Dear Friends of Family Promise of Essex County,

As many of you know, as of July 1, 2020, The Interfaith Hospitality Network for the Homeless of Essex County, Inc. changed its name to Family Promise of Essex County, Inc. (FPE). Despite the name change, our mission remains EXACTLY the same: to help families experiencing homelessness achieve self-sufficiency by providing shelter, housing assistance and an array of social services through a community-based approach.

"Family Promise" is a shorter, more memorable name shared by our national office and hundreds of other affiliates across the United States. Under this new banner, we will continue to make a difference – one family at a time.

Despite the curve balls that COVID19 has thrown us, we have continued to operate our Home for Good, housing and stabilization program without disruption. And even as houses of worship remain closed, we are happy to announce the re-opening of our Shelter Program, utilizing hotels with kitchenettes and providing food for the families with supermarket gift cards. This will be our method of providing shelter until our congregations can once again safely accept our guests. Last but not least, we have pivoted to a new, online version of our After School Tutoring Program.

Thank you for helping us to continue to deliver these critical services to our Essex County families in need. Especially given our current public health crisis, your generosity is what allows us to do the work we do.

With gratitude,

Jackie Baillargeon
Interim Executive Director
FPE Programs Update
We are Happy to Announce the (Virtual) Re-Opening of our After-School Program

It’s important to find joy in small moments. The most exciting moments in an after-school program come when students are able to do something they thought they could not do: they get an “A”, they receive a compliment from a teacher, they complete a project that was really difficult, they figure out a math problem on their own for the first time, they get accepted into a club or team. In that moment, the child gains confidence and resilience and is now more prepared to face the next challenge with hope and strength. Our tutors are heroes and cheerleaders who can help create these special moments in our children’s lives.

We believe that in order for a child to succeed academically, there must be a learning partnership of the teacher, parent(s)/guardians(s), tutor and child.

We have implemented some changes to better serve at-risk children in our After-School Program, particularly at this very difficult time in their lives.

· Individualized Learning Plans will be created for each child with input from parents/guardians, tutors, school personnel and students.
· Progress Reports will be collected from the tutors and the information will be shared with the parents/guardians.
· Our Manager of Community Engagement and After-School Volunteers will work with school personnel to ensure continuity between school and the after-school program. FPE will collect reports cards, IEPS and/or any other educational plans/reports.
· Tutors will provide at least two days of tutoring per week through Google Meets.

We commend the tutors that have stepped up and are willing to get out of their comfort zones to engage our students in virtual tutoring to provide stability and support. While our numbers are currently small, we look forward to increasing them where possible and sharing the joy of big and small moments in this school year.
Partners for Health Foundation will Match Your Donation to FPE This Holiday Season!

Again this year, Partners for Health Foundation has agreed to match donations made to FPE by December 31, dollar-for-dollar. This is a tremendous opportunity for you to double your impact.

Here’s how your donation
can have double the impact:
Donate $90 and it becomes $180
Donate $125 and it becomes $250
Donate $150 and it becomes $300

Please consider a donation to
Family Promise of Essex County this holiday season.
Donation online or send a check to:
Family Promise of Essex County
46 Park Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
Call for volunteer furniture movers!
We get a lot of furniture donations but unfortunately we don't have a mover to transport these larger donations to FPE families in need. If you can donate your time and strength to help move larger items, please contact Melissa Perales at
Thank you!
FPE Receives a Grant from Sterling National Bank

Sterling National Bank has awarded Family Promise of Essex County with a grant of $10,000 that will go to support FPE Youth and Family Programs! This grant will directly support the children in FPE programs with virtual learning by providing computers, hardware, case management and access to after school tutoring.
FPE Film Screening Event Update
Thank you to everyone who participated in the November 14th
Family Promise of Essex County
Film Screening Event!

We were honored to share the film, "Inocente", an Academy Award winning documentary about one teen’s struggle to become an artist while experiencing homelessness. Along with a Zoom panel discussion, which included Inocente herself, event provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with our community even in this time of distancing. 

Although the event was free of charge, we raised over $23,000 thanks to the wonderful coordinators, volunteers and friends of FPE. This money will go towards serving our families on their road to stability. Our core values at FPE include engaging the whole community in combating family homelessness. We truly can’t do this essential work without your volunteer efforts and donations. THANK YOU!

Check back on our website events page for upcoming events for 2021!
"Why I Give" : Donor Spotlight on Allison Ziefert
After a decade in real estate I still love my job. I am blessed to have a career that combines several of my passions-- architecture and design, building community and helping people. I am a founding agent of Compass NJ where I lead a top-producing team. In 2020, we closed $50 million in sales volume and helped 70 families buy, sell or rent homes. This year, issues of equity and justice in the housing market and in the world are in the front of our minds like never before. 

My team has a long history of supporting local events and causes. About 3 years ago we decided to focus our giving on one organization and we chose Family Promise of Essex County, Inc., a Montclair-based not for profit organization that provides food, shelter, and support services for homeless families in our area. To me, this seemed like an obvious choice given what we do. We donate to Family Promise with each and every closing. There are so many families facing extra challenges this holiday season so we decided to “adopt” a family of five by covering the full cost of their holiday gift wish list including a kindle, digital camera, socks, slippers, dolls and bracelets! This family has three girls (ages 3, 6 and 12) and they moved to an apartment in Irvington, with the help of Family Promise, after being in a shelter last summer.

We are local market experts who specialize in Maplewood/South Orange, West Orange, Millburn/Short Hills and Montclair, NJ, as well as the surrounding towns. It's always our goal to provide the highest level of boutique service coupled with candid advice so that our clients have the strategies and information to make the best real estate decisions. The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group has platinum level sales volume, but our biggest reward is earning an excellent, heartfelt client testimonial or referral from a happy buyer or seller. If we can assist you or someone you know in 2021 it would be our honor to do so.

We Are Grateful to All Donors and Volunteers!
Over 50 filled backpacks with supplies were dropped off at the homes of Family Promise of Essex County children just in time for back to school!
Thank you so much to Marcy and Stephan Siegel and the kids who helped decorate and put together over 150 snack bags for FPE children!
Thank you to Rebecca Rowell for 30+ games and toys! FP Essex kids were overjoyed to receive these this summer!
Thank you to Meredith Reiman, Jen Cohen, Dana Tenenbaum and the kids for donating such wonderful activity bags to give to the children at FPE!
Thank you to Kathryn and Mary Sanok for over 100 snack bags filled with chips, juice, fruit snacks and more that went out to FPE families!
Thank you Jordan and Chloe Rosner for the fun Halloween costumes for the kids at FPE! Trick or Treat!
Thank you to Roseland Presbyterian Church for the Halloween treat bags for the families.
Over 60 giant Thanksgiving baskets went to FPE families for the holidays thanks to Morrow Memorial Methodist Church in Maplewood, Morrow Preschool, St Andrews Episcopal Church Newark, Suzanne Klar, PSE&G, and Temple Sholom of West Essex.
Thank you, Kim Sleeman and Kara Lawler from Millburn District Outreach Team that donated holiday gift bags for all our FPE parents!
Thank you, Barbara Davis for volunteering to spend the day with us wrapping gifts for clients.
Hosting Families in 2021
Right now, none of us knows for sure when it will be safe for congregations to reopen and once again welcome families. But along with you, we look forward to the day when that can happen. For the time being, we are hosting our families in hotels with kitchenettes and providing gift cards for food. 

But the recent news about vaccines does give us hope! Our Manager of Community Engagement, Melissa Perales, will begin reaching out to our congregations ASAP to put a provisional schedule in place starting in January 2022 (and perhaps even earlier) for the possibility of us going back to hosting in our traditional rotational congregation settings.

 Please know, we will only place our families in churches or synagogues when it is safe for both the families and our volunteers to do so. While a provisional schedule will be set up, it is only provisional. We will confirm with each congregation well ahead of time, before actually placing families in their midst. If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact Melissa at

Huge thanks to all our Congregations, Coordinators and Volunteers for all they do to help our families! We cannot wait to begin working with you again! 
Get Social With Us!