As so many of you know, Shomrei has hosted homeless families with young children in our synagogue since 1988 as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network (now Family Promise). Twice a year, for a week at a time, for over 30 years, 50 caring volunteers have cooked food for the families, entertained the children and slept over as nighttime guardians. Because of the pandemic, we have not hosted families since December 2019 and the entire congregational shelter network remains shuttered. For 18 months, Family Promise (FP) has been sheltering families in hotels and shifting more resources into its other missions — stabilizing those on the verge of homeless with rental assistance and case management. FP needs even more financial support to continue to support vulnerable families, particularly as the moratorium on evictions is lifted and many more parents and children face homelessness.
Even though we can’t host families for now, we can be there for them and for Family Promise. Here are two wonderful opportunities to help:
- October 17—2:00pm — Walk for Change: On October 17th we will be joining Family Promise of Essex to walk to raise funds and awareness for families experiencing homelessness. It’s simple to do this mitzvah — register here as part of the Walk for Progress with Shomrei Team. Every registrant gets a Walk for Change tee shirt to wear on the 17th. Then meet us at 2:00 pm on Shomrei’s lawn. From Shomrei we will all walk to Edgemont Park to show our support of families in need of shelter. We’ll have balloons for the kids and we’ll all wear our matching Walk for Change tee shirts. The entry fee is $25. When you sign up please note you are part of the Walk for Progress with Shomrei Team. Our goal is to get our 50 regular volunteers and family and friends to join the walk—and if you cannot walk with us, you can donate on line to “walk virtually,” and support this vital organization. You will be asked to donate, and please give as generously as you comfortably can.
- October 31—Adopt a Child for Trick or Treat: Family Promise supports children in all families it serves (through shelter, rental assistance and post-shelter counseling) with essentials for daily life and with fun experiences! This Halloween, Family Promise is asking us to buy Halloween Costumes for children in its program. We have a Halloween Costume wish list for 14 children of all ages, specifying their first and second choices. We have created a Sign-Up Genius page where you can select the child to whom you want to give the gift of a costume. Costumes can be delivered to Shomrei the week before Halloween and we will get them to the Family Promise office.
Covid has made it more challenging to provide shelter and support to the families in the Family Promise program—and so we must find new ways to show our compassion for those in need! Come take a walk with us; buy a costume and bring hope and comfort to the less fortunate.
Thank you for your constant and generous support!
Dale and Shirley