Family Promise of Summit County

MAY 2020: Due to the Covid-19 virus, Family Promise of Summit County has suspended the congregational system
until January 2021, but is still serving homeless families at their permanent static location on Copley Road. There are still many volunteer opportunities available, please use the Social Action contact form to contact Bruce, Jim or Art.

Temple Israel began hosting Family Promise families on May 15, 2016 for one week every three months. Use the Social Action contact form to offer your help to the Social Action committee about Family Promise and other Social Action Committee initiatives. By using the form, you can also find out more about what Temple Israel is doing for Family Promise.

For more information and to watch the What is Family Promise? video, visit the Family Promise website. The video on the Family Promise Home page provides an explanation of what Family Promise does.

Please Volunteer and Donate Items.

What’s Family Promise and How Long Has Temple Israel Been Involved?

Temple Israel has been a supportive congregation of Family Promise since 2008 and helps other host congregations in the Family Promise network. The homeless families that come through Family Promise work to get back on their feet by getting jobs and by securing housing for their families.

Family Promise is the only homeless shelter program in Summit County that accepts families and keeps them together throughout their homelessness. The program does not look at family makeup nor ask about the parental situation (whether both parents are available or a single parent with children).

Being a host congregation with Family Promise means that for a week at a time, the families stay at the congregation’s site from dinner until early in the morning when they are then transported to the Family Promise Family Center in downtown Akron and children are taken to school. Parents either go to work or work at a plan to find housing and jobs.

After a host congregations’ week is up, families move on to another of the host congregations in the Family Promise network. Another 14 congregations serve as support congregations to help host congregations in preparing dinner, helping children with their homework, staying overnight at the host congregation or driving the Family Promise van to transport guests of Family Promise to the day center during business hours.

The bedrock strength of Family Promise are the volunteers and host congregations that open their buildings to our guests who stay overnight where they offer a warm and safe place for the children and their families.

Former Board president Jim Levin feels Temple Israel’s change from a support congregation to a host congregation makes a lasting impact by helping families in need. “The smiles, the appreciation for our efforts can be seen on their faces. The children need a place to rest their heads during this time of transition.” He adds that the time commitment for any volunteer is minimal but the effects of your effort can not be measured.

What Can I Do To Help Family Promise families?

Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer

Temple needs YOU! We need people to help prepare meals for four nights and for up to 16 people, drive the families to the Family Promise Family Center downtown, warm up the meals, serve and eat with our families, stay overnight and help to move beds from one congregation to another. Temple Israel provides space to house families from Sunday evening to the following Sunday morning. We have a support congregation helping us from Thursday to Sunday, but we still need many volunteers. Consider a few hours of your time.

Besides Volunteers, Temple Israel Needs Funds

Please contact the Family Promise coordinator to discuss the financial needs for being a host congregation. The Ben Maidenburg Memorial Fund provides financial support for buying food to make meals for the Family Promise project.

The Ben Maidenburg Memorial Fund also supports other Social Action Committee activities throughout the year — including the Summit County Developmental Disabilities dinners as well as some Mitzvah Day activities. Please consider a donation to help the Social Action Committee in these Tikkun Olam projects. If you donate funds, the committee can go out and buy needed items.