Weekly Feature

2016-03-31 / Front Page

Family Promise welcomes new executive director


Peter Scott recently joined Family Promise of Western New York as executive director in order to continue helping those in need.

Family Promise, located at 149 French Road, Cheektowaga, is committed to helping homeless families find housing and employment opportunities. The organization works with a network of host churches that help house and take care of families until they have secured a home.

Scott started in his new role at the beginning of March. He said he was drawn to Family Promise because its mission was important to him.

“Interestingly enough, my parents were actually involved in this organization at our church growing up in West Seneca,” he said.

Prior to coming to Family Promise, Scott worked at Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County, where he still spends some of his hours each week.

“I had started a couple programs and was working on some curriculum for a class for refugees with higher skills or people who came from countries with higher degrees and experience,” he said.

As the executive director at Family Promise, Scott is responsible for working with the organization’s church network, the Erie County Department of Social Services and fundraising.

“I work with our network of churches and their network of volunteers. We have some 400 volunteers. We couldn’t exist without them,” Scott said, adding that he makes sure the churches and volunteers have the supplies they need.

Family Promise has 13 host churches in its network and 40 support churches, which provide meals, money and volunteers to the host churches. The organization serves about 18 to 22 families each year, and each family stays with Family Promise for an average of four to five weeks, Scott said.

“It’s a temporary situation for most of the families in our program,” Scott said. “We’ve started to use a lot more of the funds to try to help families with that first month’s rent or a security deposit.”

Looking forward, Scott said he wants to focus on getting families into homes more quickly, which includes using funding to help them with extra expenses such as security deposits or small appliances.

“I think we’d like to increase some of our services here at the center,” Scott said. “We do employment counseling, housing counseling and advice, and some benefits counseling. It would be nice to add a financial literacy piece to that.”

Scott said he is also helping Family Promise prepare for its second Mother’s Day Campaign. The campaign offers people a way to honor their mothers, wives or other women in their lives by helping mothers who are homeless.

Family Promise is asking for donations and in return, the organization will send a card to the donor’s honoree. Donations will be used to fund a Mother’s Day experience for the mothers in the Family Promise program.

“It’s basically operating under the premise that we want to help these moms that are in transition and in a kind of chaotic time in their lives. We’re appealing to people to donate based on that premise,” Scott said.

He said he is also planning to approach local florists to discuss any donations those businesses would be willing to give.

For those interested in donating, visit www.fpwny.org or call the organization at 771-3007. For more information, visit the agency’s Facebook page.

email: erikac@beenews.com

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