Family Promise

The Social Action Committee launched its new initiative to be a support congregation for Family Promise of the Capital Region at the April 24 Social Action Shabbat.  

What is Family Promise?  
Family Promise of the Capital Region (FPCR) is a new affiliate of a national organization that for over 25 years has provided help getting homeless families back on their feet, with an 80% success rate.  FPCR is a network of faith communities providing a local response for homeless children and their families.  B’nai Sholom is the only synagogue participating in this local interfaith initiative.

Who is served by Family Promise?  
FPCR serves families who have lost their housing due to a variety of reasons including loss of job, reduction of working hours, rising rents.  Existing social service agencies refer families to FPCR and continue to provide services as necessary.  Families are screened to meet FPCR standards: no active drug/alcohol abuse, domestic violence or untreated mental illness.  Adults continue to work or seek better employment, children continue to attend their home schools.

Why is this program needed?   
When a family loses their housing suddenly, often the only option is to use shelters.  However, shelters are usually segregated by gender.  A single mother with a 14 year old son and an 8 year old son may be told that she and the younger son can go to the women’s shelter but the 14 year old boy will have to go to the men’s shelter by himself.   Family Promise keeps the family together through more than 180 affiliates across the country.  

How will B’nai Sholom participate?
Delmar Presbyterian Church is one of eleven host congregations which will provide meals and overnight accommodations to three to four families for one week at a time, four times a year. B’nai Sholom will be a support congregation to Delmar Presbyterian Church during the four weeks that the church will host.  

What will B’nai Sholom volunteers do?  
As a support congregation we have pledged to provide dinner and companionship from 5:00 to 10:00 pm for two nights each of the four weeks that Delmar Presbyterian Church is the host site.  Depending on how many families are being served, two to three B’nai Sholom volunteers will be needed each night.  Volunteers cook and transport dinner to the church, share dinner with guests, clean up, and then are available to read to children, provide homework assistance or have a companionable conversation. Volunteers will be trained and all members of a family are welcome to volunteer!  

Our scheduled dates for this year are:  
        Monday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 10
        Monday, August 24 and Wednesday, August 26
        Monday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 4

How can you help?  
Becky Marvin and Gail Volk are B’nai Sholom’s Co-Coordinators.   To volunteer to sign up or if you have questions, please contact  Gail at  Or, contact Gail to find out about other ways you can help.

 Family Promise Program Needs…

As a support congregation to hot site, Delmar Presbyterian Church, we are helping to furnish rooms so that they are comfortable and homey.  If you have any of the items below and no longer need them, please contact Gail Voik ( or Becky Marvin (

  • Fans — oscillating stand or box
  • Storage bins with lids
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Night lights
  • Floor lamps
  • Clocks — battery operated, wall mount
  • Utility shelving
  • Window treatments
  • Sheet sets — twin size
  • Blankets/comforters — twin size, washable
  • Infant bathtub
  • Booster seats

You may also make a monetary contribution towards puchase of needed items.  Please sent your check makde out to B’nai Sholom and earmarked for Family Promise to:

B’nai Sholom Social Action Committee
420 Whitehall Rd.,
Albany, NY 12208

B'nai Sholom Albany NY