Important announcement from Eileen Tiberio, FPOC Board President:

Dear Friends of Family Promise,

We are sad to announce that Brenda Spratt has decided to move on from her position as Executive Director of Family Promise of Ontario County.

When Brenda took the reins at FPOC in 2019, we were a small agency with a tiny budget and three paid staff. We provided emergency shelter in fifteen local churches and synagogues, and case management at our Day Center in Canandaigua. Initially we were able to shelter up to four families at a time who were experiencing homelessness. Under Brenda’s leadership, FPOC has grown into a thriving non-profit organization that offers a wide range of services to prevent family homelessness, shelter up to eight families at a time, help those families secure permanent housing, and keep them stable through both financial and case management support. We are grateful for Brenda’s investment in our community and wish her all the best in her next adventure.

Family Promise of Ontario County is in the early stages of seeking a new Executive Director. In the interim, please contact Board President Eileen Tiberio or Director of Case Management Kate Bluett with questions or needs. [Coordinators and Clergy, please reach out directly to Jay at [email protected], or (585) 953-1108.]

Family Promise Day Rally on Thursday, April 20 @ 3:00

In addition to fundraising efforts undertaken by affiliates around the country, we will be celebrating our fifth anniversary of serving families in Ontario County with a rally in front of the Canandaigua City Hall, complete with proclamations by Mayor Bob Palumbo and State Senator Pam Helming. We hope you can sneak away from work for an hour to celebrate with us!

Next Coordinator Meeting is Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 pm at 1st United Methodist Church of Geneva. Please RSVP!  We will offer a Zoom option, but we hope you’ll join us in person. Perhaps some western Ontario County coordinators could carpool over and share a little fellowship before and after the meeting!

Permanent Supportive Housing Update: In a permanent supportive housing arrangement, the parents sign a lease directly with a landlord. Family Promise offers landlords financial incentives to rent to our graduates and provides intensive ongoing case management to help those graduates become successful tenants. In addition to a three-apartment building in Geneva, we are now working to turn a two-unit building in Canandaigua into Permanent Supportive Housing!

FPOC currently uses the right-hand apartment as emergency shelter. We hope to turn both apartments into permanent supportive housing.

Emergency Shelter Guest Updates: We are currently hosting seven single moms, one single dad, and 26 children in our Emergency Shelter Apartments.

GenevaWe lease two emergency apartments on Elm Street which were seriously affected by last week’s heavy rains and flooding. Foot-deep water flowed around the entire building, moms had to wade through knee-deep water to safety with their children in hand, the basement flooded, the driveway washed into the street, power was briefly lost, and the furnace was ruined. Moms and their children are currently making do with extra space heaters and blankets while the landlord works to clean up the mess and replace the furnace. We are lucky to have a week of warm weather ahead of us! The downstairs mom and her three children will move into permanent supportive housing as soon as their apartment is ready. The upstairs mom and her three children started our program a few days before the flood. We would love to have a couple Geneva area congregations adopt those apartments! The single mom with seven children in our North Exchange Street apartment continues to work with Pathstone Housing to acquire a Section 8 supported loan, with the goal of purchasing her own home.

East Bloomfield: The single father with three children in our State Street parsonage continues to seek professional employment and housing.

Canandaigua: We host four families in Canandaigua. A mom with three kids is now sheltering in our Saltonstall Street apartment and hopes to move into permanent supportive housing soon. A mom with two boys and a baby girl occupies the downstairs apartment on Chapin Street. The upstairs Chapin Street apartment hosts a young mother with an 18 month-old son. A mom with three children – two with special needs – is sheltering in our new Bristol Street apartment.

Gift Card Support for Families: With the reduction of SNAP benefits to pre-pandemic levels, more families than ever are facing food insecurity. Our families are grateful for your help keeping food on the table and gas in their vehicles. Walmart is the preferred grocery card, though Tops and Aldi are also useful. Speedway is a popular gas card as it can be designated for “fuel purchases only.” Please use a permanent marker to label the value of each gift card! We are so grateful to the congregations who donated gift cards last month! Upcoming congregational support weeks:

           April 9                  United Church of Canandaigua

           April 16                East Bloomfield United Methodist Church

           April 23                St. John’s Episcopal Clifton Springs

           April 30                Farmington UMC

           May 7                   Trinity Episcopal Geneva

           May 14                 United Church of Phelps

Volunteer Needs:

Our grant that paid for cleaning the day center has ended. If someone you know feels called to serve in that way, we’d be immensely grateful for once-a-week or twice-a-month assistance.

Could a Geneva-area congregation adopt one or both of our Elm Street apartments?

Phelps Green, a lifelong contractor and handyman, has offered to help with building and maintenance projects in our Canandaigua apartments and Day Center. Do you have any members who might like to help him with this ministry?

Prayer Requests – Please offer these prayers during worship or in your newsletter!

Prayers for outgoing director Brenda Spratt as she embarks on her next endeavor, and prayers for Family Promise as we seek our next leader.

Prayers for a quick resolution to the flood damage in our Geneva apartments. 

Prayers for successful transition to permanent supportive housing for three current guest families.

Prayers for a graduate family who has lost their housing.

Thanksgiving for our graduate dad’s “third time’s a charm” successful driver’s test!

Thanks for all that you do in support of our mission! ~FPOC