” Bevin said. “After reading the flyer for the Family Promise sleepout, I immediately wanted to support and raise awareness.”
A few weeks later—in the middle of a cold Upstate New York October evening—Bevin joined Family Promise of the Capital Region (NY) community members by sleeping outside for a single night. The goal was to raise awareness of the issue of family homelessness. But the event was also a learning experience for Bevin.
“The Family Promise staff taught everyone there about the organization’s mission,” Bevin said. “They also told success stories of families who had gone through the program. I was so inspired.”
Not long after the sleepout, Bevin was invited to Family Promise of the Capital Region’s day center for an information session. She didn’t hesitate to accept the offer and learned even more about the organization. On top of that, she began taking the necessary steps to become a board member.
Bevin is an inclusion, diversity, and equity business partner. She recently pivoted from a career doing similar work in healthcare to the tech industry, with a role focused on promoting IDE strategies, best practices, and culture change at her place of work. Bevin’s IDE expertise perfectly aligns with Family Promise national’s goals. Family Promise formed a racial justice council in 2020 to ensure racial equity issues are addressed at all levels of the organization.
As a board member at Family Promise of the Capital Region, Bevin is working with her colleagues to increase the sustainability of the Affiliate’s services.
“We want to figure out what barriers families are facing at all phases of their time with us,” Bevin said. “We want to break down those barriers and set families up for long-term success.”
Whether it’s issues with transportation or mental health struggles, Bevin is committed to the journey of problem solving. And that commitment stems from an inner sense of service.
“If I can support and help others to know that they’re not alone and seen, then I am all the more blessed and grateful,” Bevin said. “I’m going to do that best that I possibly can to serve families who need a little help.”