Thursday, February 17, 2011 The Latest
Welcome Bergen County, NJ; Affiliate #162
|Bergen Co. Families on the Move!|
Tucked in the northeastern corner of New Jersey, Bergen County has the 16th highest per capita income in the United States, creating a very high cost of living and extremely expensive housing. Family Promise of Bergen County becomes the 16th Affiliate in the Garden State. However, the path it took to joining our network has been unique.
In 1986, the same year the first IHN in Union County, NJ, was born, the Interreligious Fellowship for the Homeless of Bergen County was formed. Driven by the same motivation and principles as Family Promise, they provided shelter for families in partnership with their local faith communities, using a static site with rotating congregational volunteers.
The IRF thrived, offering various food, shelter and housing programs, including space for homeless singles. In 2009, Bergen County announced a large congregant shelter for singles, eliminating the need for IRF’s singles program. Their leadership approached Family Promise about redirecting the congregations who had been serving singles towards hosting families instead, setting in motion the process of affiliation and name change.
FPBC has 15 hosting congregations and a score of supports. It will soon move from temporary digs into a new Day Center at a Methodist Church in Ridgewood. They have a van purchased with the donation from a single supporter. The director is Kate Duggan, a talented non-profit professional who has been with the organization for years. As a wonderful side benefit to their joining Family Promise, when Marsha Mackey, their previous director stepped down from her full-time position at IRF, we were able to bring her aboard our national team as an associate and regional representative.